THE RIVER TEIGN
The River Teign is about 30 miles long from where it rises on Dartmoor near Cranmere Pool west of Chagford, and reaching the sea at Teignmouth on the South Devon coast.
The river skirts the northern side of the moor, flowing down a steep-sided valley and then follows a southwards path along the eastern edge of Dartmoor.
The form of this waterway varies all along its path, providing in it’s tidal parts near Newton Abbot down to the Estuary mouth at Teignmouth and Shaldon, mudflats ,which provide birds, and an array of wildlife, an all year round habitat.This particular part also supports the local shellfishermen, who have worked here for generations.
Birdlife includes a recent established colony of White Egrets, along with various herons, kingfishers, dippers, grey wagtails and mallards, Shell Ducks appear in large numbers during the Winter, along with cormorants and goosanders. Swans nest and breed along the edge of the Race Course at Newton Abbot and appear downstream to be fed by local people in Shaldon.
Other species in the heathland up river are birds such as the Nightjar, and the farmland has Cirl buntings, Woodlarks and Skylarks;-these can be heard in the early evening - while butterflies and orchids can be seen when walking in meadow areas.
Salmon can be seen leaping at Drewe's Weir –and a few local Fishermen are licensed to net them in season from Shaldon’s estuary Beaches. Dragonflies of various hues and sizes and rare water beetles can be spotted.
A large part of the Teign Valley has been scarred by clay pits which dominate parts of the landscape. This has been a vital part of local livelihoods and the economy of the area. Exporting high grade mineral/ granite and limestone – this industry was the main reason for the development of Teignmouth Docks.
Originally minerals were transported down the Teign to the port – which has existed since the 13th century. Navigating the river was very difficult, then in the 1790s, James Templer built the Stover Canal from Ventiford to Jetty Marsh in Newton Abbot –where you can still clearly see the entrance, to carry minerals down to the river and into the Port.
The village of Shaldon, lies on the opposite bank of the estuary to Teignmouth. There's a passenger ferry linking Shaldon&Teignmouth which runs almost every day.
The first proper bridge built in 1823, was replaced by the existing Shaldon Bridge in 1931. It was strengthened a few years ago to allow for the increasing traffic.
The Teign Valley is one of Devon's most beautiful areas, and it has many little hamlets such as Trusham and Hennock.
England's highest waterfall - the 220ft Canonteign Falls, cascades down a gorge into the River Teign, and is open for visitors to explore most of the year.
The River finishes it’s life in the tidal basin enclosed by Teignmouth Port and Shaldon, where the ever changing tides provide clean beaches, and a sheltered area for families to enjoy the busy spectacle that a harbour provides.
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