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Tees Barrage

Tees Barrage & Portrack Marsh

Explore the Tees Barrage and scenic Portrack Marsh in this digital trail. Can you find all the points-of-interest in the area?

Stockton , Stockton-on-Tees , TS18 2QW

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Portrack Marsh Entrance

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Portrack Marsh Sign

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Barrage Bandstand

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The Anchor

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The Queen

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Navigation Lock

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Cycle Route

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The Seals

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Archimedes

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The Sails

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Dipping Pond

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Watersports Centre

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The Talpore

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Portrack Marsh Entrance

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To the east of the white water course, close to The Talpore, you'll find the entrance to Portrack Marsh.
Just through the entrance (near the boardwalk) is a square metal 'rubbing post'. What is the name of the weed on the design?
One word
Did you know that Portrack Marsh is one of the area’s most important wildlife sites?
Portrack Marsh is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of the variety of wading birds it attracts each year, along with being home to mammals, amphibians, insects and wildflowers.
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Portrack Marsh Sign

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By the river, and to the east of the white water course is another entrance to Portrack Marsh.
What is the name of the path that can be found on the nearby sign?
Two words
Portrack Marsh was once on the south side of the river, located in a slow and shallow meander that looped northwards. However, the river was modified in 1831 for easier navigation of ships and this land now lies north of the Tees.
Portrack Marsh is the last remaining wetland on the lower Tees. The nature reserve has a number of ponds, some are relatively shallow and some deep. In the north-east and far west of the reserve are areas of grassland.
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Barrage Bandstand

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Head to the island in the centre of the white water course.
How many flagpoles can be found by the bandstand?
Number
Did you know that the Tees Barrage white water course was used to film scenes for the award-wining Hollywood film 1917?
Crews arrised at Tees Barrage to film a scene where actor George MacKay jumps into a river in France and is flung over rapids and a waterfall.
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The Anchor

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Close to the barrage and the Air Trail you'll find a large anchor.
On an ornate signpost nearby find the NCN (National Cycle Network) number for the Teesdale Way.
Number
Did you know what there are two manmade changes to the course of the river? These changes made the river shorter and straigher, easier for ships to pass.
The first course change (known as a 'cut') was the Mandale Cut, completed in 1810, removed a southern meander which loops around Teesside Park. The second change was the Portrack Cut in 1831, which removed a northern meander.
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The Queen

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Under the bridge search for a plaque referencing H.M. Queen Elizabeth II.
On which day in July 2012 did her majesty the queen commemorate the opening of the white water course?
Number
In 2012 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the redeveloped Tees Barrage white water course.
The barrage and course were originally completed in 1995 before the course underwent a £4.6m redevelopment in 2012. The improvements made the site a world class training facility which became as a training camp location for the 2012 Olympic games.
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Navigation Lock

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On the south-side of the river you'll find Navigation Lock.
On the information board about the lock which part corresponds to number 7 (red triangle)?
Two words
Did you know a Fish Pass (a route for fish around an artificial barrier in the river) runs alongside the barrage?
Salmon, sea trout, and other species of fish follow their migration routes using the fish pass. However, this bottleneck became an opportunity for predation by grey and common Seals. Additional fish passes have been created, along with a series of upgrades, to make the route safer for fish.
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Cycle Route

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Between the bridge and the watersports centre to the west you'll find an ornate cycle marker.
On the marker find how many miles are between here and Sunderland.
Number
Route 1 is a 1,246 mile route from Scotland to Dover. It frequently hugs the east coast, offering fantastic views of dramatic coastline and castles.
The National Cycle Network (NCN) route 1 the only NCN route over 1000 miles long.
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The Seals

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By the river and just to the east-side of the barrage is an area containing picnic benches and information boards.
On the information board titled 'Harbour Seal' find how many Seal pups were born in 2016.
Number
The Tees Barrage consists of four huge 'fish belly' gates, each weighing 50 tonnes.
In 2015 maintenance work allowed for the opportunity to invite the public to step onto the riverbed and see the barrage in a new way.
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Archimedes

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On the path just down from the main car park (close to some steps) you'll find an information board about the work of Archimedes.
Which white water course is listed at number 5 on the information board?
Two words
Archimedes screws are an amazing invention that transport water uphill, or upstream in this case. The Tees Barrage white water course is a complex feat of engineering which can be operated in three ways; Gravity mode, Pumped mode, and Generation mode.
Gravity mode and Generation mode are low-tide options, whereas Pumped mode is for use during high tide. for more information visit the Tees Barrage International White Water Course website.
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The Sails

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Close to the main car park is a large metal sculpture called 'The Sails'.
How many red 'sails' are on the sculpture?
Number
Have you heard of Peg Powler, the hag who inhabits the River Tees?
The water spirit is part of the regions folklore. Peg Powler is said to drag children into the water to stray too close to the edge. She is one of a number of mythical creatures rumoured to dwell by the Tees.
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Dipping Pond

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On the south-bank, near the Navigation Lock, is a small area containing the Dipping Pond.
What colour is the semi-buried boat close to the Dipping Pond?
One word
The Dipping Pond was created in 2016 on an area that was neglected wasteland for over 20 years.
Did you know the driftwood piled up by the roadside is free for the public to collect and use?
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Watersports Centre

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A short walk west of the barrage is the Watersports Centre.
On the information board titled 'Welcome to Tees Barrage International White Water' which activity is listed at number 5 under the key?
Two words
Close to this spot there was once a small island known locally as Jenny Mills Island, accessible by a small wooden footbridge. It was named after Jenny Mills who lived in a lone cottage on the island, located in a glade surrounded by trees
The exact location of the island is unknown but it is described as being close to Stockton (possibly the closest island to Stockton in the plan). It is believed the island was lost during altercations to the river by industry.
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The Talpore

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On the footpath overlooking the barrage (near some trees) find an information board titled 'Welcome to Tees Barrage'.
What is the name of the western-most bridge on the illustrated diagram?
Four words
The Talpore is named after a ship of the same name, built in one of the many shipyards once located on the River Tees.
Built in 1861 the Talpore is one of the most significant ships to have been built on Teesside. The huge vessel was the largest river steamer of its day. Built in Stockton by Pearce, Lockwood & Co., Talpore was built as a ‘troop’ ship, to transport soldiers on the River Indus in India.

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