The River Evenlode rises out of the limestone that underlies the Cotswolds, flowing south-east towards the clay vales of the River Thames. The catchment contains 16 river water bodies including the Evenlode, and major tributaries the Glyme and Dorn. The landscape in this catchment is some of the finest in the county, forming part of the Cotswolds AONB, the remains of the ancient Royal Hunting forest of Wychwood and the World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace. There are many historic market towns such as Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh and Woodstock. Habitats include oak-ash woodland, limestone grasslands, lowland meadows and fen, which support a wide range of wildlife. Priority species present in the catchment include remnant populations of our nationally endangered native crayfish, water voles and rare plant species including fen violet and downy woundwort.
The river habitat and fish populations in the Evenlode catchment are degraded through a combination of historical channel modification and pollution (sediment and phosphate) from waste water and rural areas. In many places rivers been over-deepened, widened and straightened, resulting in uniform channel morphology, a river divorced from its floodplain and extensive in-channel siltation. There are also numerous weirs, (35 on the Glyme), impounding the flow and creating barriers to fish movement. The combined impacts leave the catchment vulnerable to flooding and pollution and contribute to reduced water quality, biodiversity and fisheries interest.
The EA Catchment Data Explorer helps you explore and download information about the water environment. It supports and builds upon the data in the river basin management plans. You can find catchments and water bodies of interest using a map or searching by name. You can also view summary information about catchments, and follow links to other useful sites.
The Catchment Based Approach website provides a wealth of information about the Evenlode.