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The River Coquet rises at Coquet Head on the Scottish border and flows generally eastward, draining the southern flanks of the Cheviot Hills, finally discharging to the North Sea at Amble. The Warkworth Dam marks the tidal limit.
The River Coquet is an excellent, clean river system of high conservation and ecological value. The river is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as part of the National Programme of 27 river SSSI's. Bankside habitats range from woodland fringed lower river and wooded lowlands through the hay meadows, herb rich valleys and gravel haughs of lower Coquetdale to the upper moorlands of the Cheviots. This relatively undisturbed environment provides excellent habitats for wildlife including a number of protected species. Within the Coquet catchment there are 10 other SSSI's which directly influence or are influenced by the water environment. The principal habitats protected are hay meadows, woodland and the estuary.
The main river supports a healthy and diverse invertebrate fauna of mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies and other taxa which are sensitive to pollution. Their presence indicates the absence of chronic pollution and the in-stream biology is generally of excellent quality. Although the habitat and water quality are suitable for crayfish, they have never been found by the Environment Agency, even though they were reliably reported as being present at Thropton and Felton in 1981.
The ECN site on the Coquet is at Warkworth, Grid Reference NU 236 050, approximately 2 kilometres upstream of the tidal limit.