February 2, 2014
Returning to my current fascination with water levels on the River Kennet:
I’ve been looking at the Enivironment Agency website, as it gives depth readings from several stations along the Kennet. By keeping an eye on the level further upriver, such as at Winterbourne Monkton, it can be seen if there are higher levels coming our way. A couple of days ago we had heavy rain, then the levels went up at Winterbourne Monkton, and today we have heightened levels at Newbury, up to 1.23 metres.
I also found the website of the Kennet Catchment Partnership which has a wealth of photos and information, helping to answer my question “Where the heck does all this water come from?”.
There’s an excellent blog called Canoeing and Kayaking on the River Kennet which has many excellent photos. On this post from January, the blog shows photos of the flooded state of the river from a range of places along its course.
In this post, the blog looks at the source of the River Kennet at Swallowhead Springs near Silbury, and also to its winter sources of the Winterbournes. In fact, during much of the year, the source of the Kennet is around Wroughton, almost up to Swindon.
This post shows a fascinating sequence of photos, taken at George Bridge on the Upper River Kennet, showing the river dry in the summer and then in various watery states in other seasons. I have also seen one photo (which I cannot now locate) of the same spot which shows the winter course of the river grassed over.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the Kennet is the largest tributary of the Thames, and in the summer provides the Thames with up to half its flow. We’re talking major volumes of water here – all of which eventually flows past the House of Parliament and then out to sea by Southend.
Here’s a video of the river at Newbury yesterday (one or two are actually of the weir of the Kennet and Avon Canal at Greenham Mill), using a nifty video editing tool I have discovered called Magisto: