North Meadow in Flood

North Meadow is in full flood this week. The National Nature Reserve is part of the floodplain for the River Thames and River Churn. Floodplains take the excess water when river levels are high and can extend over a wide area. It is quite normal for the floodplain to be inundated during the winter months and is one of the features which creates this species rich for lowland hay meadow habitat.

The river levels are high now after the recent rain and North Meadow is completely underwater, as is much of the surrounding land.

 

This winter (since mid September 2020) rainfall has been 30% above the average winter rainfall over the last 10 years. Quite a wet winter so far but maybe we will have less rain this month. The first Snakeshead Fritillary shoots start to appear mid March so hopefully the water will drain away by then.

The Environment Agency monitoring stations on the River Thames at Westmill and on the River Churn at Cerney Wick provide real time data on the river levels.

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