Who Owns The River Mersey?

It may on the face of it seem to be a strange question but who owns the River Mersey?

A short while ago I found myself on the Crown Estate website and I learnt that The Crown Estate owns and manages extensive marine assets throughout the UK, including 55% of the foreshore and all the seabed out to the 12 nautical miles limit. So that naturally got me thinking about who owned the Mersey!

I contacted the site and a few days later received a reply:

Generally speaking The Crown Estate owns the foreshore and bed on the south west (Birkenhead) side of the tidal sections of the River Mersey, to the centre point of the river.  Much of the north east (Liverpool) side of the tidal section of the river is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster.  There are a few exceptions to the above and one or two sales of foreshore, or admitted claims from within these areas.

The Duchy of Lancaster detail what part of the coastline is owned by them on this page, which details:

Part of the ancient inheritance of the Duchy was ownership of all foreshores in the County Palatine. Extensive interests were sold during the nineteenth century, such as the Mersey Docks and Blackpool promenade. The Duchy remains the major owner of foreshore between the centre point of the River Mersey and Barrow-in-Furness. The area extends over 50,000 hectares. Historically, foreshores have not been a great provider of revenue. The coastlines, river beds and estuaries now have greater potential value in association with energy, conservation, transport and leisure uses.

So now you know who owns the River Mersey!

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