instow beach, estuary and rivers


Bathing water quality

Of the twenty three samples taken by the Environment agency during 2010 all but two attained pass or high quality rating. The reason for variance is because Instow lies at the confluence of the river Taw and river Torridge in a tidal setting. During periods of particularly high tides or heavy rainfall there is likely to be an increased level of micro-organisms in the water, usually caused through run off into the rivers from the surrounding hills and storm drains.  Generally Instow sands is a good place to paddle and swim. The water is very shallow which makes it great for children.

Flood protection and sand conservation

A recent  report indicates that rising sea levels is having an impact on the circulation of sand within the estuary.  Sand from Saunton, Westward Ho! and Crow Point is influenced by tidal action and can be deposited in other river or beach locations depending on the state of tide, swell and wind direction.  Recently this appears to have created a build up of sand on Instow Beach. Sand loss has a negative effect on the ecology of the estuary and it is important that sand at Instow is preserved within the ecosystem. The best idea to tackle this problem is probably to fence the sand dune areas at Instow which helps promote the growth of marram grass which in turn minimises sand loss from water and wind erosion.


Information about Instow Beach, the rivers Taw and Torridge and bathing water quality.  Instow Bed and Breakfast and Instow accommodation