Most of the land drained by the river is agricultural........dairy, beef and sheep farms and some arable production. I think there has also been mining in the past in the upper reaches of the tributaries. The Lynher estuary is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA) for species such as Kingfishers, otters, dippers etc.
I’m told that the Lynher supports a population of Atlantic salmon.....I quite like the notion that salmon swim up it. Someone told me it was an EU designated salmonid Fishery (I think I may need to research this further). I know that the BBC published a little article about the development of a new salmon hatchery on the river....which is great news.(http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/content/articles/2008/03/17/nature_lynher_feature.shtml )
The river dries out completely in some places with extensive mudflats and some marshy creeks. The Dandy hole anchorage is a popular deepwater pilgrimage – crowded in summer though. I know that Tom Cunliffe did a small video on yachting TV about pilotage up the Tamar to Dandy hole...for those of you who are interested. (http://www.yachtingtv.co.uk/). There is also a nice little youtube clip of a family sailing up it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAif54kYN8o
I’ve sailed out this way before with a school group out near Jupiter Point. The entrance to the estuary is marked by a red buoy. You have to turn to port immediately after that red buoy to avoid mudflats which dry out at low water and the small ‘beggars island’. Looking at the charts – I’ll probably then follow the series of pilotage buoys along the river past sand acre point towards Anthony Passage; passing between the Naval sail training centre at Jupiter Point and the permanently moored HMS Brecon training ship. This area has a strong naval presence with HMS Raleigh close by.
I think it would probably be prudent to explore up this river on a rising tide as well, even though Arwen barely draws anything. I’d hate to run out of ‘tacking room’ as I criss-crossed the channel trying to go upwind! Anyway at Black point I suspect the channel would narrow rapidly on a falling tide! I’m sure it dries up completely after Dandy Hole....although I’m told there is sufficient water for a dinghy to do creek crawling up to the village of St German’s....sounds like fun. It is clear from google earth and the charts that this is a beautiful area with rolling hills and potentially a ‘real get-away-from-it-all’ feeling.
St Germans seems very pretty and worth a good exploration.....it has a pub......I feel another potential dinghy camp emerging here! There is a Norman church; the estate of the current Earl of St Germans and a little sailing club as well. There are quays which in the late 1800’s were used for fishing, timber, limestone etc. It even has the main Cornwall railway line and if memory serves me right some impressive railway viaducts close by.
Yeap – I definitely think it’s worth doing the research and drawing up a provisional passage plan for this river too....sounds like the kind of trip my Dad would like to join me on as well....now that would be a really special trip!