‘It rained and it rained and it rained. … The little dry ditches in which Piglet had nosed about so often had become streams, the little streams across which he had splashed were rivers, and the river, between whose steep banks they had played so happily, had sprawled out of its own bed and was taking up so much room everywhere, that Piglet was beginning to wonder whether it would be coming into his bed soon.’
A A Milne’s description of the Terrible Flood is very apt.
So far we are lucky in Turville, but the ground-water is rising and there is standing water in the woods now.
And Fingest churchyard, a mile away, has become a lake.
At the south-eastern end of the village, Watery Lane, an unclassified county road, forms the hypoteneuse of a triangle of roads between Turville, Fingest and Skirmett.
It’s a short cut if you are travelling between Turville and Skirmett, avoiding the narrow lane via Fingest. I used to take this route to go to work in Henley until it became so out of repair as to be unusable by car.
Unfortunately, rather than maintain the lane, the county council made a traffic regulation order in 2000, banning all vehicular traffic except emergency vehicles. Not surprisingly, this was controversial. The council hoped to persuade the adjoining landowner dedicate a bridleway through his fields, but he refused.
And now Watery Lane is a stream once again.