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Issue 42 August '13

Wednesday 28th August 2013

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Rivers and Brooks

Principal watercourses of the West Wight

The pattern of drainage in West Wight is divided by the chalk downs.
To the north of the downs streams meander through the claylands to join the Yar and Newtown Rivers which run into the Solent. The impeded drainage over this area means that there are many small tributaries, drainage channels and ponds.
Springs are a feature of the chalk landscape of the downs, issuing at the point where the porous chalk overlies the less permeable rocks. These give rise to the distinctive scalloped coombe landform and occasional spring line villages or settlements such as Calbourne and Shalcombe at the foot of the slope.
To the south of the downs one such spring, Buddlehole Spring, is the source of the brook that runs south through Brighstone to Marsh Green and down Marsh Chine to the Channel.
The clay farmland at the southern margin of West Wight features other small streams plus ponds and drainage channels. Place names (notably Sud Moor) indicate the wet nature of the land.
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