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River Tees

A Journey Through its Geographical Features, Biodiversity, Industrial Heritage, Landmarks and Recreational Activities.


A River Steeped in History, a Region Built on its Banks


The River Tees is no trivial body of water. At 85 miles long and meandering through the North East of England, it has played a significant role in the social, economic and cultural history of Teesside and beyond. From prehistoric times to the present day, the River Tees has been a constant presence, providing food, transport and energy as well as shaping local identities and forging national relationships.

One of the earliest recorded uses of the river was by Celtic tribes who used it to navigate from coast to coast. Later on, during Roman times, it was used as a border between two provinces.

The river's name itself comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'boundary'. In medieval times it was an important trade route for wool merchants travelling from Yorkshire to Europe via Stockton-on-Tees.

The Industrial Revolution brought about further changes as new industries such as steelmaking emerged along its banks. Today, the river's importance continues with large-scale offshore wind farms being built off its coast and plans for new ports being developed along its banks.


The Heartbeat of Teesside


The River Tees is not just historically significant; it remains an essential part of life in Teesside today. It provides vital access to the sea for businesses such as ports at Middlesbrough and Hartlepool which act as gateways for imports and exports from across Europe.

Its waters are also home to various species of fish that support local angling communities and provide fresh produce for restaurants across the region. But perhaps most importantly, the River Tees is a symbol of identity for those who call this area home.

Whether you were born here or have moved here more recently, you can't help but feel connected to this stretch of water that flows through the heart of the region. From the red-bricked buildings of Stockton-on-Tees to the rolling hills of Upper Teesdale, the River Tees is an emblem of our shared past, present and future.

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Geographical FeaturesLength and Width of River Tees:


The River Tees is located in northeast England, and it runs for approximately 85 miles. It starts at the Pennines, flowing through County Durham before emptying into the North Sea.

The river's width varies along its length, ranging from just a few meters in some places to over 60 meters in others. One of the reasons that the River Tees is so popular with visitors is its natural beauty - it meanders through picturesque landscapes full of hills, valleys, forests and breathtaking views. Source and Mouth of the River:

The source of the River Tees can be found high up on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in Cumbria. The water then flows through a number of streams before joining together at Cow Green Reservoirs near Alston Moor. From there, it continues down to Middleton-in-Teesdale where it turns eastwards towards Barnard Castle before eventually emptying into the North Sea.


Surrounding Landscape:

The landscape surrounding the River Tees is varied and beautiful. In some areas, it passes through moorlands while other sections feature steep hillsides covered with dense forestation.

Numerous waterfalls can be found along its course too - High Force waterfall being one example which can be accessed via a pleasant walk from nearby Bowlees Visitor Centre. Additionally, there are many naturally occurring pools suitable for swimming such as those at Low Force near Bowlees Picnic Area or Whorlton Lido where visitors can cool off on hot days.

Wildlife and Biodiversity

Species that Inhabit the River


The River Tees is home to a variety of aquatic species, including Atlantic salmon, European eel, sea trout, and lamprey. These fish are important indicators of the health of the river ecosystem. In addition to fish, there are also a number of bird species that live along the riverbank such as grey herons and common sandpipers.

The river environment provides habitats for many other species including otters and water voles. However, not all species in the River Tees are native to the region.

Some invasive species like signal crayfish have been introduced and they can outcompete native crayfish for food resources which can disrupt entire ecosystems. Conservation efforts aim to address these issues by monitoring wildlife patterns and reducing human impact on the environment.

Importance of Conservation Efforts


Conservation efforts play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity in River Tees. For example, creating fish passes or ladders for salmon migration has helped boost populations while also improving water quality through more natural filtration processes.


Planting trees along riverbanks is another way conservationists work to reduce erosion which leads to sedimentation in rivers.

Additionally, conservationists work with local communities to raise awareness about environmental issues affecting River Tees such as pollution from industrial activities or littering around recreational areas. Through collaboration with schools or holding public workshops on environmental topics like river conservation and restoration techniques people gain a better understanding of ways they can contribute towards protecting our natural resources.

Overall it is clear that maintaining biodiversity is essential for our planet's sustainability as well as our own wellbeing- without healthy ecosystems we cannot survive! As such we must do everything we can within our power- both individually and collectively- to protect endangered wildlife populations whether they are found on land or water alike!


Historical significance in industrial revolution


River Tees played a vital role in the industrial revolution and was one of the key sites for the growth of Britain's manufacturing industry. The river served as a major transportation mode for coal, iron ore, and other raw materials needed by the growing industries in the region.

The industries that flourished along River Tees included steel making, shipbuilding, chemical manufacturing, and textile production. In 1825, River Tees became home to one of the world's first passenger railway lines.

