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The River Pang in Bradfield.
The River Pang near Bradfield College, and just upstream of the previous picture.
A family of swans on the River Pang.
The River Pang is a small chalk stream river in the west of the Englishmarker county of Berkshire, and a tributary of the River Thames. It runs for approximately from its source near the village of Compton to its confluence with the Thames in the village of Pangbournemarker.

The river, and its water voles, are thought to have inspired author Kenneth Grahame's character Ratty and his book The Wind in the Willows.


The river's source is normally near the village of Compton. In times of high rainfall it can be traced back to Farnboroughmarker, some four miles to the north-east, whilst at other times it may be as far downstream as Hampstead Norreysmarker.

In the village of Compton the Pang is joined by the River Roden, a similar but smaller chalk stream with its source on Roden Downs to the east of the village. At first it flows south from Compton through the village of Hampstead Norreys, before turning east to flow through the villages of Buckleburymarker, Stanford Dingleymarker and Bradfieldmarker.

To the east of Bradfield the Pang is joined by the River Bournemarker and turns north to flow through the villages of Tidmarshmarker and Pangbournemarker, eventually entering the Thames between Whitchurch Lockmarker and Whitchurch Bridgemarker.

The valley of the River Pang between Compton and Bradfield is rather isolated, penetrated only by narrow country lanes. Because of this isolation, the valley has not become the residential commuter area that is much of Berkshire, and is still largely agricultural.


The Pang hosts a large quantity of wildlife, and plays its own part towards being a part of the community, especially within Pangbourne itself. The river has a good head of wild brown trout (Salmo trutta) up to 3/4 lb (350 g) and is populated by grayling (Thymallus thymallus), indicating the general good condition of the water. A concern in this river is the population of American Signal crayfish, which have displaced the native White Clawed Crayfish species. This was illustrated in an episode of Gordon Ramsay's The F-Word.

The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust owns a nature reserve straddling the Pang at Moor Copse, close to the village of Tidmarsh. A extension to the nature reserve, in the area that is believed to have inspired Kenneth Grahame's work, was purchased in December 2006.

In August 2007 a coalition of the WWF, the National Trust and the RSPB called on the British government to adopt their blue print for Water. To publicise their campaign they highlighted the dangers to sites well known through literature such as The Lake Districtmarker (Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons and Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tiggy-Winkle), the North Kent Marshes (Charles Dickens's Great Expectations) and the River Pang.


The Pang's name was formed as a back-formation from the name of Pangbournemarker; bourne being a form of burn—a stream or small river.

See also


  1. Ordnance Survey (2004). OS Explorer Map 158 — Newbury & Hungerford. ISBN 0-319-23612-9.
  2. Ordnance Survey (2006). OS Explorer Map 159 — Reading. ISBN 0-319-23730-3.

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