Severn Beach

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Severn Beach
Severn Beach foreshore.jpg
Severn Beach foreshore and
Second Severn Crossing
Severn Beach is located in Gloucestershire
Severn Beach
Severn Beach
Severn Beach shown within Gloucestershire
OS grid referenceST542848
Civil parish
  • Pilning and Severn Beach [1]
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBristol
Postcode districtBS35
Dialling code01454
PoliceAvon and Somerset
FireAvon
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Gloucestershire
51°33′30″N 2°39′30″W / 51.5583°N 2.6583°W / 51.5583; -2.6583Coordinates: 51°33′30″N 2°39′30″W / 51.5583°N 2.6583°W / 51.5583; -2.6583

Severn Beach is a village on the Severn Estuary in South Gloucestershire, England. The eastern portal of the Severn Tunnel is on the outskirts of the village. The Severn footpath – on the sea wall – is part of the Severn Way that leads from Gloucester, Slimbridge and the Second Severn Crossing. Extensive sea defences have been constructed in recent years and this provides a popular walkway along its length. Originally, the Severn Way finished at Severn Beach, but it has recently been extended to Bristol.[2][3]

The village is part of the Filton and Bradley Stoke Parliamentary constituency and is currently represented by the Conservative MP Jack Lopresti.

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, dozens of fun-fare stalls, donky rides (on grass) 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.

With its era as a holiday and pleasure resort ending in the 1970's, many of the shops have also closed however the convenience store and bakery still trade. Severn Beach has a Post Office at 103 Beach Road. 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. The Blue Lagoon swimming pool was demolished in the 1980's in favour of creating more open space and some housing. It was during this time that the train station was demolished to make way for new housing leaving just the platform.

Ecology[edit]

Dunlin, one of the many waders that winter on the Severn Estuary

The coastline at Severn Beach is a 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. 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. Severn Beach offers excellent conger fishing from the shore in the winter.[4][5][6]

Transport[edit]

Severn Beach has no through roads and is therefore free from heavy traffic. The village is currently once again served by buses of Wessex Connect on Monday to Saturday (the previous operator Severnside Transport having held the contract from 2015-2017) but with Stagecoach providing services on a Sunday. The village is close to the M4 motorway but not to any junction and it is necessary to travel several miles to reach the motorway network.

The village is at the terminus of the Severn Beach Line railway, with a small unstaffed station. Train services are operated by Great Western Railway, with average journey time between Severn Beach and Bristol Temple Meads being 41 minutes. The fastest journey time is 36 minutes. On an average weekday, there are 11 trains per day travelling from Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads with stops along the way at Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Pill and Clifton Down.

The line used to loop northwards to join the main Cardiff to Bristol line at Pilning railway station in the direction of Bristol, but this section was closed in 1964 and the trackbed has been built over.

Education[edit]

Primary education is provided by Severn Beach Primary School at Ableton Lane, Severn Beach. There are no senior schools in Severn Beach.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://psbpc.co.uk/
  2. ^ Tim. "The banks of the Severn estuary near... (C) Tim :: Geograph Britain and Ireland". geograph.org.uk. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  3. ^ David Gruar. "Reedbeds by the Severn estuary (C) David Gruar :: Geograph Britain and Ireland". geograph.org.uk. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  4. ^ Severnside Birds, The birds of the Severn Beach area website
  5. ^ Lancastle, Brian (1990) Seabirds in the upper Severn Estuary Avon Bird Report 1989
  6. ^ Severn Beach General History Archived 2006-12-05 at the Wayback Machine.