River Catchment workshops have been held for the Dart, Avon, and Yealm, engaging local organisations, groups and relevant authorities in forming the South Devon Catchment Partnership. Working with the wider community the partnership aims to secure a healthy water environment for South Devon and encouraging local ownership of the solutions to improve all aspects of our river catchments from their source to the open coast.
It is intended this collaborative way of working will create an approach that delivers more environmental benefits, not just in water quality or biodiversity, but in flood risk management, drought protection and recreation as well as many others.
The Environment Agency has set up local partnership hosts, which for South Devon is a co-hosting partnership between the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit and the Westcountry Rivers Trust. The workshops focussed on four key subject areas of water quality, water quantity, species and habitats and value to people. Delegates discussed what the main local issues were and some possible solutions.
The events led jointly by The AONB team and the Westcountry Rivers Trust were attended by a variety of organisations including South West Rivers Association, Dart Fisheries Association, Environment Agency, Natural England, the Slapton Ley Field Studies Centre, South West Water, the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth University, together with local landowners and farmers.
Roger English, South Devon AONB Unit Project Officer said “The workshops proved a good way of involving a wide range of interests with passionate engagement from a wide range of organisations and landowners highlighting the issues faced across South Devon, along with a range of possible solutions. As a partnership we hope to turn this interest and energy into new worthwhile projects for our river catchments and be more effective with the resources and funding already at the partnership’s disposal.”
There will continue to be many opportunities for parishes and individuals to get involved – for further information, contact the South Devon AONB unit firstname.lastname@example.org or 01803 861384