This website is about opening up buried and hidden rivers. Or daylighting. Or deculverting if you prefer.


Deculverting image copyright Tom Wild“Deculverting can have many different positive impacts for local communities, including potential social, economic and environmental benefits” (Wild, et al, 2010).

Yeah, so?

Evidence for the benefits of opening up buried rivers is important. But that’s not the purpose of this blog. Instead, it seeks only to offer some interesting  views and images, mainly from my home town of Sheffield, but also from other far-flung places whenever I get the chance.

Instead http://www.deculverting.com is  about the art of opening up rivers and the creative process of restoring urban rivers, rather than the science or engineering. There are other places to go for that. But then, I’m not an artist, or a photographer, or a ‘creative‘, so erm, let’s just see how it goes…!

I should clarify that daylighting or deculverting is not my job. It is more of a passion. Or an obsession. As a result I’ve not really got many good excuses for lurking around damp and dingy urban riversides taking photos.

Glasgow, and Zurich, where it all began…

Image copyright Tom Wild.pptx

I first got interested in daylighting in Glasgow in 1998, because blocked and overflowing culverts caused sewage flooding in people’s homes. As an environmental protection officer, I’d get emergency phone calls from distressed citizens in the middle of the night. No-one should have to put up with that (the sewage in your home, not the phone calls – I was getting paid for it).

Zurich is an amazing city for so many reasons.

For me, one thing that is so special about it, for personal as well as professional reasons, is that it is the ‘home’ of deculverting in Europe. Their Bachekonzept to promote daylighting of urban streams (Bache means ‘brook’ or stream) really is an inspiration. Here’s the little Bache that inspired me, or – depending on your viewpoint – is responsible for my obsessive behaviour. Nice isn’t it?

A word about photos (mine and others)

Over the years since 1998, I have taken loads – and I mean loads – of pictures of drains, ditches and rivers (probably nearly as many as pictures of family, it really is that bad). So, this can be a place where I put them. I know that very, very few people will be interested. It doesn’t matter, it just needs doing. I’ll try to put dates next to images, since they won’t all be recent. Please note that all images are copyright of Tom Wild unless otherwise stated. I will do everything I can to get expression permission of others’ images and post them up. If you use ’em, please do reference the images to their source. Thanks!



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