The Cherwell catchment is hosted by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), with the support of the Environment Agency and The Rivers Trust. Judith Hartley is the lead for the Cherwell, Ray and Windrush.
The catchment of the Cherwell is divided into two sub-catchments of differing character: the River Cherwell and the River Ray (the Cherwell’s largest tributary).
From its headwaters near the village of Charwelton (Northamptonshire), the River Cherwell flows southwards, passing through Banbury and Kidlington before flowing into the Thames at New Hinksey (Oxford). Other than these key urban areas, the Cherwell catchment is very rural, with a high proportion of arable land as well as some improved pasture. The underlying geology is clay.
For much of its length, the Cherwell runs parallel with the Oxford Canal, crossing it at Nellbridge and sharing the same channel between Enslow and Shipton-on-Cherwell.