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144 ROTHLEY BROOK

A brook wandering through a parish adds a tremendously interesting feature to its natural history and Rothley brook is no exception.

OS REF:SK56951174-SK59281323

It makes its first appearance in the parish on the Thurcaston boundary near Thurcaston Lane. April 2006

There are lovely Alder trees at this point along its banks as it flows under a bridge built of blue bricks in keeping with railway bridges of the time. April 2006

From the bridge above looking to the Great Central Railway. April 2006

The bridge above showing blue brick and parkland railings. This bridge links Site 194 The Meadow and Site 198 Ancient Demesne. April 2006

Another view of the above photo. April 2006

The bridge looking into Site 194 The Meadow from Site 198 Ancient Demesne. April 2006

Dogs Mercury growing on the banks by the bridge. This plant indicates that ancient woodland used to be here and it is in Site 198 Ancient Demesne. April 2006

At the end of Site 198 Ancient Demesne the Rothley Brook flows under the bridge that takes the trains on the Great Central Railway. This starts the meandering through the Rothley Park Golf Course Site 127.April 2006

Flowing through Site 127 Rothley Park Golf Course. Many golf balls are sent on their way to the River Soar from this point. April 2002

Flowing through Site 127 as above. April 2002

The brook widens out as it flows past the gardens of the Rothley Court Hotel. Interesting stones cause a 'weir' effect and must play a part in the history of Rothley Brook. Looking towards Town Green. March 2004

From the gardens of the Rothley Court Hotel showing the 'weir' effect as above. Looking back to the Rothley Park Golf Course. March 2004

Flowing past Site 120 Cricket Ground Field, part of Rothley Park, with a lovely two arch stone bridge that was used by Thomas Babington as part of his carriageway, Site 222. The bridge is a listed monument. There is no public access. January 2006

Sadly, the plaque bearing the date has been removed. January 2006

The other side of the bridge, badly in need of work to the overgrown vegetation. January 2006

The brook then flows to the bridge by Town Green. June 2002

View from the Town Green bridge looking back to Rothley Park. March 2006

On the banks of the brook by Town Green bridge there are interesting stones. Part of the old ford? January 2006

From Town Green bridge the brook flows at the back of houses along Town Green Street. March 2006

An old photograph showing a single span stone bridge just down from the above photo and close to number 58 Town Green Street. The bridge was demolished in 1979 as part of the flood alleviation scheme. The bridge linked Site 228 Green Close and Site 220 Brookfield.

The brook then flows under the bridge on Hallfields Lane. Taken from Bunney's Field. 2001

Two bridges side by side, one giving access via a footpath from Hallfields Lane to Rothley Church and the near bridge to the Old Vicarage. January 2007

Looking from the bridge leading to the Old Vicarage, over the footpath bridge to Bunney's Field in the distance. January 2007

The brook starts an interesting meander between the Old Vicarage Site 147 and Priests Meadow Site 146. The brook made a pond for cattle in 2000. October 2002

Meandering through Priests Meadow. October 2002

The brook flows around Site 123 The Grange Playing Field, locally known as the Island Field because a cut was made into the brook to make a water feature in The Grange gardens Site 122. April 2002

The cut mentioned above was made at a point by the ivy clad tree on the extreme left. April 2002

Flowing under the bridge on Homefield Lane. February 2007

The bridge on Homefield Lane was due to be re-built as a single span when The Grange was converted to apartments in early 2000 to speed the flow of water. However, no work was done and it remains as it was originally built. February 2007

This is a lovely part of the Rothley Brook as it runs from the Homefield Lane bridge to the five arch bridge on the old A6. No public access means that it remains undisturbed for wildlife. Running past Site 166 Marsh Field, Site 167 Brook Field and Site 168 Willow Field. January 2003

Flowing past Site 131 Farnham Bridge Marsh. May 2002

Flowing to the bridge over the old A6 by Site 131 Farnham Bridge Marsh. May 2002

The five arch bridge taking the old A6 traffic. May 2002

A lovely bridge. May 2002

From Site 131 Farnham Bridge Marsh. May 2002

Rothley Brook flows under the A6 By-pass. The brook is on the left, the floods are on the right. May 2008

The River Soar Site 229 is the boundary between Rothley and Cossington. Rothley Brook reaches its journeys end flowing under the footbridge. January 2005

Journeys end. January 2005

In June 2003 the bridge was in a good state of repair.

