Water and rivers
Bristol's rivers, Floating Harbour and park lakes are routinely tested. See our water quality page for more information.
Bristol Avon Catchment Pilot
A management plan for the Bristol Avon river and its tributaries is being developed through a DEFRA funded pilot project. Find out more on the Bristol Avon River Catchment Management Plan (BARCmp) website.
Rivers in Bristol
The River Avon, sometimes called the Bristol Avon, flows from east to west through Bristol via the Floating Harbour and through the spectacular Avon Gorge to the Severn Estuary. The River Avon is fed by many tributaries on its journey through Bristol.
A number of rivers in Bristol are designated as Local Nature Reserves.
Walk guides and group activities
Discover Brislington Brook Project
This Heritage Lottery funded project runs from 2011 to 2014 and works with youth groups, community groups, schools, volunteers and other organisations on river related activities. It provides opportunities for learning, participation and conservation.
It is led by Brislington Community Partnership and supported by Bristol City Council and Young Bristol. Please contact:
Rowan Matthiessen, Co-ordinator (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays)
Telephone: 0117 922 3407
Get on Board Campaign
This is a multi partnership campaign to protect and improve the Floating Harbour water environment.
Water Awards Scheme
This scheme recognises and rewards boats moored in Bristol’s Floating Harbour that follow good environmental wastewater disposal. The scheme precedes waste disposal checks planned for 2011/12 for all boats with a mooring agreement / license. Commercial water award recipients:
- Glassboat and Spyglass.
- Grain Barge
All boat owners in the harbour are encouraged to apply for the award.
- Boaters technical advice request form (pdf, 120 KB) (opens new window) .
- Boaters Water Awards Scheme application form (pdf, 0.5 MB) (opens new window) .
- Pump out information leaflet (pdf, 0.6 MB) (opens new window) .
An investigation team identifies properties with illegal wrongly connected drainage to improve water quality in rivers. This is a tri-partite initiative with The Environment Agency and Wessex Water. View the Operation Streamclean leaflet (pdf, 0.6 MB) (opens new window) to find out how to make the right drainage connections at properties.
Operation Streamclean is a local initiative. Connect Right is the national campaign working to identify illegal drainage connections in the UK.
Avon Invasive Weeds Forum
Invasive weed species such as Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed are spreading rapidly along Bristol's rivers and streams. Bristol City Council, Bristol Zoo and the Environment Agency are partners in a DEFRA funded two-year project 2012 - 2014 to eradicate weeds along local rivers. For information on surveys, control and getting trained for and involved in volunteer events contact:
Sustainable urban drainage and green roofs
Please contact us to request a set of national and local case studies.
South Bristol Riverscapes Project
This Heritage Lottery funded project has finished. The final report is available in hard copy at Bishopsworth Library and the Central Library, or you can download a copy below: