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River Adur

The River Adur: A Lifeline for the Local Community

The river runs through West Sussex in southern England and is known for its scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural history.

A Brief Overview of River Adur

The River Adur is a 20-mile-long waterway that originates in Sussex Downs near West Grinstead.


The river then flows southward through densely populated areas such as Steyning, Upper Beeding, and Shoreham-by-Sea before emptying into the English Channel at Shoreham Beach.

River Adur

Importance of the River to the Local Community

River Adur has been an important resource for generations of people living in this part of England. It serves as a valuable source of livelihood for businesses that rely on its waters.

The Source of River Adur

The River Adur originates in the High Weald area of Sussex, England. The source is located near the village of West Grinstead from where it flows for approximately 20 miles before reaching the English Channel.

Formation of the river

The River Adur was formed during the last ice age, around 10,000 years ago. As glaciers retreated, they left behind vast amounts of water that carved out valleys and streams across the landscape.

The River Adur is one such stream that was formed during this time. As it flows from its source towards the sea, it meanders through a variety of landscapes including forests, farmland and urban areas.

Along its journey, it is joined by a number of tributaries including Cowfold Stream and Edburton Stream which help to increase its flow. Overall, while relatively short in length compared to many other rivers in England, River Adur's course offers a unique perspective on Sussex's diverse landscape and history.

River Adur

Notable Landmarks Along the River Adur

One such landmark is Bramber Castle, a ruined Norman fortress that sits atop a hill overlooking the river. Another is the old railway viaduct in Shoreham-by-Sea, now repurposed as a recreational walkway offering stunning views of both river and sea.

But there are many other sights to see along this picturesque waterway. The bustling town of Steyning boasts an impressive 11th-century church and a charming high street full of independent shops and cafes.

Farther downstream in Upper Beeding, visitors can explore an ancient church with roots dating back to Saxon times. And let's not forget about Fishersgate, where you'll find one of only two remaining tidal mills in England still producing flour using traditional methods.

From here it's just a short trip downriver to Shoreham Beach, where locals gather for picnics and sunbathing during the warmer months.


All along its course, River Adur offers something for everyone - history buffs will love exploring ancient castles and churches while nature lovers will appreciate the wildlife-rich wetlands that line its banks.

Wildlife in and around River Adur

Types of fish found in the river

The River Adur is home to a variety of fish species. Anglers come from near and far to try their luck at catching brown trout, sea trout, and grayling.

Other common species include chub, dace, roach, perch, pike and eels. The river is also an important spawning ground for sea bass.

Bird species that inhabit its banks

The banks of the River Adur are a haven for many bird species. One such bird is the kingfisher which can often be seen darting along the river in search of small fish to feed on.


Herons are also regular visitors along with various ducks and swans who make their homes among the reeds.

River Adur

Other animals that call it home

Besides birds and fish, many other animals thrive along the banks of the River Adur. Otters are known to live in parts of the river where they hunt for prey such as crayfish or other small animals.

Water voles can also be found scurrying about amongst the vegetation alongside bank voles and shrews. The diversity of wildlife along this river makes it a truly special place - not only for us humans but for all those creatures who call it home too!

History and Culture Surrounding River Adur

The River Adur has played an essential role in the history of West Sussex for centuries. It was once a vital trade route, allowing goods such as timber, iron and corn to be transported via barges from inland towns to ports on the coast.

This not only brought prosperity to the area but also allowed for cultural exchange as people from different areas came into contact with one another. 

Human impact on River Adur

Pollution and environmental concerns

Unfortunately, like many rivers in the world, River Adur has been negatively impacted by human activities. Pollution is a major problem for the river, with waste from businesses and farms finding its way into the water.

Sewage treatment plants have also contributed to the problem. This pollution not only harms the wildlife that calls the river home but can also be dangerous for humans who come into contact with it.

Efforts to preserve and protect the river

Thankfully, many organizations and individuals are working hard to preserve and protect River Adur. Local government bodies often collaborate with community groups to organize clean-up efforts along the riverbanks.

Additionally, regulations have been put in place to limit pollution from industries and sewage treatment plants. Organizations such as The Friends of Shoreham Beach regularly organize educational activities that teach people about how they can help keep River Adur clean and healthy.

The importance of preserving natural habitats

Preserving natural habitats like River Adur is essential not only for wildlife but also for humans who depend on these ecosystems for things like clean air, water, food, recreation opportunities, and more.


As more people become aware of these issues surrounding natural habitats such as River Adur, we can hope that more will take action to protect them. It's important to remember that every little bit helps when it comes to preserving our planet's natural resources.

Recreational Activities on and Around River Adur

Boating, Fishing, and Other Water Sports

The River Adur is a great spot for water sports enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy fishing, kayaking, or swimming, there are plenty of opportunities to get out on the water. The river is home to a variety of fish species, including pike and perch.

If you're an angler looking for a challenge, the river is known for its large carp population. Those looking for a bit more excitement can try their hand at kayaking or canoeing down the river.

Hiking Trails and Other Outdoor Activities Nearby

If hiking is more your speed, then you'll be happy to know that there are several trails that follow the path of the River Adur. The South Downs Way National Trail is one popular route that follows the river through beautiful countryside and hillsides.


For those who prefer something more leisurely, there are several public footpaths that run along the banks of the river. There are also many other outdoor activities nearby including birdwatching and cycling which can be enjoyed along with your hike in this beautiful area of West Sussex.

Whether you're looking for a quiet walk by the river or an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the water, there's something for everyone around River Adur. So why not plan your next outdoor adventure in this beautiful part of West Sussex?

River Adur


Throughout this article, we have explored the various aspects that make River Adur a valuable asset to the local community and nature. This river is not only a key source of water for the surrounding region but also home to a diverse array of wildlife including fish, birds, and mammals.

The historic and cultural significance of the river is also evident in local traditions and events. However, it is important to recognize that human impact has had negative consequences on River Adur.

Pollution and environmental concerns threaten its ecosystem, making it vital to take steps towards preserving and protecting this natural resource. Efforts are currently underway by various organizations to combat these issues by promoting sustainable practices.

Despite these challenges, River Adur offers plenty of opportunities for recreational activities like boating, fishing, hiking trails, and more. This beautiful river offers an escape into nature for those in search of adventure or relaxation. Just westward of the Adur is the River Lavant featured on our site.

Overall, River Adur serves as an essential resource for both people and nature alike. By taking steps toward conservation efforts, we can ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy all that this remarkable river has to offer. More Britains Rivers to search and explore on this site.