The Cut, Berkshire
The Cut is a river in England that rises in North Ascot, Berkshire. It flows for around 14 miles (23 km), through the rural Northern Parishes of Winkfield, Warfield and Binfield in Bracknell Forest on its way down to Bray, where it meets the River Thames just above Queens Eyot Island on the reach below Bray Lock, having been joined by the Maidenhead Waterways.
Cokeley Bridge, crossing The Cut
|Towns||Bray, Berkshire, Binfield, Warfield, Winkfield|
|- location||North Ascot, Bracknell Forest, Berkshire|
|Length||23 km (14 mi)|
The Cut is so named because it was diverted eastwards artificially in the early nineteenth century from its original course westwards to the River Loddon via Stanlake Park south of Twyford to alleviate flood risk.
A southern tributary known locally as the Bull Brook rises in Whitmoor Bog but its course was routed through an underground pipe when the housing estate named Bullbrook was built in the 1960s. The stream emerges in what is now the Whitegrove housing area and flows north being dammed to create the lake in the grounds of Warfield House. The confluence with the North Ascot watercourse is just southwest of Warfield Church near Halo Farm. The section from Bott Bridge (by the former Three Legged Cross PH, now a curry house) down to Jocks Lane is being converted into a new leisure area called the Cut Countryside Corridor alongside new housing and other facilities on the NW edge of Bracknell. Further downstream the river has again been dammed to create a lake in the grounds of Binfield Manor which can be viewed from the hump-back bridge carrying the Forest Road.
The river has had a chequered history with regard to its water quality and suffered from pollution, particularly in the 1960s, probably due to the rapid expansion of nearby Bracknell and inadequate sewage treatment by the works at Whitmoor Bog and Ryemead Lane, Winkfield. However, in recent decades things have improved and the river now contains a large population of small chub, along with some roach and gudgeon though it seems to have limited appeal to anglers. Other fish present are three-spined sticklebacks and stone loach, and the riparian fauna includes kingfisher, grey heron (especially around Warfield House lake), grey wagtail and mink.