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Film: Bikepacking Slymefoot Slide Highlights Importance of River Health

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Descent World’s latest film follows a team of bikepackers as they take a three-day exploratory journey through the vast open spaces of Northumberland, on a route that takes in the meandering tributaries of two of England’s healthier rivers; the Breamish and Coquet. Though these two cling on to good ecological health, in the wider context of river health in England reveals they are, sadly, in the minority. 

fishing breamish coquet rivers slymefoot slide bikepacking route northumberland

From Descent World

The rivers that cut paths through our land are the arteries that connect us to the wider world. From birth, we learn to love these meandering and glistening wonders that our very civilisation was found upon. Yet, English rivers, that form such a romantic and integral part of our psyche are being slowly suffocated by a potent mix of nutrients, sewage, interference and gross mis-management. They are dying, and with their death the very wonders that capture our imagination and sustain our lives will be lost forever. 

Here, in Rural Northumberland, two rivers cling on to their health with a tenacity that is reflected by the communities who would seek to preserve their lives. Both the river Breamish and Coquet take their places in the last 14% of English rivers that maintain good ecological health. Yet they themselves are vulnerable, like every river in England, failing their chemical test in 2019. 

The upper reaches of these rivers are where were headed on an exploratory, 3 day bike packing trip through the Northumberland national park, in search of clean water, healthy fish, and experiences that are increasingly rare in a polluted nation. 

This film was made possible by Komoot, Scott and Wahoo. The team have made the Slymefoot Slide available on Komoot for anyone also keen to explore the Coquet and Breamish by bike.

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