The Rivers Tone & Parrett

Across Somerset, mile after mile of fantastic river waits to be explored.

The Rivers Tone & Parrett, Somerset & Dorset

Rising in the Brendon Hills and springs of Chedington, the Tone and Parrett wind their way across breathtaking countryside, merging at Burrowbridge to finish the staggering journey from source to sea.

For those of us who live in Somerset, rivers are a central part of who we are and where we live. Sometimes they bring chaos to our lives, bursting their banks and flooding our homes. But it is thanks to these rivers that the county’s rolling hills were shaped, the wetlands created, our towns developed and the rich farmland fertilised.

From source to sea, the Tone and Parrett boast some of the region’s most stunning landscapes and richest wildlife.

 

The River Parrett is one of only a handful of UK rivers where you can walk from source to sea, thanks to the 50 mile long River Parrett Trail.
The Tone and Parrett form part of the complex drainage network that keeps the Somerset Levels from being inundated. This management stems as far back as the Romans.

Get involved on the Rivers Tone and Parrett

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.

Taking the River Parrett Trail…

Thanks to the River Parrett Trail, it’s easy for you to follow the extraordinary journey made by this river (and by each raindrop that makes its way into their waters) to the sea.

The River Parrett begins its life in a series of springs around the picturesque village of Chedington in Dorset. From these springs, follow the river as it trickles through the landscape and across the Somerset border where it meanders through fields and villages.

Through the Levels, the river grows, becoming an ever more significant part of the countryside, eventually joining the River Tone at Burrowbridge.

Once combined with the Tone, the River Parrett continues its path northwards, to the sea. It carries on along its moorland path and passes beneath the M5 and into Bridgwater. Beyond, the river follows old trade routes into the estuary, now fringed by bird-populated marsh and wetland habitat, before flowing out into Bridgwater Bay.

River Tone and Parrett 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 Rivers Tone & Parrett

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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