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  • Alick Burt

Terrapin On The Derwent.

Recently I went to visit a friend in Yorkshire in celebration of his birthday. The celebrations were to be spread over several days and the location was adjacent to the River Derwent with easy access for my canoe so I was able to go out for the occasional paddle.

The first time I went out was on the early evening of my arrival and I returned as the sun was beginning to go down.

On my second trip I had a bit more time and went a bit further up to Kirkham weir where I could just about see the Abbey ruins from the water.

On my way back down river I spotted a dark shape on a log and realised it was a terrapin when I saw it flop off the log into the water and got a good view of its underside. I had heard of them on the Ashby Canal but not this far North.I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of it but decided to return to the spot again if I got the chance.I saw it on the log at the back of this picture.

Next day I got up early and made my way up river again.

I didn't see the Terrapin on the way up and decided to take the right fork at Kirkham up to the other weir.

On my way back down I slowed at the log and looked around. Once again the terrapin was on the same log but as soon as I tried to get close enough to take a picture he plopped into the water and was gone!

I waited and looked around only to see him behind my boat approaching my stern. I tried to turn and get a picture but it was to no avail as he dived again and was gone.

I gave up went back.

Next day was cooler but I decided to go out once more and see if I could get a picture of the elusive terrapin.

There was no sign on the usual log so perhaps I had scared him off or maybe it was just too cold for sunning yourself on a log!

I did take this picture of what I believe to be giant hogweed. This is a non native invasive species that is very nasty if you so much as brush against it.It takes away your skins ability to cope with the sun so you come out in blisters. If you see it steer clear and don't touch it.

After that I paddled back in calm waters with the intention of finding out more about terrapins in our waters when I got home.

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