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Tales of Devon's riverbanks
The River Tamar
The River Tamar at Stonehouse, Plymouth

We take a look at some of Devon's major rivers - their history and the role they have played in the development of their catchment areas.

Click onto the links below to read about the Dart, Exe, Otter, Tamar, Teign, Taw and Torridge.

The rivers have played a huge part in trade and industry down the centuries and are now important for tourism and the environment.

This is a work in progress - we will feature more rivers as soon as we can.

The River Dart

The River Dart
The River Dart at Newbridge

Dartmoor, Dartmouth, Dartington, Dartmeet - the River Dart lends its name to many of the places it meanders through en route from the moors down to the sea.

The Dart's entire catchment area covers 475sq kms, and takes in a population of around 31,000 people.

The River Exe

The River Exe
The River Exe in Exeter

The River Exe is more than 50 miles long and stretches almost all the way from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south.

The river has played an important role in the history and development of the east Devon area.

The River Otter

The mouth of the Otter
The mouth of the Otter

The River Otter in east Devon gets it name from the creatures which once thrived in the waterway - that's how the story goes, anyway.

The river actually starts just over the border near Otterford in Somerset. It flows south-westerly, passing through villages and towns including Ottery St Mary before reaching the sea at Budleigh Salterton.

The River Tamar

Boats on the Tamar
Boats on the Tamar

The 50 mile long waterway provides a natural county boundary, starting just four miles short of Bude on the north Cornwall coast and flowing south, reaching the sea at Plymouth Sound.

At the estuary, it merges with the rivers Tavy, Plym and Lynher and the Tamar can't be considered in isolation.

The River Taw

The Taw at Barnstaple
The Taw at Barnstaple

The Taw's trail begins at Taw Head in the Dartmoor National Park, and then flows through Tarka country before reaching the sea at Barnstaple.

Along its estuary is one of the most important nature reserves in England.

The River Teign

The Teign estuary
The Teign estuary

The River Teign flows for some 30 miles, rising on Dartmoor, near Cranmere Pool west of Chagford, and reaching the sea at Teignmouth on the south Devon coast.

The river skirts the northern side of the moor, flowing down a steep-sided valley and then meanders southwards at the east edge of Dartmoor.

The River Torridge

The River Torridge at Bideford
The River Torridge at Bideford

The River Torridge starts its winding journey near Hartland, in the north western corner of Devon.

The river is 48 miles long and rises at Baxworthy Cross before hurrying down to the estuary at Bideford.




SEE ALSO
A-Z of Devon's natural world
16 Dec 09 |  Nature & Outdoors
Walks in Devon
23 Sep 09 |  Nature & Outdoors
Devon webcams
02 Sep 09 |  People & Places

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