Sunday, 15 May 2011

Lower Kennet paddling obstruction removed

The obstruction that used  used to greet paddlers at SU 617 684 is no more.  The partially collapsed bridge that formerly provided access to the West Meadow island was a magnet for tree debris on the section of the riverine Kennet shortly before it rejoins the Navigation after Ufton Road bridge.

Approaching the bridge in summer 2009.  The size of the blockage is attested to by the amount of green growth.

When viewed from downstream the cause of the blockage was more apparent and the squeeze through river left is just visible.

Even die-back and winter flows  failed to dislodge the blockage, leaving a potentially nasty hazard to navigation.

Riparian landowners have an obligation to ensure river blockages are removed, and in this instance it must have been no little effort to take out the collapsed bridge section. 

There are now no structural bars to navigation by canoe and kayak along the 2.9 km (1.8 mile) run from below Padworth Mill to Ufton...

...although branches in the river are still frequent and occasional larger tree falls persist.