The Stockton and Darlington Railway was built to transport coal from mines on the banks of River Tees to nearby towns. This railway line is still operational today and is considered one of the most important landmarks in industrial history.


Current industries along the river

Today, River Tees still plays a significant role in supporting various industries. Several large companies have set up shop along its banks including offshore oil rig construction yards and petrochemical plants. Many businesses also rely on its waters for transporting goods via cargo ships.

One notable industry is the steel-making industry which has seen significant growth over recent years due to investment from foreign companies such as Tata Steel Europe who took over British Steel's former operations at Redcar along with Liberty House who currently owns several mills on Thornaby-on-Tees.


The redevelopment of former steelworks sites into business parks has also given rise to many new businesses where operators can take advantage of good transport links with neighbouring cities like Newcastle or Leeds yet remain situated within easy reach for deliveries by sea or rail.

Bridges and Landmarks

Famous Bridges over River Tees


The River Tees is home to some of the most recognizable bridges in the UK. The most famous among them is probably the Transporter Bridge, which was built in 1911 and is still operational today. This iconic bridge spans the river, providing a unique perspective of the surrounding area.

The design of this bridge is truly one-of-a-kind, with its distinctive gondola that can transport cars and passengers across the river. Another notable bridge along River Tees is the Infinity Bridge, which opened in 2009.

This stunning pedestrian and cycle bridge connects Stockton-on-Tees to Thornaby-on-Tees. It’s aptly named Infinity due to its unique loop design that’s inspired by an infinity symbol.

Landmarks along the Riverbank


In addition to its famous bridges, there are plenty of landmarks along River Tees worth visiting for their historical or cultural significance. One such landmark is Middlesbrough Town Hall, which was built in 1889 and has been a symbol of civic pride ever since.

It’s an impressive building with a clock tower that can be seen from afar. If you’re interested in learning more about local history and culture, make sure you visit either Preston Park Museum or Captain Cook Birthplace Museum located on opposite sides of the riverbank near Stockton-on-Tees.

Preston Park Museum houses fascinating exhibits about local life through various centuries while Captain Cook Birthplace Museum offers insights into James Cook's life who sailed around New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii bringing with him knowledge which would shape geography as we know it today.


With these landmarks dotting both sides of this beautiful riverbank, there's always something new to discover while strolling along River Tees!

Recreation and Tourism

Get Hooked on Fishing and Kayaking


For those who love the great outdoors, River Tees offers a plethora of recreational activities. One of the most popular is fishing.

The river has a variety of fish species including salmon, sea trout, brown trout, grayling, dace, chub and roach. Anglers can be seen casting their lines in various parts of the river throughout the year.

Kayaking is another activity that is popular on River Tees. It is an exciting way to explore the river's nooks and crannies while admiring the beautiful landscape around it.

There are several companies in the area that offer kayaking tours for visitors. Some also rent out kayaks for those who prefer to embark on their own adventures.


Tourism Attractions Nearby: Durham Cathedral

Apart from recreational activities, there are several tourist attractions located near River Tees that are worth exploring. One such attraction is Durham Cathedral which sits majestically above River Wear in Durham City Centre.


It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to 1093 AD and showcases stunning Norman architecture.

The cathedral's nave stretches over 900 years back in time and has seen many significant events occur from weddings to funerals of major political figures like Thomas Langley who was Bishop of Durham during Henry V's reign. It contains beautiful stained glass windows depicting famous saints like St Cuthbert as well as stone carvings engraved by Medieval stonemasons.

River Tees has something for everyone whether you're looking for a peaceful fishing trip or an adrenaline-fueled kayaking adventure. Nearby attractions like Durham Cathedral add depth to your visit with its rich history and stunning architecture making it an all-around unforgettable experience when visiting Northeast England region.

Conclusion: The Rich History and Bright Future of River Tees


The River Tees is a significant landmark in the northeast region of England. Its historical importance in the industrial revolution cannot be understated, as it played a crucial role in transporting goods and materials across the country.

Today, it continues to play an essential role in local industry, supporting businesses along its banks that rely on its transportation and resources. The river also boasts an incredible diversity of wildlife and biodiversity - from salmon and otters to several species of birds.

It is no surprise that conservation efforts have been put in place to preserve this precious ecosystem for future generations to enjoy. Recreation and tourism opportunities abound as well, with plenty of activities available for outdoor enthusiasts such as kayaking or fishing.

There are also numerous tourist attractions nearby such as the historic Durham Cathedral. Overall, River Tees is a testament to the rich history and bright future of Northeast England.

It has played a significant role in shaping industry and commerce throughout history whilst being home to diverse range flora and fauna. As we look forward towards tomorrow let us appreciate how these natural resources have been preserved for our enjoyment today!