The river Tees is one of the most important rivers in the United Kingdom and it is absolutely fascinating to learn about! Read on to find out what makes this river so special and so interesting…
Interesting Facts About The River Tees
Did you know River Tees is the longest-flowing river in Yorkshire? It is 85 miles long, flowing through stunning landscapes, and rich ecosystems.
From high-force waterfalls accompanying unique rock types to U-shaped valleys, the River Tees has a lot to offer to its visitors. Here are 13 fascinating facts about River Tees that will make you want to visit the site.
1. Tees Head- The River Tees Starting Point
Tees Head is the starting point of the River Tees. One fascinating feature of Tees Head is that it is situated at a tremendous elevation of 750 meters above sea level.
Tees Head gathers its water from natural springs and streams which form together as a water source for the river. The site of Tees Head has historical significance leading back to the Romans. Additionally, back in the 20th century, it was used as a transportation route for industrial development.
The water source has rich biodiversity surrounding it. It hosts flora, fauna, and other unique plant species that adapted to the environment. Since Tees Head is situated at a great height, it offers spectacular views for hikers and nature enthusiasts to explore.
2. Barnard Castle- River Tees’s Cultural Heritage
Barnard Castle is a popular cultural heritage site located north of River Tees. This castle is situated on a high rock above the river and is a symbol of medieval history.
The River Tees flows right through the middle of the Barnard castle enhancing the beauty of the place. In addition, the river is a vital source for the town since it is the primary water source. It also holds economic significance as it is used as a route for transportation and trading.
The supporting environment is home to diverse ecosystems, lush greenery, and serene waters. Moreover, River Tees is appreciated by the people by hosting events and exhibitions. Its ethereal beauty has captivated numerous authors, poets, and artists.
3. Tees Valley Wildlife Trust- Nature Reserves of River Tees
The Tees Valley Wildlife Trust is a nature reserve that is located on the River Tees. Since the river is inhabited by rare fauna and wildlife, this trust takes precautionary measures to protect nature.
The wetlands created by the trust include marshes, ponds and reed beds that are home to rare birds like waterfowl. In addition, migratory birds also stay at this wetland making it a prime spot for bird watchers to admire them from a distance.
Apart from wetlands, it also reserves woodlands that include grasslands, meadows, and forests which are home to diverse fauna species. There are also wildflowers and orchids that are known for producing sweet nectar to attract butterflies. You will also find mammals like deer and squirrels wandering around the land.
To maintain a safe space for nature’s creation and to provide tourists with opportunities to spot rare wildlife, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust has created walking trails. Enjoy the picturesque landscape and serene nature by following the guidelines.
4. High Force Waterfall- Largest Waterfall in the UK
High Force Waterfall is the largest single-drop waterfall in the United Kingdom. Located in the Pennine, the water drops at a tremendous height of 70 feet with a thunderous roar.
Moreover, the waterfall is formed of three different rock types. The primary rock type is whinstone or dolerite, followed by carboniferous limestone. In between these two rocks is a thin layer of carboniferous sandstone.
Additionally, the waterfall was formed as a result of a geological formation called Whin Sill. This phenomenon resulted in a vertical shape on which River Tees flows with high force. The waterfall is a picture of divine beauty with clear water falling surrounded by lush greenery and rugged rocks.
The waterfall surrounds rich biodiversity from ferns and mosses to otters and dippers all inhabiting the High Force Waterfall. Moreover, there are pathways situated near the waterfall to experience the water drop and surrounding landscape at various angles.
5. River Tees Newport Bridge- Unique Transporter Bridge
The Tees Newport Bridge is one of the few remaining transported bridges used for carrying gondolas transporting vehicles across the River Tees. It was created in 1911 and was functional in 1911.
The main purpose of this bridge was to connect two industrial areas of Port Clarence and Middlesbrough. Another unique functionality of this bridge is that it can also transport passengers alongside cars across the river.
Given its architectural excellence and its historical significance, it was awarded Grade II Listed status to keep it preserved for future generations. While the River Tees Newport Bridge is a significant site for industrial locations, it also offers tourists a chance to explore the stunning landscape, and busy industrial sites to experience the culture.
6. High Cup Nick- A Glacial Valley
Ever heard of a U-shaped valley? Let me tell you about the High Cup Nick also known as High Cup Gill Valley of River Tees. It is located on the upper side of River Tees, more specifically in Cumbria.
This awe-inspiring valley was carved in the Ice Age as a result of glacier erosion. In High Cup Nick Valley, the slopes are steep with a combination of towering cliffs offering breathtaking panoramic views of the deep valley below.
Moreover, the valley is truly a symbol of divine nature. The ends are covered with dense grass and diverse wildflowers, ferns, etc adding vibrance and colour, enhancing the beauty of this unique valley.
In addition, the towering cliff is an open invitation for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers to explore the valley and enjoy serene sunrises and sunsets. The valley also supports a long-distance footpath known as Pennine Way, which offers walkers to experience the beautiful landscape firsthand.
