Pershore Bridges - Picnic Area

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Many thanks to the folks at Pershore College  for facilitating this camera's location and to Worcestershire County Council  for capitally funding its installation. Pershore Bridges Picnic Area  in Pershore floods frequently when the River Avon is in spate. Please click here for flooding information regarding this location. This waterside picnic area is based around the medieval bridge, with moorings and canoe launch, disabled anglers platform, information point and toilets. A 5-mile waymarked circular walk & access to local footpath network. The water and banks of the River Avon are home to a large range of plants, animals and birds, insects and fish. You are likely to see swans and Mallards, maybe a Sedge Warbler clinging to a Bulrush as it sings melodiously, and if you are lucky the exotic blue flash of a Kingfisher, as it flies low over the water or perches quietly on a branch or reed by the water’s edge. Otters and water-volves can even be found along the river here, though you would be lucky to see them. Look out too for the stunning colours of dragonflies and damselflies in summer, as they hover over the water.Its also easy to venture further afield, as the town is within easy walking distance, and there are several footpaths in the surrounding countryside. The Pershore Bridges itself is a site of great historical importance. It is likely that there would have been some sort of river crossing there since the Saxon times. Over the centuries there will have been a large number of bridges, with many designs and materials, evidence we can still see today, in the patchwork of materials and styles. Today the bridge is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. There is lots of information about this fascinating site at the bridges, which lie on the edge of the town.Parts of the existing stone bridge date back to 1413 after the wooden bridge became unsafe. The monks of Pershore Abbey built this bridge about their abbot drowned attempting to cross the ford. Since then stones from nearby Elmley Castle and even Pershore Abbey itself, have been used to make repairs.The road was surfaced with stone slabs and cobbles. More recently a smoother surface was laid for carriages in the late 18th century. It finally proved too narrow for the needs of modern traffic and in 1926 a concrete bridge was built alongside it.During the English Civil war a fierce battle was fought on the old bridge. In World War II the area was fortified to repel a possible German invasion. As a last resort, the Home Defence were prepared to demolish the bridges with explosives. Luckily it never came to that.Pershore town was built up around the great Abbey and there are still a number of timber framed buildings from medieval Pershore. In the 18th century the town was a flourishing staging post, market trading centre and crossing point of the River Avon. It is believed the original name Persche Ora derived from west Saxon and Jutish dialects, meaning osier slope.