Bampton: The River Batherm
The River Batherm flows through Bampton from the water meadows to the east of the town - it joins the River Exe on the edge of the parish, very close to the Exeter Inn.
Flooding: Check the current river level at Bampton Bridge - here!
In August 2004, the Environment Agency did a routine check on the quality of the water and the wild life it supports. These checks are carried out approximately every five years - the previous one was in 1998.
The survey is done by the team walking up a stretch of the river with a very refined piece of electrical equipment which attracts the fish and then gently stuns them, allowing them to be caught in a net.
The fish are transferred to a temporary tank, and then they are measured and recorded.
Two surveys are done, one on each side of the stretch of the river running through the town. Between the two the Shuttern Brook joins the river, and also there is an outflow from the sewage treatment plant.
Shown here is the measuring of the fish, in this case a small salmon and a trout.
We were told that there were three times as many salmon in this section of the river than there had been in the previous survey. Furthermore, the presence of the salmon indicated that they were very close to the spawning grounds of the salmon, actually in Bampton!
Also found were parr, grayling, bullheads, and stone loach.
The research team disturbed a cormorant as they were unpacking their equipment - always a good sign of a healthy river with a good fish stock. Also discovered were the recent footprints of otters.
Others have recently seen herons and kingfishers here.
We have a very clean river supporting a diversity of wild-life.
Find out up to date information about the results of river samples at the Environment Agency's own website. It looks pretty good quality water!