Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Willow Brook flows through Leicester to the River Soar

The photo above shows the Willow Brook shortly after it has emerged from a culvert beneath a large roundabout on Leicester's Belgrave Road in a corner of the city centre still dominated by the inner ring road.

Below the roundabout Willow Brook joins the Grand Union Canal and, through it, the River Soar. It's formed by the Bushby Brook and the Evington Brook when they meet in Spinney Hills in the east of the city. There names tell you where they have come from.

The Willow Brook has been in the local news recently because of pollution problems. The city council has warned that:

Fly-tipping, litter and oil pollution are contaminating the water, harming wildlife habitats, polluting Leicester’s river and canal network and causing blockages that could increase the risk of flooding in the area.

Still the Willow Brook and the two streams that form it do open up the possibility of some urban river walks of the sort I post here by John Rogers. As he says, they can take you to parts of the city that you wouldn't otherwise see.

Finally, a word for the swan in the final photograph. I assume he was the partner of the one on the nest at the mouth of the Willow Brook - I'm afraid she's a bit of a white blob in the second photo. He was guarding her from a distance by hanging out with two anglers on the canal towpath.

I am happy to record that he did not break my or their arms with one blow of his wings.

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