Severn Beach

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Coordinates: 51°33′30″N 2°39′30″W / 51.5583°N 2.6583°W / 51.5583; -2.6583

Severn Beach
Severn Beach foreshore.jpg
The foreshore at Severn Beach, with the Second Severn Crossing in the background.
Severn Beach is located in Gloucestershire
Severn Beach
Severn Beach
 Severn Beach shown within Gloucestershire
OS grid reference ST542848
Civil parish Pilning and Severn Beach
Unitary authority South Gloucestershire
Ceremonial county Gloucestershire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Bristol
Postcode district BS35
Dialling code 01454
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Avon
Ambulance Great Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Filton and Bradley Stoke
List of places
UK
England
Gloucestershire

Severn Beach is a village on the mouth of the river Severn in South Gloucestershire, England. A riverside footpath, which is part of the Severn Way, leads beneath the Second Severn Crossing bridge. The eastern portal of the Severn Tunnel lies on the outskirts of the village.

History[edit]

Severn Beach only existed as a farm until Great Western Railway linked Pilning and Avonmouth in 1900. The railway saw the possibilities of development now that trains passed through the area and in 1922 the village was created as a seaside resort with a swimming pool called the "Blue Lagoon", a boating lake and the Beach Comber Strip Club, mostly by local entrepreneur Robert Stride. Many people came from nearby Bristol because Severn Beach had less strict licensing laws.

In recent years many of the shops have closed but the post office, convenience store and bakery still trade. The village pub was demolished to make way for housing. The village is moving towards "commuter town" status, with people using its rail and road links to work in Bristol and elsewhere.

Severn Beach used to have a popular swimming pool which has been demolished in favour of an open space and some housing.

Transport[edit]

The village is at the end of the Severn Beach Line railway, with a small unstaffed station. The line used to loop northwards to join the main Cardiff-Bristol line at Pilning in the direction of Bristol, but this section was closed in 1964 and the trackbed has been built over.

The village is served by buses of Wessex Connect.

Although the village is next to the motorway, residents have to travel several miles before they can access either bridge. Since there is no motorway junction at the village, Severn Beach remains free of heavy traffic.

Ecology[edit]

The coastline is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and has a diverse range of wildlife, varying from seals to Peregrine Falcons. There have been more than 251 species of bird recorded in the Severn Beach area and it is of international importance for migrating and wintering birds.[1] [2]

As of 1990, 28 species of seabird had been recorded in the Severn Beach/New Passage area, including Sooty and Balearic shearwaters, all four Northern Hemisphere skuas, seven species of tern and four species of alcid.[3]

Severn Beach offers excellent conger fishing from the shore in the winter and views of the River Severn and the two bridges that cross it.

Cultural references[edit]

Adge Cutler of The Wurzels wrote a song called "Aloha Severn Beach".

The BBC1 TV drama Shoestring filmed at the Blue Lagoon Swimming Pool.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Severnside Birds, The birds of the Severn Beach area website
  2. ^ Severn Beach General History
  3. ^ Lancastle, Brian (1990) Seabirds in the upper Severn Estuary Avon Bird Report 1989