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River Exe

The Beautiful River that Shapes the Township of Exmouth


Situated in the southwestern part of England, on the coast of Devon County, is a small but incredibly beautiful town called Exmouth. The town is located at the mouth of a river known as River Exe.

The river runs from its source in Somerset's Brendon Hills and travels across Devon County before it meets the English Channel at Exmouth. This 50-km-long river plays a significant role in shaping the town's geography, ecology, history, recreation, and culture.

Exmouth was once just a small fishing village located on one side of River Exe's estuary. However, with time, this quaint little village has grown to become an attractive tourist destination and an excellent spot for anyone seeking relaxation or adventure.

It is now home to about 35 thousand people who benefit from both its natural beauty and its thriving economy. As such, understanding what makes River Exe so special is crucial to understanding why this town has become such an important landmark on England's southern coast.

The Importance of River Exe to Life in Exmouth


The importance of River Exe to life in ex-mouth cannot be overstated. It serves not only as a crucial waterway for transportation but also as an invaluable resource for local fisheries and the tourism industry.

The river attracts sports fishermen who come from all over to fish for salmon and sea trout along its banks. Furthermore, tourists are drawn to this area not only because it provides opportunities for water sports such as kayaking and boating but also because it boasts some stunning views such as those seen from Orcombe Point or Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve situated along its banks.

Moreover, people have interacted with this river since early times when they used it for transportation purposes long before road networks were built. Its significance to the town of Exmouth is evident in the way it has shaped the town's history, culture, and even its cuisine.

Geography and Geology


The River's Source, Length, and Width


The River Exe is a river that flows through the county of Devon, England. It runs for approximately 60 miles from its source in the Exmoor National Park to its estuary in the English Channel at Exmouth.

The river has a width of up to 200 metres (656 feet) at high tide and is tidal for approximately 12 miles upstream from the estuary. The source of the River Exe is near the town of Simonsbath on Exmoor, at an elevation of around 1,600 feet above sea level.

From there, it flows eastward and southward towards the town of Dulverton before turning east again towards Tiverton. Along this stretch, it passes through beautiful wooded valleys and picturesque countryside.

Geological Features Surrounding The River


The River Exe meanders through some spectacular geological features which have been shaped over millions of years. One such outstanding feature is found near Lympstone: red sandstone cliffs that date from around 250 million years ago when this area was part of a desert landscape.

Estuaries are another important geological feature along the course of the river – they are formed where rivers meet with saltwater bodies such as oceans or seas. The estuary at Exeter is one such example – here you can see mudflats, salt marshes, and sandbanks that are home to many species of birdlife.

Sandbars are another interesting feature found along parts of the coast. These long ridges or chains are formed by wave action which deposits sediment onto shallow areas offshore – they can be seen clearly when traveling by boat along certain stretches of coast between Sidmouth and Torbay.



The Diverse Plant and Animal Life Inhabiting River Exe and Its Surrounding Areas

The River Exe is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life, including fish such as the Atlantic salmon, sea trout, European eel, brown trout, and flounder. The river also supports a variety of bird species like the common tern, European shag, great black-backed gull and Eurasian curlew.


The estuary of the river is home to over 20 species of wading birds that use the mudflats for feeding.

Additionally, the surrounding areas of the river are abundant with oak woodland and wetland habitat which provides habitats for several plant species like hairy woodrush sedge (Carex hirta), and lesser celandine (Ficaria verna) among others.


The estuary also supports an important salt marsh habitat that provides the breeding ground for a vast range of marine creatures such as shrimp-like gammarids or even lugworms.

Salt marshes are vital habitats as they reduce flooding by absorbing water during high tides hence protecting nearby properties from flooding risks. They also filter pollutants from land runoff before it enters into the open sea which makes them key in preserving marine life in coastal areas.

Examination of How Human Activity Has Impacted The Ecosystem Over Time


Human activities around River Exe have had both positive and negative impacts on its ecosystem over time.


One major factor impacting the ecosystem was commercial fishing which introduced invasive species such as rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) which competed with native fish species like Atlantic salmon for food space leading to reduced populations of native fish resulting in a decline in their numbers.

Another significant impact has been water pollution from agricultural activities like fertilizers used on farmed lands around River Exe leading to increased levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the river leading to algal blooms which consume large quantities of oxygen from the water, suffocating other marine life in the process.


Additionally, oil spills from ships and boats as well as waste discharges from upstream urban areas also cause pollution of the river.

However, measures have been put in place to protect and restore the river's ecosystem such as habitat creation or restoration programs, setting up fishing quotas among others. These interventions are critical in ensuring that River Exe remains a vital part of Exmouth's natural heritage for years to come.

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From Roman Times to Present


The River Exe has played a significant role in shaping the history of Exmouth, dating back to Roman times. Historically, the river was an essential trading route for goods and also facilitated maritime activities such as fishing and shipping.


During the Middle Ages, several ports along the river were flourishing centers of trade and commerce. The river also served as a strategic point for defense during conflicts like the Spanish Armada.

