Water is Devon’s most valuable natural resource. Our damp climate has helped to create the internationally important blanket bogs of Dartmoor and Exmoor, wet acidic grasslands of the Culm (over 80% of England’s remaining culm grassland is found in Devon), and 3,500 km of streams and rivers, ranging from fast-flowing upland watercourses to meandering lowland rivers.
Devon’s rivers, lakes, bathing waters, estuaries, wetlands and groundwater provide many benefits. They supply drinking water and support fisheries. They provide an essential resource for business and agriculture, transport routes and recreational opportunities. Healthy water environments help to protect us from floods and droughts and to regulate air quality and our climate.
Current issues include the pollution of water courses, bathing waters and shell fisheries; barriers to fish movement; and serious flooding events. Natural Devon and its partners are supporting initiatives across the county to tackle these problems. We want productive freshwater fisheries and shell fisheries, human communities protected from flooding and better quality wetlands, rivers and bathing waters
Devon’s wetlands and watercourses provide resilience to flooding and drought, healthy fisheries and wildlife habitats, fantastic recreational opportunities and a clean water supply.
Encourage joined-up, catchment-wide approaches to management of the water environment to achieve multiple benefits.
Champion continued and innovative investment in the water environment, building on the Upstream Thinking approach pioneered by our partner South West Water.
Board lead: John Holmes (represents the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
- Executive lead: Mark Rice, Environment Agency