Primary Focus Geography - Go with the flow
This programme traces the course of the River Lagan from its source on Slieve Croob in County Down to the sea at Belfast.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.