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River Hertford

Waterway
Waterway name
River Hertford
Information
Information

The River Hertford lies in the Vale of Pickering, a significant landscape area bordered by the Yorkshire Wolds in the south and the North York Moors in the North. The river rises near Muston and flows westward (away from the sea) to its confluence with the River Derwent at Haybridge.


The Vale of Pickering is largely low lying drained land on which an extensive network of drains and ditches run in to the River Derwent and River Hertford. Both rivers have historically been extensively straightened and canalised. The land in the vale is primarily farmland that is peaty in character, and supports significant levels of biodiversity. 


Where drainage is effective, agricultural land values are high, leading to a strong perception of the Vale as an important ‘breadbasket’ of Yorkshire. Seasonal flooding is commonplace and affects cropping.


A series of farm stewardship schemes allied to the Cayton and Flixton Carrs Wetland Project are restoring wet grassland pasture around the River Hertford to benefit breeding wading birds. Unusually, the river is a ‘backward flowing river’, going away from the sea, a change brought about in the last glacial period.


The River Hertford was recently demained from ‘Main River’ status by the Environment Agency, and is now under the management of Muston & Yedingham Internal Drainage Board. A new programme of channel maintenance was implemented following the handover.


Star Carr, an internationally significant prehistoric settlement site lying close to the waterway, has recently been scheduled. Archaeological investigations are ongoing, led by the University of York, that have revealed extensive organic remains (bone, antler, worked wood etc) and the site of Britain’s oldest house.

River Hertford (Tim Burkinshaw)
River Hertford (Tim Burkinshaw)
River Hertford (J Thomas)
River Hertford (J Thomas)
Location
SCARBOROUGH
YO13 9QX
United Kingdom