Tuesday, 29 June 2010

On-line river level guide for the River Kennet

The launch of the Environment Agency's on-line river level reporting service for England and Wales, which makes use of the national network of gauging stations to augment flood warnings, also offers paddlers planning to travel to the River Kennet the opportunity to remotely view current conditions before leaving home. 
The Kennet gauges are located at
  • Winterbourne Monkton on the upper Upper reach
  • Marlborough on the Upper reach   
  • Knighton - two gauges on the Upper reach between Ramsbury and Chilton Foliat
  • Eddington at Hungerford where the Middle reach starts
  • Newbury on the Lower reach
  • Theale (Barble Bar) on the Lower reach 
  • Blakes Lock, Reading on the Lower reach not far from The Thames confluence.
There are a further 12 gauges reporting the flow for the Kennet tributaries of the Og, the Aldbourne, the Dun, the Shalbourne, the Lambourn, the Winterbourne, Kingsclere Brook, the Enborne, and the Foudry Brook.

However, only the last three of the main River Kennet gauges are of much use to paddlers, in that they are located on sections of the river where paddling is generally viable, and only Theale gives a good river level indication in terms of partial independence from the water of the canalised Navigation.

The Theale gauge currently shows the river to be significantly low within a bandwidth of typical range, but, hey, it's summer and it hasn't rained much recently.

The Kennet with low water levels at the Theale gauging station at the end of June 2010, but Barble Bar is still going.