The Rivers Par, St Austell & Caerhays

In a landscape shaped by an industrial past, these three rivers flow

The Rivers Par, St Austell & Caerhays, Cornwall

Into the St Austell Bay, the Par, St Austell and Caerhays flow, crossing mile after mile of the unique china clay landscape to reach the sea.

At the heart of the Cornish heritage lies its mining past and these three rivers are at its centre. While their importance in industry may have dwindled, they remain key features in the landscape and hold so much significance to the people who live around their waters.

Throughout the seasons, these rivers can be admired for their beautiful scenery, their rich wildlife and their timeless movement from source to sea.

The Cornish names for the “Par” and “St Austell” mean “alder tree river” and “little white river.”

The St Austell River was once known as the “Red River” due to inputs from mining

Get involved on the Rivers Par, St Austell & Caerhays

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. You can share your stories of these rivers with us too – we’d love to hear them.

Guided River Walks…

We have teamed up with iwalk Cornwall to bring you guided walks along the Par, St Austell & Caerhays rivers. Whether by foot or by bike, these riverside walks will take you through miles of beautiful riverside scenery.

From the gorgeous coastal village of Pentewan – where the St Austell River meets the sea – you can trace the river’s journey as St Austell, passing through beautiful countryside and woodland as you go.

The Pentewan Trail (one of the “Clay Trails”) was once the route of the train that carried clay and tin to the docks at Pentewan. Still littered with reminders of its industrial heritage, the former railway is now enjoyed by hundreds of walkers and cyclists who make their way to the banks of the river to stretch their legs.


Explore other rivers of the Westcountry...

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.