For many years I have been interested in the hidden rivers of London and the Home Counties. Their paths just etched marks across fields and many just lined culverts through housing estates, industrial sites municipal recreational grounds, car parks and waste land.
Rivers that once flowed through the City are now underground with their final flow into the Thames through grids and outflow pipes. One of these small rivers cuts through the Lion Estate in Barnes across the playing fields at Rocks Lane and flows past the Wetland Centre and out into the Thames near Putney, this is a stream known as Beverley Brook.
As the stream passes through Richmond Park it holds a good head of chub and other silver fish, however these fish never seem to migrate further downstream via the allotments near Palewell Park or Priory Bridge and into the slow flowing reach at the back of Barnes Common, well not until now.
On walking back from the railway station I took time to look over the bridge that allows the stream to flow under Station Road, there in the bright sunlight against the silt bottom I noticed some small fish about an inch long, some slightly larger. Clearly there has been some work done on Beverley Brook so is this part of a new stocking program or that with the heavy winter rains that new life has been brought back to the Brook.
With the recent publication of the Silt Road by Charles Rangeley-Wilson I hope this will nurture more interest in these silent arteries of our land.