Hinksey Stream

Steve expressed a desire to find out what happens to Hinksey Stream below the Fishes, so we proposed a trip to find out!

Joined by two new members, Nicola and Iestin, whom we met on Saturday evening at the New Members' meeting, Steve, Raymond, Ruth, Martin and I assembled at the Watershed and got out seven sea kayaks. As Steve was being initiated into the realm of organising peer led paddles, Raymond , Martin and I gave some pointers along the way.

It was a glorious day, as we wended our way to the Fishes, up the Thames and along the Bullstake Stream, then along the connecting ditch. It was so good not to have to fight against a flow, as seems to have been the case in recent wet summers. It was so relaxing having an uncomplicated flat water trip.

Great news at the Fishes - it now opens at 10am! Gone are the days when we are shoed away if landing there early, they were very friendly and welcoming. It was lovely to sit out in the warm spring sunshine. One or two of us had a light lunch, and then we were away down the stream, with a light flow helping us along.

Wonderful news about the reed clearance too - there is a really wide stream now, with just one potential blockage. On reaching the island and sluice near Go Outdoors there is now a gently sloping weir which is very runnable. In addition to the side, the EA have now dug out a wide channel to the left which is easily navigable, so no scraping along and plopping out into the stream. You can go to the left of the island and paddle straight through! Also, all the trees have been cleared so no horrible, smelly, trapped refuse.

We made our way back up the Weir Stream and round to the Lasher in five hours as we were paddling at a very leisurely pace

All in all, a very relaxing and enjoyable trip. Many thanks to all who came on it and Raymond for leading.

- Penny Terry