In July 2007 it was badly in need of renewal.

In June 2008 it was renewed, with better access, as a fitting end to a lovely Rothley Brook.

Rothley Brook is a site for the White-clawed Crayfish and a special seat was made from a tree trunk with these creatures carved into the wood. Sadly, the seat did not survive as it was not treated against the weather and it was removed in 2008 from its place by the brook on Hallfields Lane.

Part of the Rothley Ancient Parish Survey (RAP) meets up with Rothley Brook in Stints 9 and 10:

RAPS STINT 9

Date: 4th February 2004

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Janice Verity, Marion Vincent

Location: West Brown Hill Field towards Great Central Railway

OS Ref: SK56891178-SK56981171

Map Title: Site 179

Owners: Tenant Farmer Mrs Wright 0116 2301660

The first 30 metres of this stint is a bit of a jungle with pieces of old laid hawthorn and large stands of elder, very unkempt. The ditch deteriorates mainly by being used to deposit horse manure in one place. Towards the end of this first part there is a flat access over the ditch into the next field, which is in Thurcaston Parish but still tenanted by Wrights Farm. Access has been granted down to the Gt. Central Line.

The remainder of the stint has a very good ditch on the Thurcaston side of the boundary, which is running with water emerging from another adjoining ditch. In the second 30 metre stint there is an Ash tree, which does not qualify as ancient, and a good amount of willow including one that is of good age but rather 'broken down'. There is a patch of bluebells and evidence of others further along. This remaining part of the boundary down to the Rothley Brook has good stands of willow and blackthorn together with hawthorn. The elder forms a line this side of the ditch but cannot be documented as a 'double hedge' as it is too young.

The end of the 30 metres is very interesting as it meets the Rothley Brook, which runs under a flat bridge built of blue brick in the pillars and metal structure for field access to Site 194. Although the boundary runs down the centre of the brook there is a lovely Common Alder Tree 228 growing on the further bank. It is interesting to see such a good-sized alder especially as it is set on an ancient boundary. (There are two other alders just further down from this one, one of which is recorded in Stint 10).

RAPS STINT 10

Date: 25th February 2004

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Janice Verity, Marion Vincent

Location: Thurcaston Lane towards Great Central Railway Line

OS Ref: SK56981171-SK57051165

Map Title: Site 198 Ancient Demesne

Owners: Tenant Farmer, Mrs Esme Wright, 1 Templar Way, Rothley 0116 2301660

The first 60 metres of this Stint runs down the centre of Rothley Brook but, as mentioned in Stint 9, at the start there is a lovely Common Alder Tree 228 right on the bank which is of sufficient size to register as an Ancient Tree in the Natural History of the Rothley Parish. It is on the Rothley Parish side of the Rothley Brook. Further along, at the 30-metre point, there is another lovely Common Alder Tree 229, which is of good size and recorded as an important Parish Boundary Tree. This tree is on the bank where the Rothley Brook makes a marked turn towards Thurcaston village.

Where the boundary leaves the brook and turns towards the Great Central Railway embankment there is an Ash Tree 230, which has been recorded as an Ancient Tree due to its position on the Ancient Boundary. The boundary then runs across the arable field to the area of scrub and trees where we start the next Stint.

As these 120 metres for Stint 10 has no hedgerow it cannot be aged according to the rules but a survey form has been completed to include the Ancient Trees.

Local artist John Kennedy has painted scenes of Rothley Brook for greetings cards:

Rothley Brook from the garden of the Rothley Court Hotel by John Kennedy

Rothley Brook from the bridge at the start of the bridle road to Thurcaston by John Kennedy

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