11 Facts About The River Severn That You'll Absolutely Adore | Kidadl


11 Facts About The River Severn That You'll Absolutely Adore

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The Severn River is the longest river in Great Britain, and it is also known as Afon Hafren in Welsh.

This river runs through the middle of Gloucestershire and flows through different counties throughout England. The River Severn rises at the Cambrian Mountains which lie close to the boundary near Llanidloes.

The five major tributaries are the Worcestershire Stour, the Tern, the River Teme, the River Vyrnwy, and the Warwickshire Avon. The river's course starts from South Wales and descends from an elevation of 2000 ft (600 m) at its source at the Welsh village, Llanidloes. From there, the river turns towards the northeast and follows the Vale of Powys which goes past Newtown and Welshpool. At Gloucester, the River Severn has massive tides and follows a bending course. This massive estuary widens in the area between South Wales and Somerset and ends up becoming the Bristol Channel, also known as the Severn Sea.

The Tidal River

The Severn Estuary empties into the Bristol Channel and has one of the world's largest tidal ranges. The range of the tide starts mid-ocean.

The Severn Bore is a tidal bore that is seen on the reaches of the River Severn in southwestern England. This bore forms when the rising tide starts to move into the Bristol Channel which is funnel-shaped and the Severn estuary which to the south of the Bristol Channel and the Atlantic Ocean.

The bore has different formations in different parts of the river. In the lower areas, the deep channels are more noticeable as slight rollers, while in the narrower parts the river occupies the whole area and advances in a series of tidal waves that move upstream. The advancing water of the River Severn forms two lower dams in Gloucester and sometimes one in Tewkesbury. The size and speed of the bore depends on things such as high tide, barometric pressure, wind speed, and direction. The tidal wave can be seen to originate from far out in the mid-ocean. It moves towards Europe and as it approaches the continental shelf, it decreases in size.

Geography and Geology

The River Severn is the longest river in England and is also known to be the river with the most voluminous flow by far in England. It starts at the Cambrian Mountains in Wales and then flows through counties such as Shropshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire. The Birmingham Canal links Worcester and Birmingham as the canal starts as an offshoot of the River Severn in Worcester and ends in Birmingham.

The formation of the river presently is due to the glaciation during the Ice a=Age of the Quaternary period. The river within Wales flows through Ordovician and Silurian rocks. These Palaeozoic rocks get replaced by Permian and Triassic age strata, as the river enters the Shropshire Plain. Certain stretches of this river also run across Carboniferous strata present in Shrewsbury and go between Ironbridge and Bewdley.

During the 1900s, a theory was proposed that the northern course of the upper Severn got disrupted during the Ice Age, due to which its access to the Irish Sea through Cheshire was blocked. This caused a big lake to form in Shropshire. The southern exit for the River Severn was provided by this lake which is known as Lake Lapworth. This lake cut down its southern margin which enabled it to cut down to Ironbridge Gorge directly which provided the Severn a way to the sea. There is another theory which states that the upper Severn originally flowed under the ice sheets into a bedrock, known as Severn Trench, which is eastwards from Melverley to the Ironbridge Gorge. This theory has gained popularity as it makes sense that the trench and gorge were cut during the Ice Age.

There are several tributaries of the River Severn, but the largest ones are the Teme, Vyrnwy, and the Warwickshire Avon. These are non-tidal rivers that generate from the river Severn. The River Severn is bridged in many areas and the Iron Bridge at Ironbridge is the world's first iron arch bridge. Other than this, there are several other bridges in England that are situated in the Welsh County.

Etymology and Mythology

The River Severn is often confused with the River Seven, but both these rivers are quite different. The term Severn is derived from the old English language and means 'land of summertime fallow'. The name of the river is recorded in Sabrina, the Latinized form in the second century.

The name of the river in Welsh, which is a Brittonic language from the Celtic language family is Hafren. This name is recorded in the Historia Regum Britanniae in the 12th century. John Milton in his 1634 masque named Comus, presented Sabrina as a nymph who drowned in the river. In Shrewsbury, there is a stone statue of Sabrina at the Quarry and a metal statue as well. The Severn Estuary connects it with a deity named Nodens who sits on a horse and rides on the crest of the Severn Bore.

The Characteristic Of The Upper River

The River Severn's source can be located in the moorlands of Wales.

This area in Wales receives excessive rainfall. The Severn forms a V-shaped valley as it swiftly grows. The Worcester River is famous for its boat trips that go up and down the river between Tewkesbury and Stourport. There is also a ferry that people can catch at the steps of Worcester Cathedral. The Cathedral ferry operates on summer weekends and is a very popular activity with tourists. In Shrewsbury, the Sabrina provides boat trips around the town center and during the summer departs from the Victorian quay which is near the Welsh bridge.

Marine Life In The River

Water bodies, be it rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, or ponds, have been essential to humankind from the very beginning of evolution. Not only do they provide water for drinking and farming but they also are used for transport and businesses as rivers help people to access cities and towns.

The River Severn has lots of marine life and plays an important role in maintaining the ecosystem of Great Britain as well. Even though it has been affected negatively due to pollution, the animals that can be seen in this river include different types of fish such as roaches, carps, eels, minnows, and brown trout. This make this river popular fishing spot. Mammals such as otters, dormice, badgers, stoats, polecats, mink, and water voles can also be spotted near the river. It is also a small haven for bird admirers as mallard ducks, swans, Canada geese, kingfishers, and gray herons can be spotted near this river.

Even though marine life is thriving in this river, there are animals that are under threat. Non-native American minks invaded the British countryside after escaping from fur farms. They are quite territorial and thrive on the soil. The threat of minks is most felt by water voles. Minks prey on anything they can get find and get their teeth into. Most of the time, minks enter the burrows where water voles live and prey on them. Water voles are now on the edge of extinction.

Did You Know...

The railway bridge between Sharpness and Lydney faced destruction in the 1600s.

Due to an increase in cars over the years, the Second Severn Crossing between England and Wales was constructed. This Severn crossing opened in 1996 and carries the M4 motorway.

<p>With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".</p>

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