The Mersey is a useful training river, as it carries a reasonable flow at almost all times, and there are no access difficulties. For introducing novices, it makes a good combination with the Irwell at Burrs, which is shorter and has better bank access. The Mersey follows it up with slighty easier water but a longer course. Both these race courses can be paddled at practically any level, even if there has not been recent rain. River levels can be found by ringing the Rivercall service run by the EA (0930 107702), select option 3. (this is a premium rate call, but the information is brief and to the point so it’s not expensive).