- Firth of Clyde
The Firth of Clyde forms a large area of coastal water, sheltered from the
Atlantic oceanby the Kintyrepeninsula which encloses the outer firthin Argylland Ayrshire, Scotland.
At its entrance the firth is some 26 miles (42 km) wide. Its upper reaches include an area where it is joined by
Loch Longand the Gare Loch. This includes the large anchorage off Greenockknown as the Tail of the Bankin reference to the sandbarwhich separates the firth from the estuaryof the River Clyde. The Clyde is still almost 2 miles (3 km) wide at the sandbar, and its upper tidal limit is at the tidal Weiradjacent to Glasgow Green.
The cultural and geographical distinction between the firth and the River Clyde is vague, and people will sometimes refer to
Dumbartonas being on the "Firth of Clyde", while the population of Port Glasgowand Greenockfrequently refer to the firth to their north as "the river". In Scottish Gaelicthe landward end is called "Linne Chluaidh" (pronounced|ʎiɲəˈxɫ̪uəj) (meaning the same as the English), while the area around the south of Arran, Kintyre and Ayrshire/ Gallowayis "An Linne Ghlas" (pronounced|ə ʎiɲə ɣɫ̪as̪).
The firth encompasses many islands and
peninsulasand has twelve ferry routes connecting them to the mainland and each other. The majority of these services are run by Caledonian MacBrayneand many of the routes are lifeline services for communities living in remote areas. A number of sea lochs adjoin the firth.
Towns and villages along the shoreline
This lists the major towns and some of the numerous villages along the firth (not the
River Clydeor connecting lochs).
Campbeltown, Cardross, Carradale
Gourock, Greenock, Girvan
Helensburgh, Hunter's Quay, Hunterston
Innellan, Inverkip, Irvine
Kilcreggan, Kilmun, Kirn
Lamlash, Largs, Lochranza
Port Bannatyne, Portencross, Port Glasgow, Prestwick
Saltcoats, Seamill, Skelmorlie, Strone
Wemyss Bay, West Kilbride
Islands in the Clyde
There are many islands in the firth. The largest all have thriving communities and regular ferry services connecting them to the mainland. They are:
There are many other inhabited and uninhabited islands in the firth. See the
Islands of the Clydefor a more comprehensive list and links.
ea lochs off the Clyde
Loch Long, and Loch Goil
Loch Riddonoff the Kyles of Bute
Loch Fyne, and Loch Gilp
The Clyde formed an important sea route from the earliest times, and the
Battle of Largsmarked the turning point for Vikingambitions on the west of Scotland.
In Victorian times with the advent of
tourismthe area became popular with Glaswegians who travelled 'doon the watter' on Clyde steamers to holiday in the picturesque seaside towns and villages that line the firth, with the more wealthy building substantial holiday homes along the coast. Many towns such as Largs, Dunoonand Rothesay flourished during this boom period and became fully fledged resorts with well appointed hotels and attractions.
PS Waverleystill makes trips to these coastal towns, allowing passengers to sail back in time.
In 1942 the World's first deep water test of a submarine oil pipeline was conducted on a pipeline laid across the Firth of Clyde in
The "lower Clyde" shipyards of
Greenockand Port Glasgowplayed an important role in shipbuilding, with the "Comet" being the first successful steamboatin Europe, and a large proportion of the world's shipping being built there until well into the 20th century. In more recent times the natural beauty of the firth has been marred in places by a succession of industrial and military developments along the shoreline, including Hunterston and Inverkip Power Stations, while at the same time shipbuilding has declined. Today only one lower Clyde shipyard survives, next to Newark Castle, Port Glasgow, at the point where the firth becomes the River Clyde. The Garvel dry dockin Greenock continues in operation for ship repair, and the large Inchgreen dry dock in Port 'Glasgow is in occasional use. The sites of the former Greenock shipyards are currently being regenerated.
Grey Seals abound in the firth. Harbour Porpoises are also common and while Dolphins are much less so, they have been spotted in the upper reaches of the firth in the summer of 2005 . Whalesdo not favour the Clyde and although there have been instances of larger whales beaching themselves or becoming stranded in the upper firth, only smaller Pilot or Minke Whales seem to visit with any kind of regularity.
In 2005 the firth was listed as having the 2nd highest incidence of
basking sharksightings in Scotland (after the The Minch). In particular these huge sharks seem to favour the warm, shallow waters surrounding Pladda.
Although at one time heavily fished, the only catches remaining in Clyde waters today that are of any commercial interest to fisherman are
Prawns, Lobsterand Herring.
hipping in the Firth
The Firth of Clyde like the
River Clydehas historically been an important centre of shipbuilding. There have been shipyards at Renfrew, Greenock, Port Glasgowand Troonand a major boatyard at Fairlie. Ferguson Shipbuildersyard, adjacent to Newark Castle, Port Glasgow, is one of the last privately owned shipyards left in Scotland. Port Glasgow is also the site of one of the world's largest dry dockand ship-repair facilities at Inchgreen. The dry dock there is 305m long and 44m wide and is operated by Northwestern Shiprepairers Limited using the name Scott Lithgow, although the company is unrelated to the famous Port Glasgow Scott Lithgowshipbuilding company.
The Firth of Clyde has one of the deepest sea entrance channels in northern Europe, which can accommodate the largest
Capesizevessels afloat, and as such the Clyde is one of the UK's leading ports, handling some 7.5 million tonnes of cargo each year, as well as regular cruise liner traffic at Greenock's Ocean Terminal facility.
In addition to the existing bulk ore terminal at
Hunterston Ore Terminal; Clydeport, North Ayrshire Council and Scottish Enterprisealso propose a £200m international deep-water container terminal at Hunterston which would effectively act as a worldwide gateway port, and possibly become the major container port for the northern half of Europe. Initial environmental and economic impact studies are currently being undertaken.
Royal Navyalso has a significant presence on the Clyde, at HMNB Clydeon the Gare Lochand on Loch Long, while one of the three main ports providing marine services support vessels is at Greenock. This formerly came under the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Servicewhich still operates some vessels, but the services have been put out to commercial tender by the Warship Support Agencyand are currently operated by Serco Denholm, who are [http://www.serco.com/media/pressreleases/2006/marineservices.asp preferred bidders] for the next contract. The contract includes management of the ports at Devonport, Portsmouth and The Clyde (dual site operation at Faslane and Great Harbour, Greenock).
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Firth of clyde — Le Firth of Clyde constitue une vaste étendue d eau côtière, abritée de l Océan Atlantique par la péninsule de Kintyre qui renferme le firth extérieur d Argyll et Ayrshire en Écosse. Sa partie supérieure inclut une vaste surface à la jonction du… … Wikipédia en Français
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