7. Tees Port- Major Port of River Tees
Teesport is the third largest seaport in the UK situated on the River Tees. It covers approximately an area of 490 acres and is widely used for trade. Teesport handles above 56 million tonnes of cargo on 6000 ships at the moment.
Moreover, the port also offers a direct route for international shipments and has a well-built road and rail system. The Teesport on River Tees has a significant impact on the economy and supports thousands of jobs in the shipping industry.
In addition, to be considerate of the environment and protect the water habitat and wildlife of River Tees, the port has taken protective measures. It has also worked towards implementing renewable projects to save energy.
8. Estuarine Ecosystem- The River Tees Estuary
The estuary is a broad coastal area near the end of the River Tees as it mixes with the North Sea. It holds diverse habitats from mudflats, sandbanks, sand dunes, etc. In addition, the estuary brings an excess of nutrient-rich water as a result of receiving tidal force from the North Sea.
Moreover, the change in water dynamics gives rise to a rich and diverse ecosystem. It is home to unique bird species like geese, waders, and ducks that migrate to this estuary for mating and feeding.
The estuary also holds industrial importance since it is a supporting link between different industries. In addition, Nature Reserves Trusts are also designated to protect the rare ecosystem of River Tees in the estuary. Besides being a habitat for unique wildlife it offers stunning views of the landscape to the visitors exploring the area.
9. River Tees Barrage- International White Water Center
The Tees Barrage International White Water Centre is an outdoor water sports course owned by the Canal and Water Trust. The barrage is constructed as a barrier against high water levels. It also maintains water levels during high tides to prevent flooding conditions.
Moreover, it is a prime location for enjoying water activities. You can explore activities like kayaking, canoeing, along with other sports. The center also coordinates several competitions and trainings like canoe competitions.
In addition, it has something for every age group. The center offers educational sessions and practices so everyone can be included in these activities. Since the barrage is built on River Tees, it is also beneficial in protecting water species like migratory fishes and other species like flora and fauna.
10. Yarm Viaduct Bridge- Grade I Listed Historic Asset
Yarm Viaduct Bridge holds great historic significance and architectural excellence surrounding River Tees. Did you know Yarm Viaduct was not considered a bridge instead it was built as a part of a railway?
This bridge was vital in connecting the two industrial cities of Stockton and Darlington. Besides, the Yarm bridge is one of a kind, being 45 feet tall and having 43 arches with a pleasing combination of iron and stone.
Given its rich history and intricate detailing on the bridge it is recognised as a Grade I Listed historic asset. This honor will always keep it protected and renovated for it to last many generations ahead. Moreover, the bridge is a great tourist spot providing serene views of River Tees and the surrounding town of Yarm.
11. Egglestone Abbey Bridge- An Ancient Vehicle Bridge
Egglestone Abbey Bridge also known as Abbey Bridge is an ancient vehicular bridge, situated above the River Tees. It was created in the 1700s to transport horse carriages and other vehicles.
Later it was renovated in the 18th century to accommodate new transportation. Currently, it transports vehicles and pedestrians. Its considerate design makes it safe and convenient for everyone, connecting two villages together.
Moreover, since it is built on River Tees, it is a prime spot for photographers, and tourists to observe the tranquil beauty of the clear water and surrounding landscapes from the top.
12. Multiple Tributaries Join River Tees
The River Tees is formed of multiple river branches that contribute to its ecological diversity and add strength to the flow of the primary river. Some of the major tributaries include River Greta, River Lune, River Balder, and River Leven.
In addition, these rivers join at different points spanning from the source of River Tees to its mouth at Middlesbrough. In fact, these multiple river branches bring with them a diverse environment and rich ecosystems as it joins River Tees.
The shift in the environment of moorlands, meadows, and forests supports a combination of different plant and animal species, surrounding the river’s route.
Another benefit of these river branches is that it forms a drainage area that collects additional water from rain and other running water, which increases the flow and quantity of the River Tees.
Moreover, the junction of these rivers holds numerous opportunities for tourists. These river branches are known for their excess salmon and trout species, making them a hot spot for fish enthusiasts.
13. Teesdale Way- A Long Distance Footpath
Teesdale Way is a long-distance footpath that has been created above the River Tees bank. Being 100 miles long it follows through the course of Teesdale, showcasing scenic landscapes and stunning cultural heritage of River Tees.
Moreover, the Teesdale Way is a great opportunity for walkers to observe the diverse scenery change as they pass through the land. From bumpy moorlands, peaceful meadows, and unique valleys to dense forests, the shift in scenery will leave you awestruck for a long time.
In addition, Teesdale Way is designed in short sections to allow tourists to change routes for a different experience. You can stop at one route and take another if you want to explore different activities like hiking or sightseeing.
Besides, this pathway stretches through land that covers many historical and cultural places like castles, local markets, bridges, houses, etc. Since the pathways offer a riverside journey, you will also get to see the diverse wildlife. From kingfishers, dippers to otters, River Tees is home to many species.
River Tees is a breathtaking river comprising multiple small branches. Each tributary holds a diverse landscape, inhabits rare species, and provides countless sites to admire. This 85-mile river carries mighty waterfalls to towering bridges, being both historically and economically important.
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