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Rivers on the Around-England Blog

England has some beautiful rivers, and the north of England especially so. There are, of course, major commercial estuaries such as the Mersey, Humber, Tyne and Tees. Some estuaries such as the Ribble have, however, lost their former commercial significance and now are important wildlife areas, especially for migrating water fowl. Other streams run short but sensationally from mountains to the sea.

Many of the Lake District rivers such as the Crake from Coniston Water and the Leven from Windermere have little in length but much in attraction. The Derwent, flowing out of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake although not long accumulates a powerful flow especially after its confluence with the Cocker, as the towns of Cockermouth and Workington experienced in the tragic 2009 floods.

The River Derwent at Cockermouth

On the eastern side of the country the rivers of the Yorkshire Dales, the Aire, the Ure, the Nidd and the Wharfe to name but four eventually flow into the Humber estuary. Further north there are of course the Tees, collecting water from the North Pennines, and the Tyne with its twin rivers South and North. On the west between the Mersey and the Solway Firth many rivers discharge into the Irish Sea, the Ribble, Wyre, Lune and Duddon outstanding among them; and further north the Solway Firth receives the beautiful Eden.

In the industrial areas there was for a long time serious river pollution but much of this has now been cleaned up. However, although the southern tributaries of the Ribble such as the Calder used to reek with the effluents of cotton towns such as Blackburn and Burnley, its major northern tributary the Hodder, running down from the Forest of Bowland, never knew industrial pollutants; indeed this in my opinion must rank as a prime candidate for the most beautiful river in England.

On this page is a collection of river-related posts on the Around-England blog. I hope it has much of interest for our river-loving readers.