River Nith

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The estuary of the River Nith

The River Nith is a river 71 miles long forming the boundary of Dumfriesshire with Kirkcudbrightshire.

The Nith rises in the Carsphairn hills of Ayrshire, more precisely between Prickeny Hill and Enoch Hill, 5 miles east of Dalmellington. For the majority of its course it flows in a generally Southern direction through Dumfriesshire, and in its lower stages forms the border between that shire and Kirkcudbrightshire, before spilling into the Solway Firth at Ards point.

The territory through which the river flows is Nithsdale.


The length of the Nith my be fairly debated, for it has a long estuary on the Solway Firth and where river ends and sea begins is uncertain. Following the general principle that it is a river as long as, at low tide, the flow can be seen, and following the centre of the river at low water, the Nith reaches very far indeed into the Solway. At low tide, the sea recedes to such an extent that the length of the Nith is extended by 8.1 miles to 70.7 miles.

Protected areas

The estuary of the River Nith is an important site for wildfowl, and is protected at an international level as part of the Upper Solway Flats and Marshes Ramsar site and Special Protection Area, and as part of the Solway Firth Special Area of Conservation. At a national level, the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is within the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve.[1]

The Nith Estuary 'National Scenic Area' recognises the scenic value of the area.


Upstream to Downstream:

Towns and villages

The Nith near Carron Bridge
The Nith at Ellisland Farm

Outside links


  1. "Caerlaverock: Designations". Scotland's National Nature Reserves. http://www.nnr-scotland.org.uk/caerlaverock/management/designations/. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 

Coordinates: 55°00′N 3°36′W / 55°N 3.6°W / 55; -3.6