Over time, humans have interacted with the river in various ways. The construction of bridges across the river transformed how people traveled across it.

Dredging and embankment projects have altered the river's flow and shape to some extent, increasing its navigability while reducing its flood risk impact on nearby areas. Today, River Exe remains a crucial part of Exmouth's transportation infrastructure.

The Rise of Tourism


In the 19th century, tourism began to play an increasingly important role in shaping Exmouth's economy. Visitors from all over England and beyond flocked to Exmouth for its sandy beaches and mild climate - both attractions that are closely tied to River Exe.


The estuary formed by the River Exe acts as a natural harbor that provides shelter from winds and rough seas on one side while offering access to calm waters suitable for boating on another side.

This feature proved especially attractive for visitors interested in water sports like sailing or kayaking. Today, tourists can still enjoy many activities related to River Exe- boating or casting a fishing line - as they explore this beautiful area rich with historical significance.


The Ultimate Guide to Recreation on River Exe, Exmouth


River Exe is an ideal location for a range of recreational activities that appeal to both locals and tourists alike. Whether you're looking for an adventurous day out or simply want to unwind and relax, there's something for everyone.

Fishing is perhaps the most popular activity on the river, with fishermen regularly catching salmon, trout, and sea bass. You can fish from the banks of the river or hire a boat and cast your line while enjoying stunning views around you.

If you're interested in fishing but don't have any experience, there are plenty of guides available who can offer expert advice on where to fish and provide equipment. Boating is another popular activity on River Exe that offers visitors a unique perspective of this beautiful river.

There are several options available for boating enthusiasts ranging from kayaking/canoeing to larger vessels like motorboats and yachts. Boating gives visitors an opportunity to explore some of the most scenic parts of River Exe which cannot be accessed by land.


Contribution to Local Tourism


Recreational activities available on River Exe contributes significantly towards local tourism as these activities attract many visitors throughout the year.


For instance, fishing trips are highly sought after by anglers worldwide who travel specifically down to this area just for this purpose which generates a lot of revenue for local businesses such as guide services, bait shops, and tackle stores, etc.,


They also bring in additional revenue through accommodation rentals as tourists may stay overnight or over several days during their fishing trips.

Similarly boating opportunities in River Exe attract people from all walks of life including families with children who enjoy spending time together outdoors surrounded by nature or couples seeking romantic experiences away from busy city life.


These tourism opportunities brought upon by recreational activities result in increased spending at local restaurants, hotels, and other attractions which further support the economy.



The Influence of River Exe on Local Culture


River Exe has been a significant part of the Exmouth community for centuries, and as such, it has played an important role in shaping the town's culture.


From art and literature to music and festivals, the river has inspired a range of cultural expressions throughout its history. One way that River Exe has influenced local culture is through artistic representations in paintings, photography, and other visual media.

Many artists have been drawn to the river's scenic beauty and rich biodiversity, capturing its essence on canvases or film reels. In addition to visual arts, River Exe has also influenced local literature by serving as a setting or theme in many novels, short stories, and poems.

Writers have explored different aspects of the river's ecology or history through their works - from romanticizing the estuary's sunsets to examining its role in trade during Victorian times. The presence of River Exe in literary works has given rise to a sense of place among locals who can relate to these stories on a personal level.

Cultural Events around River Exe


The cultural significance of River Exe is further reinforced by various festivals and events held around it every year. For example, one popular event is the annual "Exmouth Festival" which brings together musicians from different genres for performances along the riverfront.

The festival celebrates diversity not only through music but also with art exhibitions showcasing local talents. Another event that takes place along the river is "Exmouth Illuminated," a creative display where light installations are placed along the waterfront creating an illuminated trail that visitors can explore at night time.

The illumination trail runs from Mudbank Lane all the way down towards Shelly Beach giving both locals and tourists an opportunity to enjoy this magical experience. Overall, it’s clear that River Exe plays an integral part not only in the physical makeup of Exmouth but also in its cultural landscape.

It has inspired artists, writers, musicians, and event organizers to create works that celebrate the river's beauty and significance. Whether it’s through a painting, a poem, or an annual festival, River Exe continues to influence and shape the town's culture in unique ways.


River Exe is an essential part of the town of Exmouth. The river has played a significant role in shaping the geography, ecology, history, recreation, and culture of the area.

It is a place where people can come together for recreational activities and connect with nature. It's biodiversity and unique geology are valuable parts of the local ecosystem.

The river's history is also fascinating, with evidence of human activity dating back thousands of years. From fishing to boat-building to transportation, River Exe has been a vital resource for the people who have lived in the area for centuries.

The cultural significance of River Exe cannot be underestimated either. It has been a source of inspiration for local artists and musicians alike.

The river also hosts several cultural events throughout the year that celebrate its importance to the community. Overall, River Exe is an invaluable asset to the town of Exmouth, and it should be protected for future generations to enjoy.