WITH Storm Dennis causing chaos and misery for many across the region, members of a 100-year-old fishery in the Severn Estuary made the most of the floods to embark on an incredibly rare and "surreal" outing.

Black Rock Lave Net Fishermen, joined by members of Sudbrook Kayak Club, made an incredible journey by kayak from Caldicot Castle to Caerwent across what would normally be dry land.

The fields, since flooded by Storms Ciara and Dennis, form the bed of the ancient river Neddern - a long-since drained river which once ran from the Severn Estuary far inland beyond Caerwent.

South Wales Argus:

The flotilla made its way over a football pitch, a footbridge, under the M48 motorway to the Roman town.

"It is very rare that this journey can be undertaken," said Martin Morgan, secretary at the Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery.

"However, the incredible amount of rain in recent weeks has turned the area in to a vast lake.

"Moving upstream towards Caerwent the banks of the ancient river were clearly visible and the amount of birds which were wintering in the area was incredible.

"If the water level was controlled by sluice gates and this waterway kept at a constant level, what a resource for leisure and wildlife this would be."


The ancient river Neddern now trickles past Caldicot Castle as Neddern Brook. However, the rainfall across the region had swollen the stream into a lake - flooding the area around the castle.

"It was surreal to be able to do this," said Mr Morgan

"Places we walked weeks ago covered in up to 10ft of water.

"There was a definite feeling of being taken back in time.

"You could just imagine a mariner making the journey inland from the Severn Estuary prior to the area being drained and the sea wall being built."

South Wales Argus:

Mr Morgan explained that 2,000 years ago, the Romans would make the voyage to their fortifications at Caerwent.

The old river bed is criss crossed these days by reens, which help to drain the water in a controlled way into the estuary.