BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

20 February 2015
Primary Focus

BBC Homepage
BBC NI Schools

Primary Focus
Ordering Page
Schools Help

Contact Us

These television programmes are designed to support the KS2 Geography curriculum. The series examines the interdependence of humans and physical environments and has an issue-based approach.
About the Programme
Programme 3 - Go with the Flow
Friday, 25 January 2002

ARCHIVE - SELB programme code :TJ 1916

This episode is now part of our archive. This programme is still available to schools to borrow or purchase from the Audio Visual Recording service at the SELB. Please quote the SELB programme code in your correspondence. See our ordering page for more information.

This programme traces the course of the River Lagan from its source on Slieve Croob in County Down to the sea at Belfast.

At the start of the film we see Mark Patterson and three children - Anna, Killian and Adam - climbing Slieve Croob. They discover the source of the river as it emerges from bogland on the side of the mountain as a small trickle. We learn how the upper course of the river cuts in to the mountain and take a zigzag course as it makes its way down.

At the bottom of Slieve Croob near the first bridge on the River Lagan, Dree Bridge, a local farmer tells Anna how he uses the river as a water supply for his sheep and cattle. At this stage there is evidence of erosion. In summer the water level is very low but in winter rain and melting snow will affect the river.

Further down the river we learn of how the river is used by fish and learn about the life cycle of the salmon and how the pure water of the River Lagan is good for them.

As the river gets wider and deeper we see that it does not go in a straight line but meanders through the countryside. As it moves along it picks up earth from the banks and transports it along. There is also sometimes pollution from agricultural activity along the banks. This part of the river is called the middle course.

The River Lagan was very important in the past to the linen industry. We see how people used the water in different ways in the making of linen. We learn also that the river was an important transport route and an important source of water power and that settlements are often built where a bridge crosses the river. We learn how it is still used in industry today.

As the Lagan nears Belfast we look at how it has changed and the use made of it has changed. We also look at the efforts to clean up the river and the effect of this on the wildlife.

The final section of the film deals with the industrial part of the River Lagan in Belfast. As we approach the mouth of the river where it ends its long journey from the top of Slieve Croob and enters the sea in Belfast Lough, we see how the banks of the river are used for a variety of activities.
Before the Programme

  • Find the River Lagan on a map of Northern Ireland.
  • Find also the main rivers of Northern Ireland and your own local rivers.
  • Discuss the importance of the rivers and the uses they have and are being put to.
  • Talk about what a river means to you.

After the Programme

  • Make a list of some of the key words associated with the river and find out their meaning: source, upper course, erosion, meander, river bank, pollution, tributary, middle course, water power, canal, lock, mill race, weir.
  • Trace the course of the River Lagan on a map of Northern Ireland.
  • How many bridges can you find on the River Lagan?
  • How did the river change physically as it moved from the source down to the first bridge at Dree Bridge? Why was this? Why do you think there are so many rocks in the river? What do you think the river is like in the winter time?
  • How did the river change in the middle course? Why do you think it meandered about? What do you notice about the banks of the river?
  • What was the river like in Belfast? Describe as many things as you can that you can see from the boat. What kind of buildings do you see? Why do you think they are built by the river?
  • List as many ways as you can in which people have made and continue to make use of the River Lagan.
  • Look at a map of Northern Ireland and find as many rivers as you can. Find the source of the rivers. Find where they go to. Do they all go to the sea? Take a note of the places along the river.
  • What is pollution?
  • What kinds of things do you think can pollute the River Lagan? Why is it important to keep the River Lagan clean?

The worksheets for this resource are in PDF format. Click on the links below to view the worksheets:
Geography Programmes
Programme 1:
Strating Grid:
Programme 2:
Here and There:
Programme 3:
Go with the Flow
Programme 4:
Green Power
Programme 5:
Sustainable Development
Programme 6:
In the Balance
Programme 7:
Lough Neagh
Programme 8:
Programme 9:
Extreme Weather
Can't find your subject? Visit our archive section where you can find programmes supporting other curricular subjects, including: Geography, History, Citizenship and English.

Visit the archive.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy