The River Trent

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25 Interesting Things About The River Trent   1.7  million  years  ago  the  River  Trent  rose  in  the  Welsh hills  and has  changed course  several  times  because of  glaciers  and ice  lakes.  
The River  Trent  is  171  miles (274  kilometres)  long and is  the  3rd  longest  river  in the  UK  (after  the  Severn  and  Thames).   
  Its  source is on  Biddulph  Moor,  near  Stoke-on  Trent  in north  Staffordshire,  just  a small  puddle,  250  metres  (820  feet)  above sea  level.   
  The Trent  is  an  unusual  English river  as  it  flows  north  (for  half  of  its  route).   It ends where it  meets  the River  Ouse  at  Trent  Falls,  and  flows  into  the  Humber where the  tide  rises  and  falls  for  5.2  metres  (17  feet),  this  is  called  its  tidal  range. 
The Trent  drains a  catchment  area  in the Midlands  of  4,031  square  miles (10,440 square  kilometres)  of  land,  where 6  million  people live. 
Average annual  rainfall  is  720mm  (28  inches)  across the  Trent  catchment  area. 
The river  is  freshwater  for  119  miles  (191  km)  and  is  not  tidal  west  of  Newark. Only  the  last  52  miles  (83  km)  is  tidal,  from  Cromwell  weir  as  far  as  the  Humber estuary. 
42 main  tributaries  feed  into  the  Trent.   81 bridges  cross  it. 
The Trent  is  navigable  today  for  66  miles  (107  kilometres)  of  its  length,  as  far  as Shardlow  in Derbyshire. 
The  highest  point  it  was ever  commercially  navigable (between 1710  and  1805)  was Burton  upon  Trent.   There are 11  locks  along the  river,  6  of  them  over  49  metres  (161  feet)  long. 
In Roman  times  it  was called  ‘Trisantona’  meaning ‘great  female  thoroughfare’.    
The Danes and  Anglo-Saxons  sailed  up  the  Trent  when they  invaded  England.   
In  the  8th  century  it  was called  the  ‘Treonte’.  The  name  is  Celtic  and  means ‘trespasser’  as  it  often  floods  the  fields and  villages.   It’s  said that  in  1101  and  1581  part  of  the  River  Trent  completely  dried up! 
  Historically,  the  Trent  was  the  administrative boundary  between Northern  and Southern England  and laws  were  once different  on the  two sides.  
The river  was severely  polluted  by  industry,  sewage  and agricultural  run-off  in  the 19th  and 20th  centuries and  hardly  any  fish could live in  it. 
The river  is  much  cleaner  now  and salmon  have  been  re-introduced  to  many  of its  tributaries. 
More  than  30  other  species  of  fish  live in  the  river,  including  eels.   There are 6  wetland  Sites of  Special  Scientific  Interest  (SSSIs)  on  the  Trent,  such as Attenborough  Nature  Reserve near  Nottingham. 
In  the  20th  century,  otters  were  almost  extinct  in  lowland England,  but  now  they can  now  be  found  in the  whole of  the  Trent  river  network.   Cooling  water  is  taken  from  the  Trent  for  many  coal  and  gas-fired  power  stations and there is a  hydroelectric  plant  at  Beeston  Weir  providing  electricity  for  2,000 homes.   Gravel  and sand  are  still  quarried  along  the  Trent  and many  former  gravel  pits are  now  nature  reserves.   A natural  tidal  wave,  called  the  Aegir  (pronounced ‘E-jer’)  is  often  seen  on  the Trent  near  Gainsborough.  It  can  be  up  to1.5  metres (5  feet)  high.   Shakespeare  mentioned  the  River  Trent  in Henry  IV,  part  1.  “…And  here  the smug  and  silver  Trent  shall  run,  In a  new  channel,  fair  and evenly…”.  This  refers to an  area  of  land,  (near  the  present  W  Burton  power  station)  which was lost  to its owner  when two oxbow  lakes  formed  and  the  river  changed  course.

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