The River Tawe reveals the histories and present day realities
of the Lower Swansea Valley.
The local community and city of Swansea have reclaimed the riverbanks & neighbouring land, previously poisoned by the industrial waste from tin, zinc, and copper. Plants, trees and wildlife now thrive where before nothing would grow.
'The Swansea smelters developed great skill in the construction and management of the reverbatory, and found it particularly suitable to the great variety of finely pulverised ores of every conceivable composition, which reached their port from all parts of the world.....The Vivians' Hafod tip, was reputed to be one of
the highest copper slag tips in Wales, and covered a five hectacre site alongside houses specially built for the workers.'
'By the 1930s the river, which had given the valley, its life,
now ran like a sewer.'
'The hardy moss clings to, and even thrives on soilless rock.
It dies on the copper slag bank.'
'New Land for Old.'
The Environmental Renaissance of the Lower Swansea Valley.
Stephen J Lavendar, University College of Swansea. 1981