Water crowfoot

Foudry brook

September 12, 2015

The Foudry Brook rises on the heathland east of Tadley and flows north-east through Mortimer, Wokefield and under the M4 before joining the River Kennet below Fobney.

It is joined by the Silchester Brook just south of Mortimer and the Clayhill Brook east of Burghfield. In its lower reaches, below the M4, it has been modified by straightening and dredging as it flows through the industrial area of south Reading. It receives the outfall from the Sewage Treatment Works at Reading which reduces water quality. The invasive plant species floating pennywort is a particular problem in the lower reaches.

Its waterbody status is poor due to sewage discharge, barriers to fish passage and urban development.

Actions completed:

  • There has been a fish easement at Stratfield Mortimer.
  • Around Brook Farm there is a nice stretch of river which has a good gravel bed and pool-riffle sequences present.

Actions required:

  • At Grazeley at walkover is required to identify if there is an apparent section of habitat we can enhance to link with other better quality sections that are already present.
  • Reading and District Angling Association have been monitoring the growth of pennywort both in the Foudry Brook and the relief channel and have been taking steps to eradicate it.
  • Opportunities to restore the physical habitat are limited due to the highly urban nature of the channel and the fact that it runs along the A33 for much of its length. Any enhancements to the main channel will require discussions with the landowners, which should be pursued if the opportunity arises.