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River Parrett

The River Parrett has its source in the springs in the hills around Cheddington in Dorset in England and flows west through the Somerset Levels to its mouth in the Bristol Channel at Bridgwater Bay, an important Nature Reserve.

During winter, the Parrett is prone to frequent flooding.

In common with the lower reaches of the River Severn, the Parrett exhibits a tidal phenomenon known as the bore. At certain combinations of the tides, the rising water is funneled up the river into a wave that travels rapidly upstream against the river current. The bore is a natural example of a self-reinforcing solitary wave or soliton.

During January through to May, the Parrett provides a source of eels (Anguilla anguilla) and the young elvers, caught by hand nettting - the only legal means of catching them.

The 2003 BBC Radio 4 play Glass Eels by Nell Leyshon was set on a river in the Levels, very probably the Parrett.

See also