River Teviot

Coordinates: 55°19′52″N 2°57′18″W / 55.331°N 2.955°W / 55.331; -2.955
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River Teviot
River Teviot.JPG
View of the River Teviot
River Teviot is located in Scottish Borders
River Teviot
River Teviot is located in Scotland
River Teviot
Native nameAbhainn Tìbhiot (Scottish Gaelic)
Physical characteristics
 • locationScotland
 • coordinates55°19′52″N 2°57′18″W / 55.331°N 2.955°W / 55.331; -2.955
 • location
Basin features
River systemRiver Tweed

The River Teviot (/ˈtviət/; Scottish Gaelic: Abhainn Tìbhiot), or Teviot Water, is a river of the Scottish Borders area of Scotland, and is the largest tributary of the River Tweed by catchment area.[1] The Teviot is an important river for wildlife, especially the Atlantic salmon, but in recent years has witnessed at least four extreme flooding events.


It rises in the western foothills of Comb Hill on the border of Dumfries and Galloway. It flows north-eastwards through Teviotdale and past Teviothead, the Colterscleuch Monument, Broadhaugh, Branxholme and Branxholme Castle.[2]

The Teviot passes through Hawick and Lanton, past the Timpendean Tower and the village of Ancrum, Harestanes and Monteviot, Nisbet and Roxburgh, before joining the River Tweed to the southwest of Kelso.[3][4]

The Borders Abbeys Way keeps close company with the Teviot on its journey to the Tweed.[5]

Catchment and hydrometry[edit]

The river flows across a lowland catchment with shale underlying the surface. The headwaters are mostly moorland, woodland and some hill grazing. More intensively worked land for agriculture is found nearer the eastern end of the river where it flows into the Tweed.[6]

The river is prone to flooding with serious events in Hawick in 2005 when it caused "millions pounds worth of damage", and the river level was recorded at 11 feet (3.3 m)).[7][8] After two more extreme flooding events in 2015, and 2016 (when Jedburgh and Hawick saw water levels rising more than 5 feet (1.5 m) in an hour),[9] a £44 million scheme was launched to provide the town with the requisite flood defences needed to extreme events occurring.[10] Delays to the scheme meant that it wasn't started until 2020, by which time the town was subjected to extreme flooding again when Storm Ciara hit in January 2020. Flooding was so bad, that one restaurant on the bank of the river collapsed into the floodwaters.[11][12]


The river is used by the Borders Whisky Distillery at Hawick for cooling water and processed water.[13] Historically, the river had many mills along its length, and the site of one in Hawick, at Cobel Cauld, is to be used with a reverse Archimedes Screw to generate hydroelectricity. The plan was approved in 2019, with an expected completion date of 2021. The plant is hoped to generate 300 megawatt hours per year; enough to power 100 homes.[14]


The river was designated as a site of special scientific interest in 2001. The designation applies to the full length of the river and other tributaries of the River Tweed. The Teviot is noted for its wildlife, including salmon, otters, lamprey and forget-me-nots.[15] The river is an important site for breeding grounds of the Atlantic salmon.[16]


The principal tributaries of the Teviot are the Allan Water which enters its right bank at Newmill, the Borthwick Water which enters its left bank between Branxholme and Hawick, the Slitrig Water which enters via the right bank in Hawick itself,[17] the Ale Water entering via the left bank at Ancrum, the Jed Water on the right bank just downstream and the Kale Water which enters on the right bank between Crailing and Roxburgh.[2][3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "River Tweed SSSI" (PDF). apps.snh.gov.uk. p. 1. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b "331" (Map). Teviotdale South. 1:25,000. Explorer. Ordnance Survey. 2015. ISBN 9780319245835.
  3. ^ a b "338" (Map). Galashiels, Selkirk & Melrose. 1:25,000. Explorer. Ordnance Survey. 2017. ISBN 9780319245903.
  4. ^ a b "339" (Map). Kelso, Coldstream & Lower Tweed Valley. 1:25,000. Explorer. Ordnance Survey. 2015. ISBN 9780319245910.
  5. ^ www.jameskirby.me.uk. "Long Distance Walkers Association". www.ldwa.org.uk. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  6. ^ "21008 - Teviot at Ormiston Mil". nrfh.ceh.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Progress on £44m Hawick flood defences welcomed". The Southern Reporter. 9 July 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  8. ^ "SEPA Water Levels - Teviot @ Hawick". www2.sepa.org.uk. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  9. ^ Swerling, Gabriella (28 January 2016). "Hundreds flee homes as floods hit". infoweb.newsbank.com. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  10. ^ Smyth, Kirsty (11 July 2019). "£44m Hawick flood defence works still on schedule despite six-month hold-up hitting part of project, say council bosses". infoweb.newsbank.com. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  11. ^ Janiak, Kevin (9 February 2020). "Popular Hawick restaurant collapses into raging river Teviot". The Southern Reporter. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Flood 'near miss' highlights need for £44m scheme". BBC News. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  13. ^ Kelly, Paul (6 August 2017). "Online film reveals progress being made on £13m Hawick whisky distillery". infoweb.newsbank.com. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  14. ^ Anderson, Joseph (2 May 2019). "Plans for water turbine in River Teviot at Hawick given thumbs-up". infoweb.newsbank.com. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Special Interest in River Teviot". Hawick News. 2 November 2001. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  16. ^ Heddell-Cowie, M. (April 2005). "Importance of the River Teviot to Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, rod catches in the River Tweed, Scotland". Fisheries Management and Ecology. 12 (2): 137–142. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2400.2004.00435.x.
  17. ^ "Explore georeferenced maps - Map images - National Library of Scotland". maps.nls.uk. Retrieved 14 March 2020.

External links[edit]