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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 April, 2004, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Have your say: The River Trent
River Trent at Althorpe
The Trent is 274km long
BBC News Online has spent the last three weeks travelling the River Trent.

Along the way we have heard many views about the river, such as the belief that it is the "poor relation" of more famous waterways such as the Thames and Severn.

Others have spoken fondly of the Trent, describing it as beautiful and peaceful.

We want to hear your views and stories about the river.

Maybe you have a favourite spot or experience on the Trent? Or perhaps you have a view on issues such as pollution or flooding.

This forum has now closed.

Your comments:

I enjoyed your series on the River Trent. I lived in England for 8 months, but I didn't see the Trent. I would like to see more such stories on rivers in the U.K. I lived in Bath and was familiar with the River Avon. Why not do a journey down that? Even better, why not have a reporter (hey...I'll volunteer to do it if you fly me from the U.S. :-) ride a bike from on the old railway turned cycle trail from Bristol to Bath where they could ride the path the follows the Avon canal all the way to the Thames? I didn't quite make it all the way to the Thames, I had to make it back to Bath in the evening, but now I regret not going further. However, I did like the sections which I was able to ride. Keep up the good work.
Allison Day, USA

There is a whole community here for which the river is far from invisible but who are happy to be out of sight of the hustle and bustle rest of the world
Nik Hewitt, England

I have spent many happy hours walking along the river Trent, mainly around the Gainsborough/West Stockwith area. I've always thought Lincolnshire was an under-rated county - it's peaceful (away from the coastal resorts) and has some lovely scenery, including along the Trent.
Madeline Cox, UK

My wife and I live on a 70ft Narrow Boat on the Trent. There is a whole community here for which the river is far from invisible but who are happy to be out of sight of the hustle and bustle rest of the world. The river, in all seasons, is alive and beautiful. It supports wildlife from foxes to kingfishers and from the humble malard to the humble boater...
Nik Hewitt, Trent Lock, England

"But it seems the River Trent is not noticed by many people who live near it." An optician could perhaps be an asset to the community ?
Richard Wainman, England, UK

No intelligent analysis...just like to say...its a wonderful article and intensely interesting
Eric Taylor, Brighton England

Growing up in Nottinghamshire, our relatives in Lincolnshire were always "t'other side o't'water" and I always remember the toll at Dunham Bridge. However, not only is the Trent the invisible river but I notice that Retford, my home town, is the invisible town. In fact, the only times I have ever seen it mentioned nationally in print are in Bill Bryson's "Notes from a Small Island" and in the New Zealand Herald, of all places.
Mark, New Zealand

Compared to the Thames and Severn, it seems an inaccessible river
Joan Lee, Hampshire

Newark is one of the best places to see the Trent. Found with an excellent castle off the A1 or the East Coast Main Line from London, it has to be the easiest part to get to in Notts. Added to this the old town to shop in, it is a great place to visit.
Andy (In Mansfield), England

The Trent is a beautiful river to live on the wildlife is everywhere, you got to look for it
Tim Challen, UK Nottm

I enjoy exploring Britain's rivers; but I have not yet visited the Trent, beyond glimpses of it from the M1. This is because, compared to the Thames and Severn, it seems an inaccessible river. Many of the towns along it are bypassed by the main rail links from London; therefore, difficult to reach from southern England without a car. Also, the Trent area does not seem to be promoted for tourism. When rivers are hidden behind high floodbanks I am put off further. The 2000 floods prompted concern about flood defences. I hope any new flood defences will not have a detrimental affect on the aesthetic qualities of the river bank. The demountable flood barriers on the Severn at Bewdley, sound much more sensible than high walls or levees.
Joan Lee, Hampshire, England

Hi, I've lived near the Trent for most of my life and I have very fond memories of being on the embankment and fishing down near the lock in Beeston (not to much joy, I must add!). The Trent is only forgotten to people who haven't lived near it. Surely!
Steve, England

I grew up in Gainsborough and the Trent was often a place to play. We sailed on it, swam in it, fell in it, fished in it, beachcomed it and we watched the eiger tidal wave sweep along it sometimes up to 3feet tall. The Trent was never invisible to us kids
Robert G Magill, USA

I think the Trent has been "invisible" because its course is so far inland - it passes through the areas furthest from the sea in the whole British isles - and links places which aren't necessarily linked by social and road networks. I am glad to hear people are working to raise its profile.
Sally, Scotland

