One man tackles swollen banks in kayak

The Oxford Times: Paul Preece on the Thames. OX64390 Richard Cave Buy this photo » Paul Preece on the Thames. OX64390 Richard Cave

Although it has caused misery for many, for one adventurer the flooding couldn’t come soon enough.

Paul Preece has been taking advantage of the waterlogged fields across Oxford in his kayak and has posted footage of his trip on Youtube.

And he wasn’t alone. A chance encounter in a Wolvercote car park led to the 54-year-old paddling down the River Thames and across fields from Bablock Hythe to Northmoor Lock near Farmoor, with a fellow kayaker he knows only as Lisa.

Dr Preece, who lives in Oxford, said: “When the fields are flooded you can use them as a shortcut to get around the current of the river.

“I look forward to flooding because from a kayaking perspective it is the best time of all.”

Dr Preece has been kayaking since he was 14 and regularly uploads Youtube videos taken on a camera mounted at the back of his vessel.

He usually goes out on the waters alone, he explained, but this time brought company. He said: “I met Lisa in a car park and she said she hadn’t been kayaking in 10 years.

“So she borrowed my spare kayak and came along with me. She did brilliantly too.”

However, he cautioned those eager to copy him.

“It can be dangerous,” he warned, “and is not something that beginners should do. Especially not without the right gear.”

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