Sunday, July 4, 2021

The Geography of Amberleigh Series, Part 1

 26th June 

The River Farrow 

The Farrow River, a free flowing river, west of the town of Cheltenham, is one of the many tributaries of the Severn River. Originating near Sudeley Castle, the river wends its way southward, its most ample course passing by the Village of Amberleigh at a depth of 15 feet, finally its mouth is at Lake Eage. Along the way, it is home to various mills, provides a venue for local boat travel and fishing as well as being a means for transporting goods.

The River boasts a large island, Cutty Island, at its widest point which lies just beyond Carson’s Mill which is a popular pic nic destination in the warmer months. Mandarin Ducks use the island as their nesting ground as do other water fowl of the area. Row boats may be rented to visit the island from the Saxton family whose land is beyond that of Carson’s Mill.

Many of the larger houses and estates abutting the river, have pleasure crafts which they keep in boat sheds at the river’s edge. It is not uncommon to see several boats out on the water in the warmer months, for it is swifter travel and less bumptious than a coach journey.

Fishing rights are owned by many of the homeowners along the river, these stretches are private, not open to publish fishing, however, St. Hildegard’s Church Glebe runs down to the river and permission to fish there is graciously granted by the Vicar upon inquiry. Brown Trout is abundant in the river and salmon may also be sourced. Coarse fishermen will find stone loach, carp and dace in the river.

Near Belleville, there is a small area of natural beauty with a waterfall. The name Scur has been attributed to the falls, an Old English word meaning light rain or shower, but the source of that name is unknown. The small waterfall has an outcrop of rocks to each side which taper down to a small pebbled area where children often paddle or look for salamanders and frogs.

The Farrow River is a central part of life in this area of Gloucestershire, many depending upon it for their livelihood, while others use it as a means of relaxation for boating and fishing. The River provides nesting places for indigenous birds and waterfowl as well as small animals such as otters. It is all important for the residents and wildlife who reside along its banks.

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