It's great to see a river that not only played a great part in my life as a playground when i was young, but as one of the major centres for industry in all of the areas through which it flows.
Guy, USA

I lived in Gainsborough during my youth, and the Trent was the focus of our leisure time. As kids, trips to Laneham where the river is so wide you can swim across safely. (Laneham is like an inland 'seaside resort' where many families went and used the Trent as their 'dip in the sea'.] I saw the power stations being built (West Burton & Cottam) and played in the flood waters in the 60s. The Trent was certainly not hidden in my youth!
Pat McCann, formerly from Lincolnshire

It been great to read about one of our major rivers and the ups and downs of its history. But what kind of fool would build on a flood plain and also ... some reasonability must lie at the lenders feet has well.
Clive, Dartford, England

After living near and around the Trent my entire life in Walton and then at Barton and Yoxall. It's great to see a river that not only played a great part in my life as a playground when i was young, but as one of the major centers for industry in all of the areas through which it flows. It is a testament to the water authorities that the river is slowly regaining it's former glories. As for all the housing developments that have been put up along the Trent on the flood plains for the last twenty years, the developers and planners should have looked at the churches that follow the course of the Trent. Whychnor, and Walton are both good examples of historical planning. They are built on hills above the flood plain. No risk there!!!
Guy, USA

Living at the head of the Trent you take it for granted. However, for the next 2 years there is a major road construction being carried out which means the course of the Trent is being altered along with the course of the Trent and Mersey canal. Major disruptions and delays are being experienced by residents of Stoke on Trent for something no more than 1 metre wide and a few centimetres deep.
Philip Pennell, England

When a RAF Cranwell Cadet I used to row at Farndon. One particular cold & calm day in the winter, the warmth of the river water because of Farndon power station meant that there was a low level very thick fog on the river. As we rowed our "eight" our heads would bob up and down into the fog, and disappear, but the head of the "Cox" at the rear of the boat sailed serenely just above the fog level so he could steer our course.
Vic, England

There needs to be great stretches of river with wooded banks
Jamie, London

I'm a Nott'm lad who's been an expat for 30 years but have such fond memories of the Trent. My dad grew up in a house on the city side of The Embankment, we both fished it together, the family had picnics from Long Eaton to Newark on it, as teenagers we drank at the "Navigation", later I "clubbed" at the Nott'm Boat (rowing) Club next to it, & I always feel at home when I cross it on the M1. It's brilliant that it is becoming "alive" again. More should be done to promote it, and activities on and around it.
dick Edwards, UK

As a boat user on the Soar and Trent navigations i have to say that the level of rubbish both in the water and on the banks is far from aceptable.People of all persuasions ie bikers walkers and boaters all contribute to the mess, however near towns and villages along the rout more house hold rubbish can be found in terms of cast of TV's soufers plastic chairs motor bikes and the obvious Super Market Trollies. If we are to improve and maintain this faculty a public awareness campaign needs to be started other wise the river and its tributies will revert back to the bad old days of the fifties and sixties. British Waterways who have the responsibility of keeping the water ways clear face a never ending battle and this can be witnessed by the overloaded bargees which are used to clear the mess, Seems to me that more accessible disposal points need to be set up, we have rubbish bins on the paths in our cities why not on the river banks especially the public access areas.
Terry Brigstock, UK

There needs to be great stretches of river with wooded banks looking wild and unkempt, swamps and naturally formed beaches and dams - that's a proper river, like my River Wey - not all this 'management'.
Jamie, London

I've only just come across this series and was surprised to hear that the Trent is invisible! I have many fond memories from my childhood of seeing the immense power of the river around King's Mills near Castle Donington. My wife, originally from Nottingham, insists that all rivers are the Trent when we cross them on journeys.
Stu Carter, Uk

This is a fascinating river. I am researching Neolithic and Bronze Age inhabitation in the Staffordshire Moorlands and am convinced that the feeder streams to the Trent were important, particularly on the watershed that runs from Biddulph Moor, through Rushton Spencer and to the Churnet valley between Gun Hill and the Roaches. This is the most northerly feeded, rising near Quarnford
Kevin Kilburn, UK

I think the river Trent is under rated and over shadowed by other bigger rivers like the Thames, when it is just as beautiful. I was happy to see the otters back in the river on Monday's program and hope more local creatures are re-released in to the river.
Jeremy Bellamy, England

