There are regular records of the flow of water from Wendover Springs into the Wendover Arm going back to 1814 (though some books are missing) so they are frequently quoted in hydrological and climatology papers. They provide a good indication of peaks or troughs in the flow of water into the reservoir.

Since it no longer pumps water into the Wendover Arm, Weston Turville Reservoir is less susceptible to drought than it’s neighbouring reservoirs. Nevertheless there have been occasions when fishing has had to be suspended for reasons other than maintenance. [1]

Bucks Chronicle 19 Aug 1854

Following several years of positive press articles, Francis Hardy was forced to close the reservoir for angling at least between August 1854 and September 1856 "in consequence of the lowness of the water". [2][3]

Bucks Chronicle 20 Sep 1856

It would seem that the reservoir was available for other "Aquatic Pastimes" prior to the re-opening announcement as in May 1856, they were part the celebrations marking the signing of the Treaty of Paris that ended the Crimean War. [4]

In 1874, Halton Fisheries again suspended angling "In consequence of the LOW STATE of the WATER, all ORDERS for FISHING will be SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE". [5]

There were even worse years for drought in 1893/4 and ‘1897 and 1898 had been successive drought years’…. ‘even the Wendover Stream dried up, although the artesian wells at Wendover gave 6 locks a day’ (Grand Junction Canal used a lock volume of 56,000 gallons). [6] It is not clear how this affected the reservoir, but it can't have been positively.

There were groundwater droughts across the country in the 1940s. In the eastern Chilterns groundwater drought conditions didn't start until 1944 and persisted until 1947.[8] In 1948, at Weston Turville Reservoir, the waters retreated 20ft.[9]

A photograph of the retreating waters appeared in the Bucks. Advertiser, which although poor quality shows a barron landscape and the sawn off posts that once supported the diving board.

In 1990 high heat resulted in algal blooms and 600 fish died, amazingly, that represented only ½ % of the total stock. [7]

1948 Groundwater Drought. Bucks. Advertiser 18 Jun 1948


  1. ^ "The Victoria History of the County of Buckingham" Volume One by William Page

  2. ^ Bucks Chronicle 19 Aug 1854

  3. ^ Bucks Chronicle 20 Sep 1856

  4. ^ Bucks Chronicle 21 May1856

  5. ^ Bucks Herald 05 Sep 1874

  6. ^ Water Supplies to the Tring Summit by Richardson, A. Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society Pt 1 April 1969

  7. ^ Bucks Herald 09 Aug 1990

  8. ^ UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology - Historic Droughts

  9. ^ Bucks Advertiser 18 Jun 1948