River Stour

River Stour Course

River Stour Stourbridge A491 bridge

The river stour starts in Clent Hills, passes through Halesowen, Cradley Heath, Lye, Stourbridge, Amblecote, close to Kinver. And then towards Kidderminster, finally meeting the River Severn at Stourport-on-Severn.

Whist it is accepted that the river stour rises in the Clent Hills at roughly 250 metres, there is no officially recognised single source as it is fed by a number of small header streams which flow from springs either on the surface or under-ground, where water oozes to the surface causing a small boggy area.

At least two of these streams start in Uffmoor Wood, and another has its origin near Saint Kenelm’s Road and flows along the edge of Uffmoor Wood and then through breach Dingle. *

Ecological Status

Rubbish in river beyond Bonded Warehouse

The responsibility for monitoring the water quality lies with the Environment Agency. Testing is only done in a few sites and infrequently. It is not tested in Stourbridge.

THe testing proved that invertebrates are poor and reflect the pollution and low oxygen levels. Only pollution tolerant invertebrates can live in the river stour.

THe pollution is ‘diffuse’ from small and numerous sources – this can be wrongly connected appliances, which run directly into the river. Even screen wash from car windscreen’s and oil & chemicals wrongly disposed of by businesses and individuals.

Litter and branches are not removed unless there is a flood risk.

History and today

A footbridge over the Stour off Bagley's Road
River Stour off Bagley’s Road

The river and its tributaries have undergone many man-made changes over the centuries. First it was dammed in places to form mill pools and at Halesowen Abbey, fish pools. Then it was diverted to operate mills and more recently to facilitate the construction of buildings and roads.

It has been channeled through open culverts to prevent flooding, and enclosed culverts to enable buildings and roads to be constructed above the river.

In Stourbridge the river cannot be seen alongside the ring road where it is culverted. It reappears near the Bonded Warehouse and almost follows the Stourbridge Arm Canal. The present route only approximates to its natural course in some places.

Our new video about volunteers clearing rubbish out of the River Stour.

Anyone wanting to get involved we’re always looking for new people, there’s something for everyone to do.

River Stour Clear Water Video

Film produced, music written and played by Ian Winstanley

River Clean-up Dates

River Stour Maps

Cradley Heath
Lye and Quarry Bank

River Stour Booklet

We’ve recently reprinted River Stour booklet  (written by Gerald Darby).   This gives the history and course of the Stour with photos. The cost £3.95 of which £1.50 will go to Mary Stevens Hospice.

Available from the Fair Trade gift shop Fair & Square, Market St, Stourbridge

3 thoughts on “River Stour

  1. Hi There, I have read with interest the article in the Halesowen News regarding the clear up of the River Stour in the Cradley area.
    I have lived at my present address in Wesley Avenue for over 30 years and the river Stour runs at the bottom of my garden. Over the last 5years the state of the River has got quite bad due to the lack of any maintenance. A tree fell into the river a few metres downstream from my property and with all the debris that has been swept downstream in the last few floods has caught up in this tree and dammed the river. I am sure the next time the River is in flood it will cause problems further upstream eg Bridge Street and Corngreaves Road.
    I do not get any flooding problems at my property as the riverbank is a lot higher than the opposite side
    Regards T Howard

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