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27 November 2014
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OUTDOORS
You are in: Berkshire > Outdoors > Thames Travelling > Stage 3
Rose Bay Willow Herb
Rose Bay Willow Herb

Thames Travelling
Look out for loads of Rose Bay Willow Herb, a bushy shrub with pink flowers.
It grows in disturbed ground and there is a lot of it around the Thames where development has taken place.

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Rose Bay Willow Herb
Rose Bay Willow Herb
Rose Bay Willow Herb

The path takes you up over a footbridge which crosses the River Kennet. Where the River Kennet runs under the railway and joins the Thames there was once an Anglo-Saxon cemetery. “Reading” derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon root “Reada's inga” (People of Reada – the Reada Tribal settlement), growing in the Dark Ages following the departure of the Roman legions in 410 AD.

From where you stand, you are looking across the flood plain of the River Thames, a view very different now from that 21 thousand years ago, when the gravels under your feet were being deposited.

Then, the river had a broad plain. Not one channel but many channels that flowed fast with the Spring snow melt, more sluggishly at other times, and then frigid and deep frozen during long winters.

At this time Britain was in the grip of the last glaciation, with a major ice sheet extending across Scotland, Wales, Northern England and the Wash, its spring thaws feeding the Thames with coarse gravel flushed in with melt-water floods. Migratory reindeer and bison herds, tormented by billions of biting flies, grazed during the cool summers, when new stone age hunters (our direct ancestors) came to the area to hunt.

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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