ECN site code: R04
ECN monitoring by: Environment Agency
This site at Thorverton weir on the River Exe drains the Exmoor National Park and is situated above the City of Exeter and the more industrialised sub-catchment of the River Culm. Most of the catchment is populated by isolated farmsteads, hamlets, villages and small towns. The only major urban area upstream of this site is Tiverton. The River Exe rises at a level of 450 m AOD in the wet moorland of Exmoor, then passes through steep-sided valleys with extensive broad-leaved woodland. Further east, tributaries run off the Brendon Hills with the River Haddeo drained to form the major water resource of Wimbleball Reservoir. Further south of these tributaries down towards Tiverton the floodplain opens out and rolling farmland replaces woodland. The farmland in the catchment of Thorverton weir includes sheep, cattle and dairy farming. All stretches of river above Thorverton weir, except the Riverton canal, fit into the Environment Agency's River Objective classes 1 & 2 which describe water of very good, or good quality suitable for all fish species. The majority of the Thorverton weir catchment fits into the Environment Agency's Biological Classification class A. The average rainfall for the Exe catchment as a whole 1097 mm, with a maximum of 2018 mm on Exmoor. Analysis of the flow record at Thorverton shows a mean daily flow of 15.887 cumecs with a Q95 that is 12% of the mean daily flow which indicates a relatively 'flashy' flow regime compared to the rest of England.