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The River Test is a in in the south of England. It rises at Ashe near and flows southwards for to Southampton Water. Settlements on the Test include the towns of Stockbridge and . Below the village of , the river is broadly followed by the , a long-distance footpath.

Much of the Test is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is part of the Solent and Southampton Water and Special Protection Area. The river is used for for from its source to its tidal limit.Environment Agency (2006). Fact file on the River Test. Retrieved 8 February 2006.

Recorded forms are Terstan from 877 and 901, Tarstan stream in 1045, Terstein 1234, and Test in 1425. If , not , all related dictionaries show three suitable words beginning with Tre- and none with extremely rare Ter-. There is precedent to such metathesis: as for the in the far west, from tren 'strong'. If so it most likely relates to the tres (tumult, commotion, contention, uproar) or trais (force, might in older Welsh). A close set of words (diversely conjugated and pronounced) in Old English is (f)irst(en), the meaning of which is as at present, first.

The river rises near the village of Ashe, to the west of (at ), and flows west through the villages of Overton, , and the town of Whitchurch, before joining with the at and turning in a more southerly direction. It then proceeds through the villages of and Middleton to and , where the Rivers and join.Ordnance Survey (2004). OS Explorer Map 144 – Basingstoke, Alton & Whitchurch. .

From Chilbolton the river goes through the villages of , , Stockbridge and Houghton to and , where the River Dun joins the flow. From here the village of Timsbury is passed, then through the grounds of before reaching the town of . On the western edge of Romsey, Sadler's Mill, an 18th-century , sits astride the River Test.Ordnance Survey (2004). ''OS Explorer Map 131 – Romsey, Andpoo ver & Test Valley''. .

South of Romsey, the river passes the of , and then , once the site of a bridge. Finally the river is joined by the River Blackwater and soon becomes tidal, widening out into a considerable estuary that is lined on its northern bank by the container terminals and of the Port of Southampton. The Test estuary then meets that of the River Itchen and the two continue to the sea as Southampton Water.Ordnance Survey (2004). OS Explorer Map OL22 – New Forest. .

Between Chilbolton and Redbridge, the river was once paralleled by the , which was itself converted to a railway in 1865, and then in turn abandoned. Most traces of the canal have disappeared, although the remains of a stretch can still be seen between Timsbury and Romsey.Andover Town Central (2000–2006). The Andover Canal . Retrieved 9 February 2006.

This chalk stream has one of the richest and of any lowland river in England. More than 100 species of flowering plant have been recorded along its banks and 232 invertebrate taxa in the river. It is also important for wetland birds, with breeding species including kingfishers, and .

Water quality
The Environment Agency measure water quality of the river systems in England. Each is given an overall ecological status, which may be one of five levels: high, good, moderate, poor and bad. There are several components that are used to determine this, including biological status, which looks at the quantity and varieties of , and fish. Chemical status, which compares the concentrations of various chemicals against known safe concentrations, is rated good or fail. Text was copied from this source, which is available under an Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright.

Water quality of the River Test in 2019:

heavily modified

In popular culture
The river features in Richard Adams' 1972 novel . When the Watership rabbits are pursued by an enemy force, one rabbit carries out a plan which leads to their successful escape down the Test on a punt. In the text, we are told that this plan would not have been possible on most rivers, but the Test's smooth-flowing, weed-free nature makes it an exception. The punt becomes lodged on a low bridge, and the surviving rabbits are forced to swim under the bridge to the riverbank.

The following are the named tributaries of the River Test, listed in order upstream from Southampton Water. (1995). OS Landranger Map 185 – Winchester and Basingstoke. .

See also
  • Rivers of the United Kingdom

External links
  • Https://

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