Rivers and Streams

On Exmoor you are never far from the sound of water, and the rivers and streams that flow from the high ground and have cut the many deep combes are one of the defining characteristics of the National Park. The very name , Exmoor - is named as the moor of the Exe, our largest river.

The high ground of Exmoor with its heavy rainfall is the catchment area for Exmoor's eight main rivers and numerous tributaries. Many springs also feed into the river system. The rivers are clear and fast-running. They provide excellent spawning grounds for salmon and trout and the presence of salmon particularly indicates good quality clean water which is valuable for the reservoirs which supply water to much of Devon and Somerset.The Exe system, which includes the River Barle, rises in the Exmoor forest and drains south into the English Channel, whilst the River Lyn and tributaries drain north into the Bristol Channel. Rivers are a key aspect of Exmoor’s special landscape, and vital habitat and corridors for wildlife.

Rivers and Streams Habitat poster (PDF)