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Regenerating a Green River: Chepstow in the Future

This project predicts the future of 100 super-ecofriendly cities across the globe -- as though they have survived climate change and gone on to flourish anew. Today, we highlight the future of Chepstow, Wales.

Chepstow is a town of 15,000 people in Monmouthshire. The town lies on the Welsh side of the River Wye with England lying just across the water. The imposing Chepstow Castle was built on the Welsh side by a cruel and imperious Anglo-Norman Marcher lord in 1067 to cast power and extract taxes from the Welsh in the Monmouthshire landscape. This lord, a guy named William FitzOsborn, had a tough time keeping the local Welsh at bay, however, since they were constantly ripping bits of stone from his castle and stealing the sheep and cattle from his lands. Of course, he deserved as much for invading Welsh territory in the first place.

19th century painting of Chepstow

J.M.W. Turner's painting of Chepstow with the Castle and the Old Wye Bridge

Chepstow is heralded as one of the Gateways to the lovely Wye Valley, whose enchanting wooded riverine landscape has enticed artists and poets for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, despite its beauty, the River Wye is not these days in the best of health for there is so much pollution running off into it from the thousands of modern farms lying along its course.

The river Wye near Chepstow

Modern Day Photo of the Wye River Valley

Since most of the pollution is running-off into the river from the English side , from English farms, the citizens of future Chepstow decide upon a rather radical solution. They rebuild their famous castle to strand across over the river, then they claim a long stretch of English land adjacent the Wye as Welsh territory. Since Welsh environmental laws are much tougher, the farms halt from polluting the river -- and over some decades, it rebounds to thrive as a clean and green River once more.

The Green River of Future Chepstow

Chesptow in the Future -- with a slowly regenerating 'Green River Wye'


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