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

Electrofishing Internship 2018

We are pleased to announce that applications for our annual electrofishing internship are now open! If you are free over the summer, and want to gain an electrofishing qualification as well as valuable work experience in the field, then we are delighted to...

read more

Six ways to look after your local river

Rivers are crucial to our health, happiness and prosperity. Most of the time we take them for granted, but at the Westcountry Rivers Trust we would like to encourage more people to do their bit to look after their local river. Nick Paling, Head of Evidence...

read more

Comment: Cautiously optimistic

Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) announced his thoughts on the future of agri-environmental policy post Brexit at the Oxford Real Farming Conference on the 4th January. Within his assessment were some bold and ambitious...

read more