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Bright Water


As you can see from our map, the River Skerne rises amongst the Trimdon, flows seawards towards Hurworth Burn Reservoir and then, uniquely, turns back on itself to flow inland for almost 20 miles until it meets the River Tees, just beyond Darlington, at Croft.
Our heritage includes the remains of Neolithic, Iron Age, and Roman settlements. There are fascinating deserted medieval villages, the remains of a Bishop’s castle, his deer park walls and swannery. There are mills and factories, follies and formal parks, beautiful riverside walks and a natural heritage that includes wetland birds, flora and fauna. So much to celebrate, explore and research.


The Bright Water Landscape Project is a Heritage Lottery Fund supported project that aims to reveal, restore and celebrate the heritage of the Bright Water area. This includes its built, natural and cultural heritage. The project will run from the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2021, by which time almost £3m will have been invested in our heritage. The section below provides details of some of these exciting projects.

The Bright Water Landscape Partnership is led by Durham Wildlife Trust and Durham County Council. Our other partners include: the Environment Agency, Darlington Borough Council, the Tees River Trust, Highways England, Network Rail, AASDN and various community and local history societies.

As part of the Development Phase of this project, the partnership have commissioned a number of specialist studies of the Bright Water area. As these are completed, they will be published below.