Don't miss the photo gallery at the end of each post.

“I think I see the boar running!”

Local residents of the area near Arlingham. - WCF-7809.jpgWe were on a 7-mile, non-hilly walk with the Stroud Rambling Club when Geoff spotted the boar, at least that is what I thought. I quickly scanned the cliffs on opposite shore of the River Severn for what I expected would be wild pigs before I realized that what Geoff said was the “Bore” (of the Severn River), and that was a much more exciting prospect.

In the distance, the Nab or the cliffs near Newnham, and the bore - I could barely see it. - WCF-7787.jpgThe River Severn is special, because the Bristol Channel and its estuary form a huge funnel. Here the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the world, and can be as much as 15 m (approx. 50 ft). As the tide comes in, the funnel effect can cause a wave to form that travels for many miles up the river at about 10 miles per hour. It is one of Britain’s few truly spectacular natural phenomena.

The bore moving L to R - WCF-7794.jpgThe size and timing of the bore can depend on things as the time of high tide, the barometric pressure, the wind speed and direction, etc. When conditions are just right a bore can be up to two meters (six ft) in height, and is one of only three surfable tidal waves in the world. The current record is held by local surfer Steve King for his ride of 12.2 km (7.6 miles) in March 2006.

The bore moving L to R - WCF-7805.jpgOK, the bore we saw was not big. But we were impressed nonetheless. Some of our fellow hikers, life-long residents, had never seen it before so we felt lucky to be here at the right time . We could hear it well in advance of its actual arrival. And actually, we saw it twice as it traveled around some wide mud flats in the center of the channel. First the 6-18 inch high bore came around the shorter far side of the river first, and then a few moments later it made its way around the longer side. Meeting up near where we were looking down from the bank, the water from upstream was moving rapidly against the incoming tide creating turbulence and vortices.

And then it moved upstream and was gone.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Looks like a beautiful walk! I hope all is well in Florida.

  2. How special to be a witness to nature! Looking forward to seeing you later this month.

  3. How interesting. Thanks for sharing. I was expecting to see a boar and compare it to the wild hogs we have here.

    1. LOL, I was too.

  4. I’m learning so much!

  5. Great read!

  6. Wow! Does anyone ever try surfing? Really interesting.

    1. Missy, there is a link in the post that covers this very well:
      Of course, the bore we saw was pretty small, but when it gets big …

      1. Way cool ! It’s kinda funny about the place that Cary Grant was from can have surfable waves during a certain time. I love that!

  7. Very cool story. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.