Finding a Love for Freshwater
A Westcountry River Story
Assistant Aquatic Surveyor
I moved to England from my home in a big city, having grown up far from wildlife, to study marine biology, because I loved the sea. Unbeknown to me I would fall in love with another water body: rivers. I joined the canoe club at university because I was curious, having never canoed before.
They took me on my first ever river trip a few weeks later: the River Dart. I still remember the deep fear I felt as I watched the swirling, peaty coloured water lapping around rocks from the bank. I plucked up what little courage I had, got into my kayak, and started my journey. I have never seen or experienced wildlife that way before, journeying down a river, feeling like the only person in the world. My friends pointed out ducks, tucked in behind rocks in the middle of rapids. There were birds in the trees and nothing but the sound of animals and rushing water. It was magical, it was true love.