English River

"The Trent Aegir...is still considered to be one of the nation’s most interesting and unusual natural phenomena"

250 miles long, the Trent flows from Biddulph Moor in North Staffordshire to join the River Humber estuary near Scunthorpe. The river passes through the West and East Midlands, including the following towns and cities: A Transport of Delight

Navigable to Burton-on-Trent, it is one of Britain's longest navigable waterways, and many canals supported trade on the river until the early part of the 20th century. It was also one of the first to be used for carrying goods over long distances: as long ago as 1000 BCE it was used as part of a trade route between the continent and Ireland, evidenced by two dug-out bronze age canoes discovered in the river bed near Nottingham.

The Romans also made use of the river (which they named Trisantona) to give them easy access from the east coast to many of their towns, and they constructed Britain's first canal in 120 - the Foss Dyke (running from the Trent to Lindum Colonia (Lincoln).

If is still navigated, although the longboats and coal barges are long gone, having been replaced by holiday cruisers and narrowboats.

The Trent Valley has one of the largest concentrations of power stations in Britain, due partly to the presence of rich coal fields and excellent communications, as well as water! The immeense variety of industry in the valley led to its being one of the most polluted rivers in the UK in the 1960s and 70s, but in recent years, the cleanup has resulted in the return of wildlife to the rivers and banks.

Local highlights

It is also (in its lower reaches), home to a phenomenon similar to the Severn Bore, the Trent Aegir, a tidal wave on a five-mile stretch between Derrythorpe and Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. Like its bigger cousin, it is caused by a particular combination of tides and its funnel-shaped estuary. (It is named after the Norse God of that name, and must have been feared by early watermen.)

The National Watersports Centre is also located here on the Trent, and in many places the river sports a variety of rowing crews - certainly in Nottingham you'll see the boat clubs and dinghy clubs making their sport on its unruffled waters. Anglers also enjoy the river, and the improved water wuality means that more and greater variety of fish are to be found here. Good news for sportsmen and poachers alike.

Finally, let us not forget Trent Bridge - home to the Nottingham Forest FC ground, and the world-renowned Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.

Thanks also to Albert Herring

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