Wye Valley River Festival 2016 - Page 22

whirlin g swi rling Why the WYE ? The Wye’s stunning beauty captures the imagination of everyone who visits it. It was voted the nation’s favourite river in 2010, its vast lengths of unspoilt beauty described as ‘magical and timeless’. The whole river is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a European Special Area of Conservation (SAC). It is of international importance for migrating fish such as salmon, shad and the mysterious lamprey, as well as home to otters, kingfishers, the imperilled white-clawed crayfish and water vole. The source of the Wye is on Plynlimonn in mid-Wales, where its sisters, the Severn and the Rheidol, also rise. The catchment of the Wye drains 4136 km2 and a population of 230,000 people. “ The river – any river – links not just scenically and socially, but also ecologically. It is the highway up and down which birds, bats, salmon and even seals move around the landscape. Formerly, it also transported people and materials, but now it transmits our activities. The river formed the catchment and everything in the catchment influences the river: standing by the bank we watch the soils and fertiliser shed by up-stream farming pass by, along with fallen trees and discarded waste from far away. Sometimes as we watch the river passes smoothly and silently, but at other times it rustles and hisses like the snake its course mimics on the map. It even disguises itself: who can tell where the river runs when it floods the whole valley? dr george peterken ” www.harpercollins.co.uk/cr-102954/george-peterken In rivers the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes (Leonardo da Vinci) Water is the only mineral that is found naturally on Earth in three forms; liquid, gas and solid