The Thames water pumping station at Axford, nr Newbury, in Berkshire is causing severe damage to the ecology of the River Kennet, designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The River is based on chalkland so any variations in the aquifer can cause damage to the habitats of species such as Water Crowfoot, water voles, river lampray, and brown trout. The pumping stattion at Axford currently abstracts 9.4 million litres of water a day, with a yearly licence for 4,049,000 cubic metres. 85% of this is pumped out of the catchment area for domestic and industrial use in Swindon, so is lost from the river system. Both Natural England and the World Wildlife Fund have condemed current abstraction levels from the Kennet as the cause of habitat destruction. The water licence is up for review in 2011, but as demand is increasing the chances for the Kennet are slim.
Earlier this summer fences to the compound at Axford were cut. To avoid the door and window alarms on the main pump facility air vents were removed and access was gained through the walls. The pumps were stopped and control room trashed. The back up generator was decomissioned and control pannels smashed. Locks on fluridation units were glued. This action was taken in defence of the River Kennet and the species that live there. Defend your local river system.