River Bourne, Chertsey

River Bourne, Chertsey

"There are two rivers named Bourne in Surrey which join together at St George's College, Weybridge. This article refers to the north branch which runs through Chertsey. It is not to be confused with the River Bourne, Addlestone which runs through Chobham."

The River Bourne is in Surrey, it runs from its source in Windsor Great Park through Wentworth, Thorpe, Chertsey and St George's College in Weybridge. Here the river joins with another River Bourne, River Bourne (Addlestone branch). This river joins the River Thames at Shepperton Lock near Hamm Court, Weybridge. It is a river tucked into a small area close to the M3 motorway sometimes running alongside it.

It is a small river, about 3-5 m wide and flows over land which is geologically part of the London formation, where clays, sands and gravel overlie chalk. Soils are generally alluvium and the area is low lying. The local annual rainfall is about 635 mm.

The river is fished. The chub can reach 5 lb, with barbel reported to touch 6 lb. It is reported to have bream to 3 lb or even carp to 10 lb, along with roach, dace, perch, and pike. [ [http://www.total-fishing.com/FisheriesView.asp?ID=D6FE13FADF774F3C980381881D056143 Total fishing] ]

Upstream of Virginia Water railway station

From the source in Windsor Great Park, Berkshire, the River Bourne flows into Virginia Water Lake, exiting it at the eastern end by a cascading waterfall. This landform is man-made. The river then flows past the edge of Wentworth Golf Course before it passes through a narrow corridor on its way to St Ann's Hill, Chertsey. During this passage, the northern bank of the River Bourne receives more sun than the south. This affects the microclimate as there are occasional frost pocket and area of high humidity which impacts on the vegetation.

The bridge nearest the source is an old girder bridge. It is a curiosity and its origin is obscure. Old maps show the valley as wet pastureland, probably suitable for cattle, so a strong bridge would have been necessary.

Near the second bridge downstream from the source, there is colony of mandarin ducks. They were introduced to the River Bourne in 1929–30. The colony is probably the largest in the United Kingdom and is of international significance due to the rapid decline of mandarin ducks in its native Asia.

The land either side of the River Bourne near the source west of Virginia Water railway station is owned by Runnymede Borough Council as trustees of the Cabrera Trust. [ [http://ww2.runnymede.gov.uk/leisure/outdoor/rambles/2004/riverbourne_virginiawater.pdf Runnymede Borough Council - Local Walks] ]

Downstream of Virginia Water railway station

In January 2003, the River Bourne burst its banks in Chertsey. Approximately 130 properties were flooded and public buildings, including St Anne's County Primary School, were cut off by floodwater. [ [http://www.frags.org.uk/chertseybourne.htm Flood Risk Action Group] ] There was local concern that this flood was exacerbated by the building of the Jubilee River which was a flood alleviation scheme at Maidenhead.

The stretch of water running through Chertsey Meads is particularly full of fish when the River Thames is in flood because the fish swim up the River Bourne to escape the turbulence.


External links

* [http://www.surreyalert.info/surreyalertpublic/main/getFlood?action=viewstatustable Flood Alert]
* [http://www.frags.org.uk/workplans/ChertseyBourneworkplan.doc Work plan for flood prevention at Chertsey]

River item line X|upstream=Abbey River (south)
downstream= Wey and Godalming Navigations
thisis = River Bourne, Chertsey with
River Bourne, Addlestone

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