Towns & Villages
The river runs through a largely rural landscape, punctuated by settlements at Chewton Mendip, Ford, Litton, Sherborne, Coley, South Widcombe, Chew Stoke, Chew Magna, Stanton Drew, Bye Mills, Pensford, Publow, Woollard, Compton Dando, Chewton Keynsham and Keynsham. There are in excess of a dozen mill sites on the river, some of which were noted in the Domesday Book of 1086.
Total river length: Approximately 27 km (17 mi), including reservoirs.
Catchment area: Approximately 145 km2 (56 mi2).
Maximum catchment height: 305 m above mean sea level (Black Down, Mendips).
Catchment geology: Mixed geology - predominantly clay, some coal measures.
Height of source: 150 m above mean sea level (Chewton Mendip).
Height of confluence: 10 m above mean sea level (Keynsham).
Average gradient: 1 m in 200 m.
Average annual rainfall: 988mm (based on data from 1961-1990).
Mean flow: 1.18 cubic metres per second.
Peak winter flow: Approx 6-10 cubic metres per second.
Extreme peak flow: In excess of 25 cubic metres per second.
Minimum summer flow: Approx 0.5 cubic metres per second.
The River Chew is home to a large variety of fish including Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Grayling, Chub, Dace, Perch, Bream, Tench, Carp, Barbel, Crucian Carp, Pike, Roach, Rudd, Gudgeon, Minnow, Miller's Thumb, Brook Lamprey, Stone Loach, Stickleback and Eel.
Small numbers of returning Sea Trout and Salmon are occasionally present in the lower and middle river. Fish passes have been incorporated into weirs at Keynsham Memorial Park, Albert Mill and Chewton Place, allowing the upstream migration of game species.
Flounder and Dab are sometimes found in the lower reaches at Keynsham, in addition to returning elvers. Small numbers of Crayfish are also evident.
The River Chew has over thirty mapped tributaries including Harptree Brook, Winford Brook, Strode Brook, Salter's Brook, Belluton Brook, Bathford Brook, Wooscombe Brook and Candlestick Brook.
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