The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Social Distancing Day 1: a walk to Fobney Island

Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve

On 23 March the Government published stricter guidance on staying at home and away from others that superseded the advice in place at the time of writing on 18 March.

On 17 March, the first day of social distancing, the Whitley Pump went for a walk along the Kennet to the Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve and back. There were not many other people around apart from a few joggers and cyclists.

The nature reserve was quiet, and paths were free from flooding. CRoW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays) have been working on laying a hedge on the island (pictured).

The Kennet & Avon canal is flowing very fast and high and is still closed between Fobney Lock and County Lock in the town centre.

New illuminated advertising horading on the A33

On the way back we noticed that the latest addition to Reading’s advertising illuminations was being put in place. It is along the A33 south Reading mass rapid transit system near Kennet Island. When complete, the signboard will feature “low level planting/landscaping to enhance visual appearance and minimise footfall under signage”.

Update at 24 March

At this time Government advice to reduce the transmission of coronavirus is being constantly updated and you should consult the latest guidance on the Government’s coronavirus webpage.

  1. Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve
  2. Friends of Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve on Facebook
  3. Kennet & Avon canal
  4. Planning application 190523
  5. South Reading MRT
  6. Government advice on coronavirus


  1. This is a lovely idea – thank you so much for taking the time to document your walk.

  2. O lovely and heartwarming news E – I shall be taking to my bicycle (again), as last time I ventured that way, it was flooded!

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