Friday, 31 July 2009

Rivers in Berkshire 2

The River Bourne is a river in the English county of Berkshire. It is a tributary of the River Pang and, indirectly, of the River Thames. The Bourne's source is near the village of Chapel Row and it joins the River Pang south of the M4 motorway near the village of Tidmarsh
The northern River Dun (one of two short rivers of that name rising in Wiltshire, England) flows into Berkshire to join the River Kennet.

Dun Mill on the River Dun at Hungerford,1900 and today

The River Dun rises near Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire and flows north-east into Berkshire as a tributary of the River Kennet at Hungerford, ultimately draining to the North Sea via the Thames.
The valley of the Dun has been used as an important transport route through the high chalklands between the London Basin to the east and the Vale of Pewsey to the west. It is the route by which the Kennet and Avon Canal (linking London and Bristol) enters the Thames basin from the Vale of Pewsey, crossing the watershed with the assistance of the Bruce Tunnel and the Crofton Pumping Station. It is also followed by the later main line railway from London to the south-west.

The River Loddon is a river in the English counties of Berkshire and Hampshire. It is a tributary of the River Thames, rising within the urban area of Basingstoke and flowing to meet the Thames near the village of Wargrave. The river has a total length of 28 miles (45 km) and, together with its tributaries, drains an area of 1036 km².

River Loddon at Stratfield Saye House

The River Loddon rises at West Ham Farm in Basingstoke, and in its first mile flows under the Festival Place shopping centre that forms the main part of the central area of that town. The river then passes close by the village of Old Basing and the ruined palace of Basing House. Leaving the environs of Basingstoke behind, the river flows north through open north Hampshire countryside and passes near by the village of Sherfield on Loddon. North of Sherfield the river passes through the ornamental grounds of Stratfield Saye House, the home of the Dukes of Wellington since 1817.

Entering Berkshire, the river passes the village of Swallowfield. Just north of Swallowfield the River Loddon is joined by the River Blackwater which adds substantially to its flow. The river then flows close to the east of the Berkshire suburbs of Earley and Woodley, to the west of Winnersh, and through Dinton Pastures Country Park.

Emm Brook

Shortly after this, near the village of Hurst it is joined by the Emm Brook. The river then flows close to the village of Twyford and is joined by the St Patrick's Stream, a backwater of the River Thames. About a mile further on it flows into the main channel of the Thames, just downstream of Shiplake Lock and close to the village of Wargrave.
Whilst chalk underlies much of the River Loddon's catchment area, it only appears at the surface at either end of the river, near Wargrave and Basingstoke. For the rest of its course the chalk lies beneath the Reading Beds and London Clay.

River Loddon at Sherfield on Loddon

The terrace gravels of the Loddon valley have been extracted in a number of places, including the lakes within Dinton Pastures Country Park
The catchment area of the River Loddon encompasses urban populations in Basingstoke and eastern Reading, whilst the urban areas of Aldershot, Fleet, Camberley and Farnborough all lie within the catchment area of the tributary River Blackwater. As a consequence the Loddon receives treated sewage effluent at nine locations, one just downstream of Basingstoke, a second at Wargrave, and seven indirectly via the Blackwater

The River Pang is a small chalk stream river in the west of the English county of Berkshire, and a tributary of the River Thames.

River Pang at Pangbourne

It runs for approximately 23 kilometres (14 mi) from its source near the village of Compton to its confluence with the Thames in the village of Pangbourne.
The river, and its water voles, are thought to have inspired author Kenneth Grahame's character Ratty and his book The Wind in the Willows.


River Pang in Bradfield

The river's source is normally near the village of Compton. In times of high rainfall it can be traced back to Farnborough, some four miles to the north-east, whilst at other times it may be as far downstream as Hampstead Norreys.
In the village of Compton the Pang is joined by the River Roden, a similar but smaller chalk stream with its source on Roden Downs to the east of the village. At first it flows south from Compton through the village of Hampstead Norreys, before turning east to flow through the villages of Bucklebury, Stanford Dingley and Bradfield.
To the east of Bradfield the Pang is joined by the River Bourne and turns north to flow through the villages of Tidmarsh and Pangbourne, eventually entering the Thames between Whitchurch Lock and Whitchurch Bridge.
The valley of the River Pang between Compton and Bradfield is rather isolated, penetrated only by narrow country lanes. Because of this isolation, the valley has not become the residential commuter area that is much of Berkshire, and is still largely agricultural.

The Pang hosts a large quantity of wildlife, and plays its own part towards being a part of the community, especially within Pangbourne itself. The river has a good head of wild brown trout (Salmo trutta) up to 3/4 lb (350 g) and is populated by grayling (Thymallus thymallus), indicating the general good condition of the water. A concern in this river is the population of American Signal crayfish, which have displaced the native White Clawed Crayfish species. This was illustrated in an episode of Gordon Ramsay's The F-Word.
The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust owns a nature reserve straddling the Pang at Moor Copse, close to the village of Tidmarsh. A 29 ha (72-acre) extension to the nature reserve, in the area that is believed to have inspired Kenneth Grahame's work, was purchased in December 2006.
In August 2007 a coalition of the WWF, the National Trust and the RSPB called on the British government to adopt their blue print for Water. To publicise their campaign they highlighted the dangers to sites well known through literature such as The Lake District (Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons and Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tiggy-Winkle), the North Kent Marshes (Charles Dickens's Great Expectations) and the River Pang.

The Pang's name was formed as a back-formation from the name of Pangbourne; bourne being a form of burn—a stream or small river.

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