Streams of Natural Law Diaries : No. 3 : Hereford and the River Wye

The latest instalment in our Streams of Natural Law Diaries, is Hereford and the River Wye, home to the Mappa Mundi in addition to another copy of the 1217 Magna Carta. As we walk beside the stream, we uncover the plight of the Wye river and the history buried beneath this ancient city!

To launch our film, book and recording of Dreams of Peace & Freedom : The Humans in the Telling and preview forthcoming performances, we are walking streams of natural law in the UK. Visit our multi-media hub at www.thehumansinthetelling.org.

HEREFORD & THE RIVER WYE

As we wandered along the banks of the Wye in Hereford on a hot sunny Sunday, we came across a group of peaceful musical climate change protestors, taking up the river song and providing a moving soundtrack to our walk.

Wye is the river low today?
Its' vigorous progress ebbed away
To melancholy protest song
Which bubbles as it flows along
Past paddlers, bathers, angling floats
And folks with nets or makeshift boats
When all these freedoms are no more 
And quiet descends, they can't ignore 
The murmur of the river's song
But join in as it trickles on
Until their voice is one great wave
For now there is a world to save
While river runs it's not yet dry
Now is the time to wonder Wye

Sue Casson

Next stop on our Magna Carta tour was Hereford, which in addition to the Mappa Mundi, a unique map on calfskin vellum showing the known world as it was believed to be around 1300, is home to another 1217 copy of the Magna Carta. Both are on display both in the cathedral and online.

The sun beat down as we entered the cathedral city. It was a scorching day (32’C) so it was a huge relief to seek sanctuary in the calm and quiet of the cathedral close. Hereford Cathedral is smaller than others we have visited on this tour so far but like the others, a serene feeling of peace surrounds it.

Having got our bearings, we followed the signpost to catch our first glimpse of the river Wye, which for much of its hundred and fifty five mile length, forms part of the border between England and Wales. We walked down the winding Gwynne Street, named after Nell Gwynne who was reputedly born there, and who later earned notoriety as a famous London actress who became a favourite mistress of King Charles II. The riverside was buzzing, packed with people enjoying a meal in the surprisingly warm sunshine. We walked across the Old Bridge and noticed a father and son fishing in the river before ducking into a coffee shop for a cool down.

Refreshed, we made our way to Victoria Bridge through green open spaces and past a group of musical climate change protesters with blue placards. The footbridge was delicate, with white iron lacework over the huge expanse of water and it was so hot that locals were paddling and even bathing in the river, which given the deep green of the water I thought was a bit brave!

Although the winding river was low when we visited, the water level is by no means stable, as the Wye is prone to flooding when the winter weather comes. The green we noticed is also a concern, as it is an ‘algal bloom’ caused by pollution. The Wye is one of the longest rivers in Britain, and its’ lower part designated an area of outstanding natural beauty, supporting a wide variety of wildlife so it seems a shame this stream of natural law is struggling for survival.

Having crossed to the green of Bishops Meadow, we walked slowly back along the other bank through a boulevard of magnificent copper beeches, stopping to take the iconic shot of the cathedral with the old bridge in the background.

Then it was time to move on to our next location – come back to read the next instalment of the Stream of Natural Law diaries!

River Wye at Hereford

Follow our journey as it happens on Instagram @streamsofnaturallaw and share yours with #streamsofnaturallaw.

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