River Severn

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The River Severn

A Key Stage 2 Resource for Rivers and Coasts

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The Severn Barrage

A 10-mile barrage across the Severn is among five projects on a shortlist of potential schemes to harness the tidal power of the estuary. The 10-mile long barrage (dam) would be built across the River Severn, between , Wales, and Brean Down in Somerset, England.

image: Mouth of the Severn
The proposed place for a barrage
A barrage placed here could generate up to 8GW - 5% of the UK's energy needs

The barrage would make electricity by harnessing the power of the tide. The River Severn has a tidal range of 14 metres - the second highest in the world - making it perfect for tidal power generated electricity.

Building a barrage across the Severn Estuary has good and bad points

After reading the following key facts, decide for yourself whether you think the barrage should be built on not.

  • The barrage could generate up to 8GW - 5% of the UK's energy needs
  • The barrage could seriously affect birds that live on the mud. According to British Trust for Ornithology, the estuary supports 62,500 wading birds.
  • The barrage would block the migration routes of countless fish.
  • The barrage could be used for flood prevention to stop storm surge effects at High tides.
  • The barrage would make electricity without causing pollution
  • The barrage would cost ¬£23bn to build.

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