The river Nith, S W Scotland

Scotland's seventh longest river running through Dumfries & Galloway and East Ayrshire.

Nith Life:  Community Action

A community-led group that is exploring ways to ensure the River Nith is recognised as a significant part of the region's sustainability plans for the future.

We welcome everyone interested in the River Nith and its catchment.

Nith Life have a mailing list of people interested in news, events, activities, both cultural and scientific towards bringing life to the river Nith. Monthly public meetings and talks have been held since early 2022. A working group made up of volunteers also meet regularly towards coordinating projects and actions.


Citizen science activities

Culture, art & heritage

Wildlife & biodiversity monitoring

Organisational networking

Community consultations

Addressing climate change

Legal Status

Currently un constituted, undergoing finalisation of legal structure

Memorandum of Understanding formalised with the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire and UNESCO Biosphere and withthe Stove Network, Dumfries


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Ed Forrest - Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere
August 2023

"We've been supporting Nith Life because it really encapsulates much of the Biosphere ethos of a "bottom up" approach that seeks to deliver a harmonious relationship between people and nature.

We think it has a really exciting and dynamic range of people involved from local environmentalists and creatives to the wider community and we're interested in seeing how we can support them in celebrating and engaging with the Nith which is the longest river in our UNESCO Biosphere."

Martin O'Neill, Artistic Director, The Stove Network, August 2023

'The Stove Network is delighted to be supporting Nith Life. Nith Life has the potential to connect, inspire and grow new initiatives rooted in conservation, creativity and community around our believed River Nith, from source to sea. We are excited about what the future brings and hope we can continue to align our projects and campaigns towards a greener and more resilient future.'

Sue Walker
August 2023

"I love the fact that we have such a wealth of different talents and people who are part of Nith Life - ecologists and artists, musicians and boatbuilders, fishers and farmers. We're all here because we care deeply about the Nith - working together will be key to achieving our aims. "

All photos on this site are of and within the Nith in 2023, produced and kindly permitted for use by Nith Life by Matthijs de Vos

The river Nith


The Nith rises in the Carsphairn hills of East Ayrshire, between Prickeny Hill and Enoch Hill, 4.4 miles (7.1 km) east of Dalmellington. For the majority of its 70 miles (110 km) course it flows in a south-easterly direction through Dumfries and Galloway and then into the Solway Firth at Airds Point.


For estuaries the principle followed is that the river should be visible at all times. The measurement therefore follows the centre of the river at low tide and the mouth of the river is assumed to be at the coastal high tide mark. In Scotland this does not generally make a significant difference, except for rivers draining into shallow sloping sands of the Irish Sea and Solway Firth, notably the Nith. At low tide, the sea recedes to such an extent that the length of the Nith is extended by 13 km to 113.8 km (70.7 miles), making it Scotland's seventh longest river.


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