Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

Did you know?

We also have Bitesize study guides covering many subjects at National 4 and National 5 on our Knowledge & Learning BETA website.

Home > Geography > Rivers > Land use of river landscapes


Land use of river landscapes


It is not unusual in General, and fairly common in Credit exams to be asked about the land use of river landscapes, These are not 'trick' questions. They are meant to find out if you can go beyond recognising and explaining features to put them in a human context. In this case you need to know the sorts of uses the different landscapes are put to, and why these are suitable uses. This often has to do with the features and how they were formed. So these questions test all of your knowledge and understanding of rivers and river landscapes.

Upper course


water cascading over a waterfall



Here are the main land uses along with some of the reasons for their suitability.

  • Tourism - sightseeing, gorge walking. Waterfalls and ravines can be spectacular. Angling - good source of income for landowners, especially in salmon rivers.
  • Farming - sheep, deer. Poor soils, steep slopes and poor weather limit farming.
  • Forestry - poor soils, steep slopes and poor weather may make forestry more economical than farming.
  • Reservoirs - high rainfall provides water for towns lower down. 'V' shaped valleys are fairly easy to dam and provide deep reservoirs.
  • Hydro Electric Power (HEP) - high rainfall, steep slopes provide fast flowing water.



Class Clips

Video clip about land use by the River Severn



Class Clips

Video clip about land use in the Somerset flood plains


A water dam

Class Clips

Clip about a dam built across a river in south Africa

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.