Bury Brook – TLC needed!

Below are photos of Bury Brook taken in December 2015 which show that the river could do with some TLC.

Bury Brook at Kings Ripton showing an old tent!


A river tributary between Oldhurst and Broughton showing rubbish in and around the waterOldhurstrubbishadj

The river just before it enters the tunnels in Ramsey


The Ramsey Water Care project is talking to River Care at the moment to find out it there is potential for starting a River Care group in the area. River care volunteers adopt a river, clean it up and monitor its health. More on this in later posts

The source of Bury Brook?

It has always been my intention to visit all the Parishes along the course of Bury Brook   and eventually work my way back upstream to its source.  Tracing the river back from Ramsey starts off simply; it goes through Bury, Wistow, Broughton and the two Riptons ( Abbots and Kings) with many other smaller tributaries joining along the way.

Bridge over Bury brook at Wistow

Bridge over Bury Brook at Wistow

Bury Brook downstream of Wistow Bridge










Bury Brook in Broughton

Bury Brook in Broughton


The Bury Brook waterbody boundary is as follows (as defined by the Environment Agency)

BB catchment

The source could be in one of two places from the look of this – Monks Wood near Wennington or just north of Alconbury. If you look at an OS Map you can see many tributaries and drains upstream from the Riptons and also the river itself seems to stop and start. A discussion with Ramsey Town Council last week revealed that some Councillors considered the river to extend as far back as Northamptonshire and if you look closely at a map there do appear to be water courses extending this far but how connected to Bury Brook they are I am not sure.  Hopefully as this project continues this will be a mystery that can be solved.




The many faces of Bury Brook: Ramsey and Bury

Bury Brook is a fascinating river flowing  through the centre of Huntingdonshire  taking in Broughton, Wistow, Bury and Ramsey along the way. Over its course it changes in appearance greatly and even changes name: it is commonly called the High Lode after it has flowed though Ramsey and the Bury Brook before hand.

Last Friday on a fairly wet November day I went for an explore of the river in and around Ramsey –  apart form getting very wet feet (new walking boots called for) I also took lots of photos in order to show the changing face of this river over a relatively short distance. The first two photos I could call ”now you see me, now you don’t”  and were taken on the southern outskirts of Bury near the Rothschild Way – some parts of the river  were very overgrown and I struggled to see any water at all:

BB near BuryBB overgrown nr Bury

The river then heads towards Ramsey and passes through the golf course to the south of the town, it is easily accessible here and seems to vary from  ‘managed’ to slightly more natural in appearance:

Golf course tidyGolf course untidy

The river then approaches the town where it disappears from view – it enters into two tunnels flowing under the main high street in Ramsey  – the Great Whyte – and emerges to the north of the town near to the community centre and Tesco supermarket. It has now become the High Lode and is navigable from this point on. (Picture with boat taken in June!) 

Smaller Tunnel Downstream of Ramsey - 18.06.15Narrow Boat - 18.06.15

After this the river flows steadily northwards towards the River Nene (Old Course) which it joins about two miles north of Ramsey.

High Lode@Bill FenConfluence Old Nene&High Lode

As you can see it has the appearance of a much more typical Fenland river here  – navigation and water management being primary considerations.

Next week:  Bury Brook further upstream 

New Project in Ramsey

The Water Care Partnership has been successful in the application for a new community engagement and river improvement project in the Market Town of Ramsey. The project has been awarded by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as part of the Catchment Partnership Action Fund.

Image was taken on the Northern edge of Ramsey town looking towards the Tesco and the wind farm.

Image was taken on the Northern edge of Ramsey town looking towards the Tesco and wind farm.

What will the project do?

The project will run until the end of March 2016 and in this time, Cambridgeshire ACRE will look to recruit local volunteers to help improve the quality of the river in Ramsey through a series of litter picking days and through careful monitoring and investigation into some of the issues affecting the river. The volunteers will also be instrumental in promoting messages of a healthy river within the community and surrounding areas for Ramsey.

Working with the local community in Ramsey is instrumental for this project to make Ramsey’s rivers more appealing and healthier for everyone to enjoy.

Could you be a volunteer?

We are looking for local volunteers to help improve the river in Ramsey and the surrounding area. Volunteers will be trained in many aspects of water care, such as the monitoring and reporting of water quality and monitoring the general state of the watercourses and their surroundings. This unique opportunity will enable residents to play an active role in their local water care management, make links with the main organisations responsible for our water environment and share their knowledge with their community in general. No experience is necessary for this position as full training will be given.

For an informal discussion about this opportunity, please contact Rachael Brown at Cambridgeshire ACRE on 01353 865037 or alternatively please complete this short application form and Rachael will get back in touch with you.