Friday, 26 May 2017

Fletchers Water, new bridge

The lower section of Black Water (from the ford at Vinney Ridge) and the whole extent of Fletchers Water from the Ornamental Drive to where it joins Highland Water, is the most extensively restored water course in the forest. Fletchers Water was previously one of the straightest sections of stream in the forest, bare gavel and scoured sides. Now though it winds and meanders, with it's environs showing increased biodiversity by the year. It's source is right up in the northern part of the forest around Stoney Cross, and changes it's name several times on it's journey (Bratley Water, Blackensford Brook, Black Water and finally Fletchers Water or Brook). It's possibly the longest stream in the forest, with many tributaries and subsequently carries a huge volume of water from an extensive area of the forest in the wet season. Just beyond Fletchers Thorns there has been a ford which has been impassible (even to wading) through most of the wet season (something you needed to factor in on any walk during that season, as when impassible it required a lengthy diversion), though since my last foray this way, a splendid new bridge has been built which alleviates that need.  A nice sympathetic design too.

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