The Somerset Catchment Partnership is in the South West River District and includes four operational catchments within its area

  • Brue and Axe
  • Parrett
  • Tone
  • West Somerset Streams


Brue and Axe

The River Brue rises in the catchment’s Eastern clay uplands, before flowing through the Somerset Levels and Moors and entering the sea at Highbridge.

The River Axe rises from limestone springs on the Mendips, flowing through the Somerset Levels and Moors to the sea. The Brue and Axe rivers are interconnected by rhynes controlled by sluices, forming a complex artificial drainage system. Land use is predominately agricultural, the Mendip Hills providing water for public supply.



The source of the River Parrett is near Cheddington to the South of Crewkerne. It flows through the Somerset Levels and Moors to the Bristol Channel at Bridgwater Bay. The catchment area covers 1260 square kilometres. Land use is predominantly rural, with urban areas including Bridgwater and Yeovil. The catchment contains a number of designated sites of national and international importance; a significant part of the low-lying Somerset Moors are designated Special Projection Areas and a Ramsar site, which depend upon flooding.



The River Tone is 33 kilometres long from source to its confluence with the Rivers Parrett, covering an area of approximately 410 square kilometres. The River Tone and drains Exmoor, the Brendon, Quantock and Blackdown Hills. Downstream the Tone enters Clatworthy Reservoir and runs South to Taunton; the Tone becomes tidal at Newbridge before joining the Parrett at Burrowbridge. The Bridgwater and Taunton Canal (24.6km) leaves the Tones in Taunton and flows on to Bridgwater to the tidal River Parrett. Predominant land uses in the catchment are permanent pasture, arable and sheep and cattle grazing and woodland.


West Somerset Streams

The West Somerset Streams catchment starts at Foreland point and extends East to Hinkley Point, covering approximately 320 square kilometres. A larger part of the catchment lies within Exmoor National Park and includes rivers and streams that drain to the North coast such as Doniford Stream, Washford River, Pill River, River Avill, River Aller and Homer Water. The catchment is of outstanding importance for nature conservation with a great variety of high quality habitats; from the moorland of Exmoor to the deeply cut wooded combes to the coast. Tourism is the major industry in the area, particularly the beaches at Minehead, Porlock Weir, Blue Anchor, Kilve and Watchet.



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