Friday, 21 August 2015

The Upper River Witham.

I am currently involved in a photographic project of the old Lincolnshire Loop railway line, now a cycle and walking route, and of the River Witham, which runs alongside it from Lincoln to Boston.  The Witham cuts through the limestone of the Lincoln Edge to form the Lincoln Gap, allowing Lincoln to become a communication hub with road, rail and water transport being able to use it, as well as straight roads along the crest of the Lincoln Edge, once developed by the  Romans.  I wanted to photograph the upper Witham from its source at South Witham, just north of Stamford, and into Lincoln itself at The Brayford Pool.  The upper reaches of the river flow from South Witham, through North Witham, Colsterworth, Claypole near Newark, Bassingham and then into Lincoln.  There are great contrasts in the river either side of the Lincoln Gap.  To the south west it rises in limestone country and flows as a clear fast-flowing stream as far as Lincoln.  To the south east, from Lincoln to Boston, it has been widened and canalized for navigation and is now a wide slow moving, more turgid waterway, once a favourite haunt of match fishermen.  In fact, special fishing trains ran excursions from cities such as Sheffield at weekends.  Two opportunities presented themselves this week to carry on with this work.  On Tuesday we had to take our daughter to Stansted Airport and on our return we diverted to South Witham, North Witham and Colsterworth.  Interestingly, despite the heavy rain, the river was dry at South Witham, close to its source, but it soon became a delightful fast flowing stream.  Today we went to Southwell, near Newark for the Masters of Vision photography exhibition, which was excellent.  On our way home we were able to explore the river from Claypole, through Norton Disney and Bassingman to Lincoln.  It was good to see plenty of wildlife on the river, both plant and bird, the highlight being a pair of kingfishers at Claypole.  Earlier in the year I regularly visit Bassingham to photograph banded demoiselle damselflies.

To view large, please click on an image
South Witham
North Witham
North Witham
North Witham
Colsterworth
Claypole
Claypole
Claypole
Kingfisher
Norton Disney
Norton Disney
Bassingham
Bassingham
Bassingham
Bassingham
Banded Demoiselle male
Banded Demoiselle female

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