River Severn

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The River Severn

A Key Stage 2 Resource for Rivers and Coasts

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The River Severn at Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury is the first English town on the River Severn. The river forms a gigantic loop around the town making the town very vulnerable to flooding.

image: Shrewsbury
View of the River Seven from English Bridge

image: Shrewsbury
View of the River Seven from English Bridge

Notice now that the river banks on both sides of the river are man-made. Shrewsbury is the first place along the river course where the shape of the river channel is controlled on both sides. These vertical man-made banks enable the water to flow quicker through the town and prevent river bank erosion.

Flooding at Shrewsbury

The aim of the man-made river channel is to carry water through as quickly as possible so as to reduce the risk of flooding. However, the man-made banks here are not high enough to prevent flooding when heavy rain further up river causes an increase of water in the river.

The people of Shrewsbury needed to think of a way of protecting their town from flooding which didn't prevent them seeing the beautiful river at other times.

Since 2000, flood barriers along the river have helped control the flooding. The barriers are put up whenever there is a risk of flooding. The height of the barriers can be changed depending on how high the flood water is.

image: flood barriers
Flood defences at Frankwell car park, Shrewsbury

This demountable aluminium barrier is called 'the invisible defence'. Why do you think it is called that?

image barrier
The height of the barrier can be adjusted

More photos of the flooding in 2004 (external link)

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Key Vocabulary

The submerging with water of a normally dry area.

Flood barriers
Special structures built to prevent flooding


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