The Stream

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The Stream  a tributary of the Offwell brook runs approximately north to south through the reserve and feeds water into some of the most sensitive aquatic habitats at the Centre. The Offwell brook discharges into the river Coly which flows into the Axe. The Axe enters the sea at Axmouth.

The stream enters the northernmost end of the reserve at Monument Pond.  The flow of the Stream through the rest of the reserve is controlled by a sluice gate at one of the two outlets to this pond.  Stopping the flow of flood water into the stream can help prevent the rapid siltation of the ponds and lakes further to the south. 

The flood water is diverted by closing the sluice and forcing the water over a spillway and into a restored leat, safely away from the Wetland, Kingfisher Pond and the Lake.  The stream is mainly shallow, fast moving and gravel or stone bottomed.  This means that in general  the stream water will hold more dissolved oxygen than that in the still water lake and ponds, so supporting different numbers of invertebrate species in comparison.

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Above: A path links the stream with one of the main forestry rides around the reserve.  The path is flanked by grasses and wild flower verges.


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