Berkshire
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Arborfield Cross (x2!)

SU766678 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
SU767674 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Richard Thompson and Andrew Smith (28/10/2004)

'Both fords only suitable for 4x4s and trial bikes. The first is 7 yards across with a gravel bottom and footbridge. Summer depth of around 12", but it can get very deep after heavy rain.

The second is larger, 15 yards across with a muddy, gravel bottom and footbridge. It is 18" deep in summer but again is very deep after heavy rain.'


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Bagnor
SU452693 Image Wanted!
Sent in by James Grey and Richard Thompson

'There is a lovely pair of fords in Bagnor outside Newbury off the lane leading to the Watermill Theatre. It is signposted as a byway and the first ford is almost immediate and has a footbridge beside it. The other side is gated and the byway then is clearly defined over some paddocks and across the second ford and eventually back onto the Lambourne Road. However, the first has clearly not been used for some time as there are no signs of tyre tracks and local residents have placed rounds of wood in front of the entrance which is now used as overflow parking spaces for the theatre and walkers.'

'Haven't been there in years, Had extreme difficulty then on off road bikes but it is still a legal Byway'











Bucklebury (x2!)

SU544709 (4*) Suitable for All
SU543713 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by John Brown (09/09/2002) and Peter D Smith (28/10/2005)

'Bucklebury ford is normally a daunting prospect for cars, but can very occasionally be found dry as shown in Image 1 (see below). However, the mouseovers show the true nature of the beast where the two newly painted depth gauges showed a full foot of water - this in summer after a dryish spell.

The ford is a truly magnificent and pristine piece of civil engineering. It has just been rebuilt on an heroic scale, in fine new asphalt, gas-piping and sandbag, with a superb new concrete bottom, 30 paced yards across The fords possibly unique feature, though, is the double-branched concrete ramp in from the north side (Image 2).'

'Bucklebury ford has a bank of sandbags to the East near the footbridge, normally underwater. Several bits of number plates and plastic indicate some cars have hit it so be sure to keep to the centre. There is also some largish bits of concrete that have broken off and are sitting waiting to catch a low clearance car so always worth a look from the bridge to check.' James Grey

'Bucklebury is the first ford I remember seeing, probably in the early 1980's when still at school. It is situated about six or seven miles upstream from Pangbourne, which is were I live and where the river Pang joins the Thames. I have seen the ford dry during at least two summers in the past, which I think were 1990 and 1995. Then the reason was blamed not only on the dry weather, but also on the fact that the local water authority has a borehole for extraction close to where the river Pang starts at Compton, approximately four to five miles upstream of the ford. A friend of mine in his 70's who has lived locally most of his life, has recently given me another explanation. He has seen the ford dry in winter before and an absolute torrent in the summer! What can happen is that where the river Pang begins is a spring that comes out of the chalk hills on the Berkshire Downs. Sometimes the chalk crumbles underground and blocks the flow of water from escaping, which in turn leads to a sudden drop in flow and occasional dryness of the river upstream. Eventually the chalk crumbles, due to natural dissolving/pressure of water, and the river Pang suddenly comes back to life. I have never seen the river dry in Pangbourne, although it does run very low as it is now, when dry upstream, as it usually gets kept alive by a spring or springs in the Stanford Dingley area so I have been informed in the past.' James Solera

'My over zealous approach in my Audi A4 2.8 Quattro during a particularly high water period a few years back resulted in hydraulic lock, knowing about this I removed the plugs before restarting. However upon restarting a rather noisier than usual engine note greeted me, the result of two broken conrods and a 'shock' loaded engine....ahh the joys of all alloy engines!! It still ran though!! 9.5K for a new engine at the Audi dealers courtesy of a very unhappy insurance company.....flood damage was the claim. According to the local RAC man, he pulls 1 person a day out of there in the winter!' Simon Chell

'The second ford is to the north-west, alongside the yellow road from the main ford, where an unsurfaced road, signposted as a Byway and marked on the OS map as a RUPP, crosses the Pang. This is also unusual, in that there is a concrete bridge that is just wide enough for a small vehicle (if it can surmount the lip of about six inches on each end), as well as a choice of fords, one to each side of the bridge. (Image 3)

The easterly one is clearer of vegetation and looks the more used, but has a fearsome ramp out on the north side of about 45 degrees. The western one is rather less daunting and is, I suspect, the original. (Image 4: mouseover sent in by Nigel Morgan, 11/07/2003)'





Burghfield Common
SU653676 (3*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Andrew JD Smith (27/10/2004)

'The maximum depth of this seems to be about six inches but it is often little more than a trickle. There are warning signs at either end of the lane. The ramps are steep so care is needed even if there is little water.'

'The ford has recently been refurbished / resurfaced. A recent attempt to get the ford closed by locals has been rejected by the council.' Keith Cross





Carters Hill
SU763689 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Richard Thompson (20/07/2004)

'Suitable for all vehicles across the ford, but 4x4 and trail bikes only beyond the house. 7 yards across, footbridge, concrete bottom, 3" deep in summer.'