Bob - the sign of a float not being trotted on the Trent anymore has nothing to do with Cormorants. the successful clean up of the Trent has turned it from a poor, low species, high volume coarse fishery, to a much more healthy diverse mixed fishery. It may also have something to do with the fish now actually being able to see the hooks in the cleaner water. (he says only part in jest)
Andy, UK

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons we still have to combat pollution incidents in rivers is that some people think you can chuck anything down a drain. Not so! Think before you empty your car oil down a surface water gulley and we might get even less pollution incidents. Everyone has a part to play in preventing pollution and improving our waterways.
Nikki , England

I hold great affection for 'the smug and silvery Trent'
Chris Evans

Dennis - houses in West Bridgford (a suburb of Nottingham just south of the Trent) cost 300,000 each. Knocking them down will cost an awful lot more than building flood defences.... unless you propose evictions with no compensation?
Peter, Nottingham (U.K)

Like all other rivers in England it is polluted but still remains a beautiful part of nature. In the industrialised world we live in today we have to expect pollution and degrading of the natural world. We have to accept it as we all contribute to it.
John, England

As an 11 year old in 1961 my teacher at Uxbridge Junior school in Burton-on Trent , Mrs Strong, took the whole class on a journey along the whole River Trent. i remember clearly visiting Biddulph Moor and on to Nottingham and beyond to where the river meets the Humber and out to sea. This has stayed with me forever and i hold great affection for "the smug and silvery Trent"- Shakespeare
Chris Evans, England

Interesting articles and I look forward to the next one. PS Why are otters regarded as 'sexy', surely cute will suffice?
Joan, UK

Stop building flood barriers and demolish the houses. It is cheaper and safer.
Dennis, UK

its full of pollution and its always flooding the only bit of the Trent i like is the bit near the Newark Castle
Callum Holmes, England

I have no sympathy for those people flooded by rivers
Chris Cowdery, UK

I'm an ex-pat (and a geologist), who has recently swapped the Trent for the Mississippi, where artificial barriers (levees) are built to prevent flooding. Rivers, if left to their own devices, will periodically flood onto the surrounding area. By putting barriers along the river, we can happily build towns right next to the water (we've been doing it for thousands of years), and we do indeed reduce the risk of flooding. But when the river does flood, the water level will be above that of the levee, and if the levee is, say, 10 feet tall, when the water comes over the edge it will have a whole lot more energy than if the levee wasn't there. The floods along the Mississippi some 10 years ago are testament to this. Reduce the risk of flooding, but be prepared for complete and utter devastation when the "big one" comes. I can't see a solution, unfortunately.
Julia Heathcote, St Louis, USA

Cormorants are devastating fish life, such that the sign of a float being trotted down is becoming a distant memory. And why is the Trent 274k long, when we measure distance in miles in this country !!
bob, UK

I have no sympathy for those people flooded by rivers. A flood plain, by definition is the land area that a river flows onto in times of excess flow. Just because it hasn't happened recently doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. People seem to forget that in geological time scales, the river may have flooded thousands of times, and it will take a lot to stop it happening again if it so decides.
Chris Cowdery, UK

My favourite experience of the Trent would be jogging along it early on a Sunday morning in march, the crisp cool morning air condensing into fog - in rhythm with the rowers who cut a path along it, creating an ebb that brings the water to gentle life, the sight of the newly refurbished Trent Bridge standing out like the gates to some magnificent palatial resting place
ja, Melbourne, Australia

I especially liked the Trent whilst walking through Nottingham. However, i must disagree with the gentleman before who mentioned the quality of water being better in the UK. I've found no noticeable difference in water appearance from either country.
Matt, Pennsylvania, USA

I think the river Trent is a beautiful place and the water is very nice compared to America
Matthew, England

I personally like the river Trent, and as a water user know that its much cleaner than it has been in the past. I don't have a favourite bit of the river, but its lovely to watch the ripples from a kayak in the summer. The Trent is peaceful, flows through Nottingham and gets you away from busy city life.
Rosie, Notts, England

"...Major pollution incidents have fallen from 165 in 1995 to just 64 last year..>" - "just" 64!!?? Isn't that like saying smoking "only" kills hundreds of thousands of people?
John, UK

The BBC's Brady Haran
"From this point the water trickles down the hill behind me"

Holding back 'The Trespasser'
06 Apr 04  |  England
A river on the mend
05 Apr 04  |  England


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