Ashley River Headwaters

The Ashley River is well known for the iconic plantations, such as Drayton Hall and Middleton Place, situated along its banks. Fortunately, many of these historic properties near Charleston have been protected. However, the Ashley extends far past these properties and well into Berkeley and Dorchester Counties. The upper reaches of the river eventually merge into the Cypress Swamp and Wassamassaw Swamp, which we collectively refer to as the Ashley River Headwaters. These Headwaters provide critical habitat for wildlife species, the drinking water for much of the Charleston area, and fertile ground for many of the historic farming communities in the area.

Of all the areas Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust works, the Ashley River Headwaters is perhaps the most threatened of all due to its proximity to I-26 and several large industrial developments. While a certain amount of urban growth in this region is unavoidable, we will continue to work with landowners, regional planners, and other conservation partners to protect important farming and wildlife habitats. These efforts will help ensure the sustainability of traditional land uses, water quality, and outdoor recreation in the Ashley River Headwaters.

Counties: Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester