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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
The 'invisible' river

By Brady Haran
BBC News Online, East Midlands

Trent meets the Humber Estuary
The Trent meets the Humber
In the final part of his journey "From the Source to the Sea", Brady Haran asks if the River Trent is taken for granted.

After 274km (170 miles), my journey down the River Trent is complete.

The river flows into the Humber Estuary near the village of Alkborough, not far outside Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire.

Seeing so many interesting things along the waterway, it is hard to believe the river could be ignored by the people of the East Midlands.

But it seems the River Trent is not noticed by many people who live near it.

The River Trent covers 274km and has 42 main tributaries

Ruth Needham, from the OnTrent partnership, is working to promote and improve the river.

She says: "In some ways the Trent has been the poor little brother or sister to the Thames or the Severn, in as much as it hasn't achieved the recognition.

"This is because it has been neglected... it has been improved for navigation and flood defence, and (as a result) it hasn't got many places along it that people value."

Ms Needham points out that many cities and towns have been designed without considering views or access to the Trent.

"The river is hidden away in many areas by huge flood banks, it's not very visible."

This view is shared by Nicholas Alfrey, a senior lecturer in art history at the University of Nottingham.

Trent painting

He attempted to change people's views by putting together an art exhibition about the Trent in 2001, called Trentside.

Mr Alfrey says: "It's an invisible river, people just aren't conscious of it... that's why I wanted to do the show.

"I had heard people say it was a formless river with no visual identity, and I wanted to change people's minds.

"It turned out there was a lot more artwork concerning the Trent than I expected.

"The river is a lot more interesting than people think."

Also in our series from the Trent:

The BBC's Brady Haran
"It's here that the Trent flows into the Humber Estuary"

River sounds
Final part of our radio series from the Trent

Bonus Material
Footage not used on TV - includes a seal in the river

A river on the mend
05 Apr 04  |  England

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