Rivers are Remarkable

Sue Nethercott
8 min readSep 24, 2023

Sunday 24 September is World Rivers Day, a time to appreciate our waterways and to resolve to preserve them.

Stream with trees either side
Haldon Woods, May 1990 by Sue Nethercott

When I was a child we used to spend a lot of time in the summers wading in the beautiful clear little stream behind our house, building partial dams and tickling for trout and bullheads and generally investigating the wildlife that lived in it. It was an idyllic time, except when someone upstream who had broken the law and directed their sewage output into the stream pulled the chain. And, fed from Exmoor, there were times when it turned from a beautiful little stream into a dangerously raging torrent. I don’t recall it ever completely drying up even in the driest of summers, however, and it was a great place to cool off.

Not every river was clean then, of course. Industry made its mark. In my area in the small town next to the sea, the river often took on strong colours thanks to the local print works.

Perhaps you had a stream to play in when you were a child, or watched boats going by on a major river.

Perhaps the pristine stream or river you knew then is polluted now — by fertiliser runoff, increased sewage or industrial pollution due to population growth. Or maybe it has been built over or straightened with concrete sides.



Sue Nethercott

Open University BA, UMIST MSc, OU BSc Environmental Studies. Interests: environment, COVID19. Double #ostomate. Thom Hartmann’s newsletter editor. Views my own.