The Guardian takes a canoeing trip on The Severn in Shrewsbury
While the Wye struggles with pollution, an overnight paddle and camping trip in Shropshire points the way to a gentle wildlife revival alongside England’s longest river.
I meet Kieran and Danni of Hire-a-Canoe at Montford Bridge, a small village 12 miles upriver from Shrewsbury and the site of the first bridge designed by Thomas Telford, a three-arch red sandstone beauty that still stands, the first of more than 1,000 bridges he worked on. We push off and are soon rolling comfortably downstream without much effort. Swans and goosanders with chicks scuttle up the margins to avoid us, the air is thick with demoiselle dragonflies, more than I have ever seen, and soon with thick beds of water-crowfoot.