At Temple Guiting, the Windrush flows through a series of lakes and ponds which we believe were dug out in the 1950s. Years of silt has all but filled the first one which had probably been dug to trap silt before the main lake. A tentative prod with a stick showed over a metre of soft mud below about six inches of water as verified by Archie who then needed a dip in the deep lake. He came up against two bouncers who were not letting him in looking like that!
The river then loses its identity and becomes no more than a flow of water between four lakes and ponds, although it is joined by a clear stream almost as big as the young Windrush and a series of strong clear springs.
Most of this is not natural for the river but it is very interesting.
Up on the top of the hill we arrive at the first and smallest of the seven Thames Water Sewage Treatment Works on the river.
WASP visited this one last year. We were told that untreated sewage was being now tankered away to a larger STW rather than treated here and we could not see any direct discharge to the river or streams running off the hill. Hopefully this little one is having little or no impact on the Windrush. The river downstrean certainly looks healthy and the first view of the invertebrate life shows a lot of life and a great variety.
We wonder how long a tankering operation will be sustainable and if it is continuing.
We will be covering the STWs at Temple Guiting, Guiting Power, Naunton, Bourton, Upper Rissington (Albion Water), Burford, Witney and Standlake in more detail later later on.