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Jeni Bell’s Wild Britain – The Lower Test in Totton

The continued adventures Of Jeni , Bill and Millie……..

The Lower Test in Totton

words  by Jeni Bell

Just outside of Totton, where the cars rumble over the flyover, high rise flats meet the sky and industrial units churr away, the River Test comes to an end. After a meandering journey from its head waters around 40miles away near Ashe, once it’s flowed through picturesque villages, past quaint pub gardens and through shaded glades it reaches its muddy mouth. Here in Totton it mixes with the salt sea and seeps through the tidal reed beds of Lower Test before heading out into Southampton Water, past huge container ships and noisy dockyards.

The Lower Test offers a wild haven amidst the grey of built up areas; a golden hue against the dirt and grime of suburban sprawl. Standing on the old board walks, in the depths of the reed beds, underneath pylons that fizz and crackle like popping candy, industry is more than apparent on the horizon. It doesn’t creep, it looms, it’s there in the dark row of cranes, and in the passing cars that glint as the sun catches them. It’s in the train that hurtles past and the constant whir of work from the giant metal warehouses. But it’s not displeasing. It’s actually quite special.

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