River Bulbourne

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River Bulbourne at Boxmoor near Hemel Hempstead

The River Bulbourne is a river in Hertfordshire, England. It runs in a south-easterly direction from Dudswell in Northchurch,[1] through Berkhamsted, Bourne End and Boxmoor to where it joins the River Gade at Two Waters in Apsley near Hemel Hempstead.[2] The total length of the river is 11 km (7 miles).

The location of its source is disputed. Claims are made for the village of Bulbourne (which would make it 16 km long) and also for springs above Dudswell. Much of the Grand Union Canal was dug along the course of the original river, and the entire course of the river is alongside the canal.

In October 2011 concerns were raised about local water levels when the River Bulbourne dried up. Local commentators blamed increased water consumption brought about by the number of new property developments in Berkhamsted, although the Environment Agency and the Veolia water company claimed it was due to a low water table caused by lack of rainfall.[3]

The Bourne Gutter is a small tributary of the Bulbourne rising between Berkhamsted and Bourne End. According to local legend it is a "Woe Water", said to only flow at time of national emergency. Its recent flows in 1990 and 2001 coincided with wars between Britain and Iraq then the Twin Towers disaster. In February 2014, it flowed due to the exceptionally wet winter.

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