The River Dart

Walking alongside its banks and gazing into its crystal clear waters, it’s hard to underestimate the magnificence of the River Dart.

The River Dart, Devon

From the gathering raindrops that trickle into the Dartmoor landscape at the sources of the River Dart and its tributaries, to the gushing waters that flow into the sea at Dartmouth; there lies 600 km of this breathtaking waterscape to explore.

As the river journeys, it carves its way into the hillsides, cascades down waterfalls, surges under historic clapper bridges and winds its way though stunning Devonshire scenery to the coast.

And with every stretch of the river, there comes a unique landscape to explore and countless opportunities to enjoy it.

The Dart has played an instrumental role in powering industry and transporting goods, allowing the growth of the towns and villages that lie along the river.

With its stunning National Park setting, plethora of wildlife and host of activities on offer, it is no wonder the Dart is such a well-loved feature of the West Country.

Get involved on the River Dart

If you love your local river, understand how vital it is to you in your life and share our passion for keeping it healthy for you and your community, then there are many ways for you to get involved. Whether it’s helping on a river clean-up day, becoming a river scientist, going on a river walk or simply making a donation, working together we can help your river bring water to life for many years and generations to come.

The power of the River Dart…

Throughout the past, the River Dart has played an instrumental role in powering industry and transporting goods, allowing the growth of the towns and villages that lie along its banks.

Today, the power of the Dart has not been forgotten and, thanks to the Totnes Weir Hydro Scheme, its power continues to be harnessed.

Since December 2015, the weir, which features two Archimedes screw turbines, has been generating vast quantities of energy: enough to power 300 homes for the next 40 years. The Totnes Renewable Energy Society (TRESOC) have ensured the best possible chances for passing fish by installing a fish pass alongside the weir and carefully monitoring fish numbers.

The hydro scheme has been celebrated throughout the Totnes community and further afield; in October 2016, TRESOC were overwhelmed by visitors who attended ‘The First Ever Archimedes Screw Fest.’

The event included tours of the weir, citizen science with the Westcountry Rivers Trust and opportunities to share river stories, create artwork, clean up the river and taste Archimedes’ favourite snack.

River Dart Stories

From Roman times to the present day, Westcountry rivers have been an ever-present thread running through our communities, our culture and our heritage. Ever increasingly, we have come to realise how wonderful it is to spend time on, in or near a river and they are so often the backdrop to our fondest memories of days spent outdoors, being active and spending time with nature.

Latest news from the River Dart

Comment: Resilient catchment and communities

Dr Laurence Couldrick, CEO of Westcountry Rivers Trust, discusses catchment resilience There has been a lot of talk about drought in the past few weeks and whilst it has been the driest winter in 20 years our increasingly variable weather patterns are now part of the...

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Comment: Environmental Leadership

After a BBC report that the Defra 25 year vision ‘Lacks policies’ and ‘may not even be published’, Dr Laurence Couldrick, CEO of Westcountry Rivers Trust, asks: is that the real problem? If you look at any book on Leadership it will probably quote the African proverb...

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