The Port of Bridgwater extends from Bridgwater Town Centre down the River Parrett to the Bristol Channel.
The statutory Harbour Limits as defined within local legislation are depicted on Admiralty Chart 1152, and are defined within the Port Operations Manual 2020 September Rev 9.
The limits of the Port are summarised below:
- Bridgwater Bay from Brean Down to east of Hinkley Point
- The River Parrett as far as Bridgwater town centre
- The River Brue as far as Highbridge Clyce Sluice
- A small part of the tidal River Axe
As the Statutory Harbour Authority, Somerset Council has responsibilities for:
- Safe and efficient marine operations
- Conservancy – maintenance of navigation channels and navigation aids
- Emergency response
- Environmental protection including oil spill contingency planning, and waste management.
Somerset Council has powers to levy charges on Port users in order to raise funds to finance the safe management of the Port. These are detailed on the Charges and Permits page.
There are currently operational commercial berths located at Dunball and a facility at Combwich.
All the berths within the port are privately owned, and use of those berths is dependent upon permissions from the owners. The Harbour Master can provide contact details of Berth owners on request.
Tides and Pilotage
The Port is wholly within a dynamic tidal regime, with ranges at Burnham on Sea in excess of 12 metres, and significant tidal flows within the navigable River Parrett. Because of the extreme tidal range, winding river and constantly changing channels, all vessels navigating in the tidal River Parrett south of an imaginary line drawn from Stert Point to the north bank of the confluence of the River Brue with the River Parrett, are subject to compulsory Pilotage with the following exceptions:
- Those vessels excluded by virtue of Section 7(3) of the Pilotage Act 1987.
- Vessels under the pilotage of the holder of a “Pilotage Exemption Certificate” issued by the Competent Harbour Authority.
For more information, please see the Pilotage page.
Contact Harbour Master
Phone: 0300 303 7799