The river Bain rises as a small spring at Ludford in the center of the Lincolnshire Wolds and flows to the River Witham at Dogdyke. The Lincolnshire Wolds is an area of outstanding natural beauty - and an outcropping of the chalk strata that surfaces at Flamborough Head near Bridlington, through Lincolnshire, Norfolk, the North and South Downs of Kent and again around the Champagne region of Paris. Several chalk streams arise in the county of Lincolnshire and the Bain is the longest at approximately 27 miles (44Km) long. The source spring lies at a height of 370 feet (115m) and at Dodgdyke it is just 12 feet (4m) above mean sea level.
Walking along the river Bain, one gets to see many sights, both good and bad and this page covers many of those sights. Officially the "Chalkstream" bit of the river stops at Horncastle, the river continues downstream through Coningsby and Tattershall and beyond to its junction with the river Witham at Dogdyke, the Belle Isle Marina. Images on this page have been taken from along the whole length of the river, not just the chalkstream section. But some of the images show how much disregard is being shown to our river system - then when the river rises and land, buildings, homes get flooded, people begin asking questions; but by this time it is too late!
Biscathorpe I begin at Biscathorpe, the river actually rises further north as a small dyke, mostly dry now, alongside the road at Ludford. To see the start of the river, travel along the Caistor High Street (B1225) and take the A631 toward Ludford. the river rises in a few trees to your right as you enter the village.
At Biscathorpe the river crosses the road just to the north of the farm and then enters the farm proper where a public footpath runs alonside the river. There is a ford and a couple of tributaries but the river here turns south toward Donnington on Bain where it feeds into a large lake and a couple of smaller lakes.
The images begin at the upper end of the Bain, around Biscathorpe. There is a really smashing summer walk along the river here and if you are not daunted by cattle, then you can walk through the meadow to the lakes, part of which is on private land.
At Donnington on Bain is the highest point where the river has been put to use (watermill) and recently much work has been done providing a fish pass and getting water to run more true to its natural course. The problem was the Donington water mill that had a series of mill leats holding water back and controlled by a series of weirs and sluice gates.
Now the water has been re-coursed and fish can move freely along the river at this point, it is hoped that spawning and fish maturity will improve stocks.
A little further south the river runs through Goulceby and as you see the river is quite overgrown upstream of the bridge. The river also meanders in a series of tight turns and old oxbows are evident revealing the river lying in its original course. Downstream it is a different matter though, at Goucleby there is a bridge and the first of many weirs; Goulceby also has an EA gauging station, visible online at Goulceby Gauging Station
This is where the river begins to look rather more what you expect. Downstream of this point the river is essentially man-made, lying within modern banks and with levels controlled by weirs. Banks have been straightened and the old flood plains have gone to be replaced by farmland and cultivated right up the the river banks.
Approaching Horncastle, the river has been commercialised in the past. Here we see the locks that formed part of the old fish-farm which was situated just north of Horncastle. The cold clear water from the Lincolnshire wolds sustained several fish-farms in the past, only two or three are still operating now providing fresh and smoked trout to local restaurants and servicing the needs of pleasure angling.
The river enters Horncastle over the flume at the town car park and this is officially where the chalk-stream river ends and the river becomes the Horncastle Canal a failed project to help trade between Horncastle and the port of Boston. Shortly after the canal opened - so did the railway. The railway destroyed the commercial viability of the canal and it closed before it had ever been used.
The 50 acre - as it is called - is a field just to the south of Horncastle. It has given it's name to the road that runs from Martin down to join the Boston Road just to the south of Horncastle.