Dorset's Rivers

Dorset Wild Rivers Project video

Thank you to Wessex Water for the use of this film

A new "extended" version of Hugh Miles' Liquid Gold video about Dorset's River Allen - one of the finest chalk streams in Britain.

To watch the video in full screen, just click on the button button right on the video

Find out about the River Allen's wildlife

Photographs and information about the fish, mammals and birds of the River Allen. Click to discover more on our slideshow

The Dorset Wild Rivers Project

Dorset Wild Rivers is a major restoration project, led by Dorset Wildlife Trust with funding from Wessex Water and Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and will focus on the Frome and Piddle Valleys and the chalk stream tributaries of the Stour, Allen, Tarrant and North Winterbornes. The Dorset Wild Rivers partnership will work with land owners, fishing groups and The Wild Trout Trust, restoring rivers for the benefit of fish and invertebrates, reducing agricultural run-off into the chalk streams and creating wetland habitats in the floodplains.

Disease often plagues the natural wildlife of our rivers and recent outbreaks of crayfish plague have caused concern. You can help prevent this disease from spreading by learning about the Crayfish Code.

The film on the left has been kindly made for Dorset Wildlife Trust by world-renowned wildlife cameraman and filmmaker, Hugh Miles, and tells the fascinating story of the River Allen, a typical Dorset chalk stream.  You can also watch the One Show's feature of Dorset Otters on our YouTube Channel and a film by Hugh Miles for the Salmon & Trout Association called Our Rivers in Crisis

Love Your River & Water Saving Tips

We all need to think about using less water as every drop we use means less for the natural environment.  Dorset has natural hidden underground water stores or 'aquifers' in the chalk that feed our rivers. These act like sponges, soaking up water over a long period and then feeding Dorset’s rivers, but they suffered from 2 years of low rainfall before the recent wet summer. Their water levels are still low so we are concerned for all the wildlife that depends on our river systems. Let’s all do what we can to take the pressure off our rivers.

Why not visit the new website for the new Love your River Campaign, supported by The Wildlife Trusts. For more information on Wildlife and Drought.

Want to save water? Wessex Water customers can order a free water saving pack here and Bournemouth Water have some great water saving tips here

Or why not volunteer to help Dorset's rivers.

Download information about the River Allen project

Check out our River Allen User's Guide, and see other information below.

What is the River Allen Project?


Why is the River Allen So Special?


How can you help us?



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