'The local residents have placed access only signs up. Not the same as the ones the council would use, but they are there. The track past the house has been resurfaced and is now passable, with care, in a normal car.' Keith Cross





Gardeners Green
SU828668 (3*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Ant Veal (18/04/2002)

'This one is possible in a small car during the summer months but couldn't be risked on this visit.'









Headley Ford
SU520639 (4*) Restricted Access
Sent in by John Brown (09/09/2002)

'Headley Ford is a good-sized ford, about 30 yards across. The imperial depth gauge showed 2ft when I was there, but I think this is wrong - you can see in the first photo that a 4x4's Plimsoll Line is only about at one foot. This photo also shows the additional depth gauge in height above sea-level units (Image 1) (mouseover sent in by Ash, 05/12/2005) showing quite a flood

There are the usual signs and a footbridge, and a concrete bottom. Image 2 shows the view from the south, with the cowering Brown Audi getting ready once again cravenly to turn tail. (mouseover sent in by Nigel Morgan, 11/07/2003)'

'A quick update on Headley Ford in Berkshire, this ford is now officially closed by the council and there are concrete bollards preventing access by vehicles. This follows a driver drowning attempting to cross the ford when it was too deep.

The ford is still passable by small vehicles (e.g. trail bikes) and on foot over the concrete bridge. Care should be taken since the depth of this ford varies greatly and the depth markers don't reflect the depth anywhere other than the central part of the crossing. Probably best to manually check the surface and depth before fording.' Stuart Livings

'There is currently a Closed sign and an Unsuitable for motor vehicle sign. The information currently suggests that the ford can be crossed however this is not advised. Recent winter deaths and consistent brake-downs and trappings in the ford; because of its shallow entrance and surprising strength and depth of the water, has lead to its closure . The council has left the ford itself open for land owners. However the suggestion that the ford is a safe crossing point should be changes.' Michael Robinson

'Part of the problem is that sat navs setup for "shortest route" take you north toward the main road and tell you to turn right. The sat nav does not mention the ford and people blindly drive into the water without thinking. On one occasion about 2006 there were 6 cars in there, most washed downstream into deep water and fully submerged. Two were brand new Hondas from the local dealet and the other a VW Touran FULLY submerged. Light HGVs get stuck too.' Ian Davidson

Image 3 shows a proper flood Sent in by Ash (08/01/2007)









Hurst
SU782748 (4*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Tony Large (20/03/2003) and Clive Rogerson (12/08/2004)

'This ford can reach 6 foot in Winter, local paper has reported people carrier swept downstream and occupants rescued through sun roof by Fire Brigade. It is approx 8 cars length, concrete bottom, gentle entry/exit, signed both ends, Lands End pub garden reaches to corner, so popular crossing!' Image 1 mouseover sent in by Andrew Smith (28/10/2004)

Image 3 shows the depth markers showing 12 foot! Richard Thompson (13/02/2009)







Jouldings Farm Ford
SU752634 (3*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Keith Cross (14/08/2006)

'Looks like a gravel/mud bottom. Its used regularly by horses, but right of way is unknown and probably doubtful. A woman came out of house on the south end and told me horses use it regularly and seemed friendly enough. Approach from the north is down a narrow dirt track in good condition. I would say it was approachable by most vehicles, but I am not sure about the ford though.'

'It is right on the border and the legal status is unknown as neither Hants or Berks want to claim it so as not to maintain it. My local motorcyle club and myself have used it for over 30 years without being challenged. However, it is for experienced off roaders only as it is always deep with a muddy bottom. The exits cannot be seen from either side and it has been known for some to follow the river by mistake! After heavy rain it can get VERY deep and FAST flowing. Even 4x4s can get into trouble.' Richard Thompson







Stanford Dingley (x2!)

SU570712 (2*) Restricted Access
SU560711 (2*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Clive Rogerson (26/08/2004)

'The first ford is reached by an overgrown restricted byway and is approx 4 inches deep with gravel bottom. (Image 1)

The second ford across the River Pang is approx 6 yards wide and 6-9 inches deep - approached from the North via a narrow restricted byway and from the South through a Farm and a deeply rutted track over a couple of fields and through 2 shut (but unlocked) farm gates (Image 2).'







West End
SU867709 (1*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Duncan Briggs (17/08/2003)

'As you can see in Image 2, the local council has prevented vehicles (mostly farm traffic) from using the ford.'





Westleymill
SU860741 (2*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Duncan Briggs (15/11/2003)

'Good ford on byway, the council has now put a gate in the way to stop vehicles from getting stuck in the frequently flooded river.'





Wraysbury
TQ005742 (2*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Dave Taylor (27/01/2003)

'A sad sight. This lovely ford (known locally as "The Splash") has now been closed by the council who have erected bollards at each end. Otherwise a perfectly functional ford, 35 paces in length, gravel bottomed and an estimated 8 inches deep.'









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