Monday, 7 June 2010

River Trent

Looking west from Swarkestone bridge, the waters of the River Trent run relatively smoothly. By this point, they have flowed from their source between Biddulph and Biddulph Moor, through Stoke on Trent and Burton on Trent (all in Staffordshire) and skirted most of south Derby.

East, is looking towards Nottingham, around fifteen miles distant. Beyond Nottingham, the river turns more sharply north, heading for the Humber; in total, a length of 171 miles, making it the third longest in England.

It is interesting to notice that the water over this side of the bridge is choppy. I assumed that there were rocks below the surface. I was almost right.

Although Swarkestone Bridge is an ancient monument (see this post), the same is not true of the part of the structure which crosses the river itself. The ancient section is the causeway which is around 3/4 of a mile in length. The river bridge dates from the eighteenth century, replacing a much earlier version. It is the earlier bridge which is the cause of the rough water. When it was demolished to make way for this one, the rubble from the old bridge was allowed to fall into the waters of the Trent and was then left there; causing the previously calm water to suddenly have a bit of a rough ride. Regulations were obviously not as tight in those days!

The other thing we spotted across the east side of the bridge was this heron...

...which posed politely whilst keeping a sharp look out for fish! (It's a beautiful bird and much better standing here than trying to steal the koi carp from my uncle's pond!!)

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