Rivers in the Vale of Pickering

The Vale of Pickering is a place of many watercourses. Some are ‘proper’ rivers, in name and in habit – all wiggly meanders, pools and riffles, natural banks. Others rather blur the distinction between a river and a drainage channel. A cursory glance at a map will reveal there are many alternative names for watercourses and drainage ditches in the Vale, including Becks, Dykes, Cuts, Drains and Delphs. In Yorkshire a beck is another name for a river or stream. Many of the settlements peripheral to the Vale of Pickering have their own beck, indeed it may have played a defining role in the formation of settlements in ancient times. How many rivers do you know in the Vale? Can you name any of the becks? What about the drainage channels? Some carry as much flow as a river and are just as important for drainage.

Here are a few examples:

‘Rivers’ – River Hertford, River Derwent, River Rye, River Seven, River Dove, River Riccal…

‘Becks’ – Pickering Beck, Costa Beck, Thornton Beck, Scampston Beck, Rillington Beck, Wintringham Beck, Holbeck, Hodgebeck, Brompton Beck, Ruston Beck, Beedale Beck, Weldale Beck, Cripple Beck, Difford Beck, Ellis Beck, Marrs Beck…

‘Drainage ditches’ – Loder’s Carr Drain, Pry End Drain, Black, Dike, New Dike, Double Dikes, Red Bridge Sewer, Sherburn Cut, Twelve Foot Cut, South Delph…

I suspect that whilst many people are aware that the Vale of Pickering is a floodplain, few are aware just how many watercourses there are, natural and made by human hand.

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One thought on “Rivers in the Vale of Pickering

  1. Pingback: Carrs Wetland -What’s in a Name? | The Carrs Wetland Project

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