At 170 miles, the Trent is Britain's third-longest river, after the Thames and the Severn. It wasonce the rival to the Thames as a trade route, opening the passage between the industrial Black Country and the ocean. Historically and culturally, it split England, North from South.
Armies determined on conquest marched across it, the Romans garrisoned it, Cavaliers and Roundheads battled each other along it in some of the fiercest engagements of the Civil War.
In short, the Trent is one of our most significant rivers. Yet these days it hardly maps on the shared consciousness, except for those from the counties along its journey (Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, in case you're wondering).
Until recently the Trent's main function was to remove the industrial and human wastes of the East Midlands, a fun vibrant area. As a result, the river was disgustingly polluted, biologically useless for much of its length, and you would have been insane to try boating on it. Now that the industry is gone and water treatment is substantially improved, it is restored and cleansed - a river once more, rather than a sewer.