River with trees on the bank and a over cast sky

Rivers and streams

Rivers and streams, burns, brooks and springs – the names are varied but the flora and fauna all have to cope with the same thing: water that flows continuously in one direction. If you live here you need a way to avoid being washed downstream and ultimately into the sea. Plants and animals have to be able to cling on, hide away from the flow or swim against the current.

Watch video clips from past programmes (28 clips)

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What lives here?





Cartilaginous fish

Ray-finned fishes

Lobe-finned fishes



Crabs, shrimp and krill


Where you find Rivers and streams

Map showing the location of the Rivers and streams habitat

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • African Wildlife African Wildlife

    Sir David Attenborough's Africa series took over four years to make and has brought us eye to eye with the continent's incredible wildlife in spectacular ways.

  • This is Planet Earth This is Planet Earth

    Narrated by Sir David Attenborough Planet Earth was the ground-breaking series that explored the wild and beautiful parts of our planet like never before.