HomeThe Thames River Basin

The Thames is one of the most iconic rivers in the world and is 346 km long. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the UK

Its source is at Thames Head, near Kemble in the Cotswolds and its mouth is the Thames Estuary at Southend-on-Sea where it meets the North Sea.

The main tributaries of the River Thames are:

  • Lea (68 km)

  • Leach (30 km)

  • Churn (37 km)

  • Coln (52 km)

  • Windrush (48 km)

  • Kennet (77 km)

  • Evenlode (68 km)

  • Ock (37 km)

  • Loddon (32 km)

The Thames and its tributaries have many important floodplains and are home to a wide variety of wildlife. They are our water supply and a beautiful part of our landscape to enjoy. The many chalk streams that contribute to the Thames are rich with iconic species of native wildlife including otter, kingfisher and water vole (the River Kennet and Lambourn are SSSIs), but they are suffering due to many pressures; from urbanisation to invasive species. Rivers Trusts are working hard in many different ways to help combat these pressures.

Urbanisation

Urbanisation

Urbanisation in concreted cities and towns has left rainfall with less places to slowly infiltrate...

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