River Avon at Saltford

Photo: River Avon at Saltford


The River Avon, the Kennet Avon and Canal and other waterways are an important part of Bath & North East Somerset’s rich environment. For example:

• They provide key green infrastructure corridors through both our urban and rural areas, linking otherwise fragmented habitats and providing for a range of wildlife.

• Canal and Riverside paths and rights of way provide recreational and sustainable travel routes and link public spaces.

• They have an important recreational and leisure role.

• Residential and commercial, moorings are provided on our River and Canal network.

• Waterways convey flood waters and discharges, and can provide water supplies for agricultural and industrial use.

• Many of our former industrial sites undergoing redevelopment and regeneration are located on River and Canal corridors, and are undergoing significant change.

We value the multi-functional benefits of our water systems, and work together with many partner organisations and individuals to make sure that our Rivers and Canals continue to provide a range of roles and benefits to wildlife and people.

River Avon Projects

For more information about a range of Council projects and functions in this area, see our linked pages below:

Bath River Line Project – consultation 

The Council is developing an exciting project to rejuvenate the river corridor through Bath. The project will focus on improving the riverside for ecology, cycling and walking, recreation and leisure. As part of the project, we’ll be upgrading the parks and towpath and would like to hear your ideas about they could be improved. 

Please visit our consultation page to give us your views. 

Green Infrastructure

The River Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal Corridor are one of the Council’s seven key Green Infrastructure priorities. The Council's Green Infrastructure web page is here

Environmental Monitoring Flooding 

Further information in relation to Environmental Monitoring, including the causes of foam on the River can be viewed here.

Further information on this topic is also provided by the Environment Agency here.

The Council works closely with the Environment Agency, who are the organisation responsible for flood defence and flood warning in England and Wales.

The Council's flood web page is here


The Council owns a limited number of mooring sites within Bath & North East Somerset Area.

Moorings - including information regarding Pulteney Moorings is here


The Council works in partnership with a range of strategies and projects, which include elements relating to the River and the Canal and adjoining land:

River Safety

The Council has established a River Safety Partnership which delivers a range of safety improvements and safety awareness campaigns relating primarily to the River Avon. 

Water Space Study 

Focusing the River Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal (Deep Lock to Limpley Stoke Viaduct), the Council is working in partnership with the Environment Agency, the Canal and Rivers Trust and Wessex Water. We are working to develop an evidence base, undertake public and stakeholder consultation and identify opportunities to deliver enhancements to these waterways and adjoining land.  Boater Survey Results 2016 are available here.

For more information, please follow the link. 

River Avon Bat Project 

B&NES Council is working with Natural England and Ecologists Clarkson & Woods to create Bat mitigation measure for the Bath Enterprise area. This will involve the publication of guidance for use by developers, planners and engineers to implement within the zone in order to encourage bats. Between April and November 2016 and in winter 2017, bat surveys were carried out providing an evidence based understanding of how bats are using the River Avon corridor across all seasons.

New informal design guidance has been created based on the detailed ecological survey work undertaken – see our website.

For more information about the survey, and the community engagement that has formed a core part of the project – including citizen science surveys see our website.

A new young people’s web page is also available with ideas for bat related craft, fun facts and a cartoon about Horseshoe Bats and the River Avon! 

River & Canal Walks 

Experience the River Avon and Kennet & Avon Canal for yourself with one of our walking tour, here.

Volunteer Pages

This web page contains information useful to volunteers working in our area – including information on invasive species found on our waterways – and how to identify them.  See our website for more.

Last updated: 27 November 2020

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