Desborough Island

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One of the two bridges across Desborough Cut to the Island
Open space on Desborough Island
Waterworks on Desborough Island

Desborough Island is a large artificially created island in the River Thames on the reach above Sunbury Lock in Surrey, England. The island was formed in the 1930s by the digging of a channel – the Desborough Cut – by the Thames Conservancy. Both island and cut are named after Lord Desborough who was at that time chairman of the Thames Conservancy.

The 3/4 mile (1 km) cut took the river on a straight course between Weybridge and Walton on Thames creating the island between it and the meandering stretch past Shepperton and Lower Halliford which remains as a navigable route.[1] The cut alleviated flooding in Shepperton[2] and halved the distance of travel on that part of the river.

The island is almost uninhabited, being mainly open space, playing fields and water treatment facilities. The island has access over two bridges from Walton Lane in Walton-on-Thames. It covers 45 hectares (111 acres) of which 14 hectares (35 acres) is open space. It is a site of nature conservation importance and is looked after by Elmbridge’s commons management team. The island contains the Walton Water Treatment Works,[3] owned by Affinity Water. There are sporting facilities owned by University Vandals Rugby Club and Weybridge Rifle and Pistol Club, and other parts of the island are owned by the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council and Elmbridge Borough council. Pleasure boats operate from Walton, making a round trip round the island.

Efforts have been made to improve the environment of the island,[4] and hedges have been relaid to improve the habitat.[5]

The island and surrounding river stood in for the banks of the Mississippi in the video of Culture Club's Karma Chameleon.[6]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Next island upstream River Thames Next island downstream
D'Oyly Carte Island Desborough Island Wheatley's Ait

Coordinates: 51°23′05″N 00°26′40″W / 51.38472°N 0.44444°W / 51.38472; -0.44444