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Thursday, 18 February 2016

February Floods at Charlecote Park

Last week saw the rivers rise in many places. Having both the River Avon and the River Dene running through Charlecote Park, flooding came from two directions. It's been two years since we were flooded and there was so much rain that year that the floods lasted much of the Winter. I thought the park had earned a few dry years at least but it was not to be. Sunday morning I received a message from the ranger that the park was flooded so down the Fosse Way I went to see for myself.

Even with all the rain that came down that night and heavy it was, flooding was not expected as the rivers were not high the days before. Since then, more rain fell and the water levels rose again.

My last blog was a walk around a frosty Charlecote. This one is a walk around a flooded Charlecote.

Isn't it crazy how floods can make somewhere look so different? I watched people's faces, it was that look of shock and amazement at the same time.

At Charlecote as with any area close to rivers, during flooding it can be very dangerous as you don't know where the flood ends and the river bank starts. Often like where the River Dene hits the River Avon, the current is very strong, it would not take much for someone to take a wrong step and be swept away with the water. The water fall area is very deep but it is hard to see this when the water levels are so high. I know how the land lies and I would not go too close to this area. It's always best to stay safe and stay back. 

The day after this photo above was taken, you could not see where the two rivers met and it was decided for the safety of all, the park would be closed.

                                               The River Dene on the first day of the floods.

 As you can see the water was close to the outbuildings. It looks more like a lake with the swans on it.

The view from Slaughter Bridge.

The Orchard. These poor trees go under water every time it floods as it is not high ground. It is probably one of the lowest areas of West Park.

Day 3 of the floods.

Most of Camp ground is also on lower ground which meant the heronry area also floods.

When the water is this high I always think of the Kingfishers who make their nest in the river banks. Luckily it's too early in the year for that! The next photos show how flooded the heronry area was on day one.

I spotted a few deer on Camp ground. It looked like they were on a little island cut off.

Don't worry, they can swim.

Some of the deer really didn't expect the water to be so deep and they were lost below the water line for a short time.

But it wasn't long before up they came again and across the river they went.

These ones dipped their feet then changed their minds :)

What a difference a little Sun can make. I really wish we had not had the floods but the reflections on day 3 when the waters were calmer were really nice.

In the next picture you can see where the old Ha-Ha was on Camp Ground. That too looks like a river.

Walking back toward the house I noticed how quick the clouds moved and changed very quickly from grey to blue.

Slaughter Bridge which normally crosses the River Dene. 

Heading back into the main park I saw the little stream which also looked more like a river this day.

The view towards Camp Ground from the Parterre 

The cricket pitch looked more like a beach!

Someone lost their garden furniture.

As the water levels went down there was much cleaning to be done and so much rubbish to be picked up which had travelled down the river with the flood water.

The Cricket Pitch and Meadow in the background.

The water was not far from the bridge that goes into Hill Park on this day. Day 1

All that hard work in the Meadow last year but as plants were planted rather than seeds scattered, they should all still be there when the water goes down. Fingers crossed.

The bridge which leads to Hill Park.

The entrance to the Meadow.

 Is it a Meadow or a lake at a nature reserve?

More swans swimming on the Meadow.

 As the rain stops and the water starts to go down there is a beautiful stillness on the water. Very different from the strong currents seen early in the week. Perfect to snap a few more photographs against the beautiful blue skies..

A time for reflections in more ways than one.

The real lake with Hill Park in the background. What a beautiful day.

Look at that sky! I made the most of it while I could as I believe snow was forecast soon which I myself would not mind at all!

And of course most of the Bucks stayed perfectly dry in the main park in front of the house

The deer know the time and watch the gate for the first people to arrive.

 Now all we have to do is see what the weather does to see if my next blog is 'Spring is in the air' of 'Snow is on the ground'.

                              Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

                                        Copyright Jana Eastwood

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