River Ivel

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The IveI; at Biggleswade

The River Ivel is a modest Bedfordshire river, though with its source in Hertfordshire, and which is a tributary of the Great Ouse.

Course of the river

The River Ivel rises at the Ivel Springs immediately north of Baldock in northern Hertfordshire, but within a couple of miles it enters Bedfordshire, just south of Stotfold, and the rest of its course lies within that county until it discharges its waters into the Great Ouse.

The Ivel flows through Stotfold, Arlesey, Henlow, Langford, Biggleswade, Sandy and Blunham. It joins the Great Ouse near Tempsford. The total length is about 15 miles.

The section from Langford to Blunham, including Sandy, is designated as a Flood Warning Area. For further details see the Environment Agency website

Nature Trail

The 'Kingfisher Way' is a 21-mile nature trail, which mostly follows the River Ivel from its source at Ivel Springs in Baldock, through to its confluence with the River Great Ouse at Tempsford.

Navigating the Ivel

Although the river is no longer navigable to larger craft it is possible to canoe with care along the seven miles of river between Biggleswade and Tempsford.[1] This, of course, is advisable only under good conditions, when the river is not too low or too high.

Angling on the Ivel

Much of the River Ivel has fishing rights reserved by local angling clubs and associations including:

The Ivel is becoming known for the quality and size of specimen fish that can be caught, including barbel (10-17+ lbs), perch (4 lbs+), chub (7 lbs+), roach and carp to 20 lb, and pike.

Outside links


  1. Canoe Access on the Ivel from Canoe England