Landslip Threatens Durham Regatta

A section of St Oswald’s vicarage garden has collapsed into the river, causing potential problems for ‘The Henley of the North’.


A section of St Oswald’s vicarage garden has collapsed into the river, causing potential problems for ‘The Henley of the North’.

Durham Regatta, scheduled for the 8th and 9th June, is in its 180th year and attracts rowers from all around the UK and overseas.

Heavy rain caused the regatta to be cancelled last year, costing organisers a huge £5,000.

Organisers hope they can remove the fallen debris before next month's regatta

Organisers hope they can remove the fallen debris before next month’s regatta

Over recent months there have been repeated landslips along the banks of the Wear, including one of Christmas Eve when an ash tree feel into the river.

The section of garden, which includes a large tree, fell down the bank into the river just below Kingsgate Bridge.

The council have now launched an investigation into the problem and workers have begun to remove the tree from the river.

Durham Regatta Secretary Dave Oliver reportedly said, “If we can’t get it removed before June we won’t be able to run any long course races at the Regatta.”

In the meantime, the riverside footpath has been closed and the river is being dredged to remove flood debris.

The dredging operations earlier this year

The dredging operations earlier this year

“We have all had a pretty expensive time this year,” said Durham Regatta Chairman.

Head of the Durham Regatta race committee, Charly Curtis, reportedly said, “There is no way with the tree as it is that you could safely get two racing eights side-by-side through this part of the river.

“Steering through Elvet Bridge and round the corner is difficult enough without any obstructions.

“Hopefully it will all be sorted out in the next few weeks and we can run a safe and competitive regatta.”