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Flow of the River Wyre

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Flow of the River Wyre

The River Wyre flows for over 28 miles, from where it rises in the heart of the Forest of Bowland, onto where it enters the sea at the port of Fleetwood. On a clear day it is possible to climb to Ward’s Stone at a height of 560 metres and in one vista see both its source and estuary.

The river has two distinct tributaries, the Tarnbrook Wyre and the Marshaw Wyre, whose confluence is near the village of Abbeystead. From here it flows through the communities of Scorton and Garstang, being crossed here by the Lancaster Canal. As it approaches the village of St. Michael's on Wyre it has been swelled by the River Brock and as it passes the under the narrow bridge in the village it becomes tidal. From here and until it has passes under the toll bridge at Little Eccelston, its course is controlled by earth embankments that have been built to prevent flooding, that had previously devastated the local communities. After Shard Bridge it opens out and passes the former ICI chemical works before entering the sea at Fleetwood.

Within its short length it changes from a clear fast flowing stream to a wide expanse of silt filled salt water. These changes are reflected in both the wild life and industries found along its course, which encapsulate the lives of those who live and work in the surrounding communities. At several times each year these communities come together to celebrate their traditions in a series of carnivals and country fayres.

Much of the land that surrounds the river has been threatened by flooding and during the summer of 2007 excessive rain fall caused devastation across the country. Events such as this are seen as a 1 in 100 year event. However many point towards global warming and predict that events such as these will become ever more frequent and will lead towards as rise in sea levels. Given the topography of the Flyde coast, an increase in sea levels by only 50cm would have a disastrous effect on the population of the Wyre.