Starting in May 2023 I will follow the path of the river Test from Ashe to Southampton Water.
This is a journey I made a few years ago, painting, drawing and recording as I went. I want to revisit various places, and explore new waters.
All the places that are part of this project will be accessible by the public. There are stretches of the river Test and the streams that run into it that are privately owned, but there are also footpaths, bridges and stretches in towns and villages, across common land, amenity land and out towards the sea. The Chalk Streams of Britain are a precious resource that we hold jointly.
There is a growing body of interest in the culture, plight and future of our rivers and the lives they support. For further information try https://ownedbyeveryone.org
Chalk streams are of international importance offering habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. They are our Great Barrier Reef. This will not be a scientific expedition; I will go with the flow, and keep looking.
I hope to have the occasional companion. My intention is to report on the progress, encourage participation at various stages and to have an exhibition of works at the end.
About the river Test
The River Test is a chalk stream in Hampshire in the South of England. It rises at Ashe, near Basingstoke, and flows southwards for 40 miles to Southampton Water. Settlements on the Test include the towns of Stockbridge and Romsey. Below the village of Longparish, the river is broadly followed by the Test Way, a long-distance footpath.
Much of the Test is a 1,080-acre biological Site of Special Scientific Interest.It is part of the Solent and Southampton Water Ramsar site and Special Protection Area.