Don't panic! River Nene to stay 'Nen' after all as April Fool prank causes consternation

The River Nene is pronounced in two ways along its 91-mile length

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 1:36 pm

So we admit it. Today's story saying that the way Northamptonshire natives pronunce the River 'Nen' would no longer be recognised was just an April Fool.

New voice recognition software designed for automated calls has been programmed to only understand one pronunciation - 'Neen' of next door Cambridgeshire has not been introduced.

Northamptonshire Official Tourist Trust Rivers & Uplands Executive (NOT TRUE) does not exist and slippery spokesman 'Avril Fish' is just a Poisson d'Avril - a French April Fool.

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'Nen' or 'Neen' - you decide

Responding to the story on Facebook Del Robertson commented poetically:

"It’s always been the River Neen,

For some the Nen since God knows when,

But in the river lies a pool,

The beautiful River Nene

Where once drowned a poor April Fool!"

But the Nen/Neen's pronunciation is still a contentious topic that has divided residents of neighbouring counties for generations as BBC TV Countryfile presenter Tom Heap discovered when he made the trip to Northamptonshire to see various projects along the length of the valley.

In his opening narration on the programme had told viewers: "I'm exploring the 'Neen' Valley, a landscape with the river of that name at its heart."

Nenescape, a five-year National Lottery Heritage Fund initiative, has been delivering a number of partnership-led projects tasked with promoting and protecting the heritage of the Nene Valley.

As a project that covers the River Nene to Cambridgeshire, Nenescape did have stickers made for staff and visitors to display the wearer's preference of 'Nen' or 'Neen'

They have been working with farmers and landowners in the Nene Valley to help restore and create meadow and wetland habitats, as well as undertake vital infrastructural improvements to tackle diffuse pollution and aid water quality.

The River Nene is a glorious waterway for nature and leisure and is truly a wonderful place to visit, but do not be surprised by the way your map app says the word Nene.

There is no doubt that the river's name causes difficulties for computerised gadgets with sat navs still confused.

Responding on Facebook Sarah Grimston commented: "My sat nav always says 'Nenie', Caroline Albert agreed and Sally Barker added: "My sat nav says "Nenney."

What the software makes of Cogenhoe one can only imagine.