Paxman T.V. documentary focused on meandering Mersey
Screened weekly and titled simply “Rivers”, Paxman followed the Mersey from source to sea discovering many unknown facettes of the river. The river and ship canal featured greatly with fabulous aerial shots of the rivers meanders taken from over Woolston eyes and from the deck of a rowing club rigid inflatable safety boat.
Following a training session out on the water Paxman was impressed with the rowing clubs use of the river from Kingsway Bridge and upstream around the winding course surrounding Paddington Meadows; the area was refered to as Warrington’s undiscovered waterscape.
Paddington Meadows river meanders
The river was originally a part of the Mersey and Irwell Navigation with trade carried in barges known as Mersey Flats regularly navigating around these tricky tight bends.
Little used as a navigation after 1821 when the New Cut Canal was opened the river, its banks have been left to return to nature enhanced by the steep man-made earth works surrounding the settling ground for silt dredged from the ship canal.
A recent bird survey identified 31 different species early one morning in March, most notably the formerly rare Cetti`s Warbler, along with the amber listed Reed Bunting (28) and a splendid Kingfisher, whilst Buzzards, Sparrowhawks and Kestrels were looking for prey.
Access to this part of the river is by Paddington Lock or New Cut Lane on the north bank and Kingsway Bridge on the southern side.
Improving facilities and access
Working in conjunction with Warrington Borough Council and the Environment Agency facilities and access for the public have been improved. Recently picnic benches and information boards have been installed. Discussions are on going on the condition of the access to the meadows at Paddington Lock which will involve a separate landowner and rights of way legalities.
Ian Johnson (Chairman – New Cut Heritage group) said “It was wonderful to see our river feature so well in a prime time documentary especially with a presenter with the reputation of Paxman. The group has worked well with local authorities to improve access and there are more improvement we are working on. Warrington has a unique place in transport history and the generation of new wildlife habitats over the past few decades is also now being recognised nationally.
Contact details group are as follows: