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28 October 2014
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OUTDOORS
You are in: Berkshire > Outdoors > Thames Travelling > Stage 2
River Thames
River Thames
Thames Travelling
Continue on the path, looking out for stinging nettles on the right hand side, between the Thames and the railway lines.
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Stinging nettles
Stinging nettles
Stinging nettles

Nettles like to grow in soil with a high nitrate content, and are likely to have grown here when in the past, toilets from the trains passing through Reading were emptied trackside as they left the station.

Look for two large gasometers ahead of you. These are close to the site of the former gasworks.

Gas came to Reading in 1818 (Reading Gas Light Company) but the gasworks was moved to Kennetside in 1888, the gas then being generated from coal brought to the town by barge along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The gas in the modern gasometers comes from deep down under the North Sea via pipelines from East Anglia. This gas was generated from Carboniferous Coal Measures (which we will also encounter, but a long way under the ground, at Sonning).

It is trapped in Lower Permian Sandstones (280 million years old) capped by impermeable Upper Permian salt beds (250 million years old). Gas was first discovered in the North Sea in December 1965.

MANY THANKS TO PROFESSOR BRUCE SELLWOOD OF READING UNIVERSITY FOR ALL OF HIS HELP WITH THIS WALK

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SEE ALSO
BBC Berkshire Outdoors
BBC Berkshire Way
Natural History EVENTS
BBC Berkshire galleries - your pictures of the Royal County
On bbc.co.uk
Netley Shoreline Walk
Wallingford Wander
BBC Science & Nature
Rest of the web
Defra
Forestry Commission
The National Trust
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites
On Science & Nature
Fox illustration, on Science & Nature
More walks through time and amazing wildlife.
Find another walk
Explore wildlife habitats
The TV series:
British Isles, a Natural History
Visit Open2.net's Natural History section
Snail
Get more from your walk,
with the Open University.
bullet point Get active - the Great Snail Hunt
bullet point What does that mean? - a natural history glossary
bullet point Get into nature - the science you need to know
bullet point How do they know that? - explore nature's secrets
bullet point Become a Landscape Detective - Free Leaflets!

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