Saturday, August 26, 2006

The river Line

My next walk took me down Whatlington Road to its lowest point at the river Line. This is little more than a small stream, but at least it is permanently flowing when other small streams in the neighbourhood are now only winterbournes.

Whatlington Village Hall stands beside the river as does their splendid village sign (I remember my friends in the old government Department of Transport used to call such things 'confirmation of arrival' signs).

The river Line rises about five kilometres to the west on the borders of Netherfield and Mountfield parishes and it then flows across a variety of strata including the Purbeck limestone which must make the water quite hard, unusually for the Sussex Weald. To the east it changes to the river Brede at Sedlescombe and joins the Rother at Rye. I think the word 'Line' is probably quite ancient - pre-Saxon and maybe even pre-Celtic. Even if there is no substance in it, I like to reflect that the people who lived here at the time Stonehenge was built might have used a word like 'Line' for this little river and successive generations have simply gone on using it.

The banks of this small stream are lined with alder and willow and rich in waterside vegetation. There is also a good dragonfly population,including the very attractive beautiful demoiselle, Calopteryx virgo.

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