River Lark facts for kids

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River Lark
Riverlark 3766.JPG
The river near Icklingham
Country England
Physical characteristics
Main source Whepstead
104 m (341 ft)
2nd source Bradfield Combust
65 m (213 ft)
River mouth Littleport, River Great Ouse
0 m (0 ft)
Length 31 km (19 mi)

The River Lark is a river in England that crosses the border between Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. It is a tributary of the River Great Ouse, and was extended when that river was re-routed as part of drainage improvements. It is thought to have been used for navigation since Roman times, and improvements to its navigability were made in 1638 and in the early 18th century, when locks and staunches were built. The upper terminus was on the northern edge of Bury St Edmunds, but a new dock was opened near the railway station after the Eastern Union Railway opened its line in 1846.

The navigation was officially abandoned in 1888, but despite this, commercial use of the river continued until 1928. Following an acquisition by the Great Ouse Catchment Board, locks at Barton Mills and Icklingham were rebuilt in the 1960s, but were isolated when the A11 road bridge was lowered soon afterward. It now has one operational lock at Isleham, and can be navigated to Jude's Ferry.

Water quality in the river was generally moderate in 2016, although there was a section where the quality was bad, the lowest rating given by the Environment Agency, who monitor English rivers. The river hosts a large population of signal crayfish, an invasive species which has increased as the eel population has diminished.

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River Lark Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.