The Kennet Catchment

Kennet Catchment

The Kennet Catchment stretches from the upper reaches of the Winterbournes above Avebury west of Marlborough in Wiltshire, to Reading in Berkshire where the Kennet flows into the Thames.

Catchment area of the River Kennet

The Kennet catchment is mainly rural in character, defined by the chalk uplands of the Marlborough and Berkshire Downs to the North and the Hampshire Downs to the south. Much of the area falls within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The three largest tributaries are the Lambourn, Dun and Enbourne.

The principal towns are Reading, Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford and Marlborough.

There are three Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) wholly or partly in the Catchment:

There are two river Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in the Kennet Catchment:


The Enborne is a fast-flowing river, quite different in character to the rest of the catchment...


The River Aldbourne is a pretty chalk stream, which in its upper reaches around the village of Aldbourne is a winterbourne...

The Brooks

The River Kennet flows through the urban centre of Reading and is fed by a number of brooks, each one important in its own right...