East Devon Catchment Partnership

Hosting Partners: Devon Wildlife Trust and Westcountry Rivers Trust
Contact:Ed Parr Ferris, Conservation Manager, Devon Wildlife Trust
Address: Cricklepit Mill, Commercial Road, Exeter EX2 4AB
Telephone: 01392 260868

The East Devon Catchment covers approximately 2300km2 taking in the rivers Exe, Creedy, Culm, Clyst, Otter, Sid, Axe and Lim and coastal streams. East Devon is predominantly agricultural, with lowland cattle and sheep farms constituting 38% of the farming practice. Only 7% of the catchment is developed compared to the national average of 16%. The main urban areas are Exeter, Crediton, Tiverton and Cullompton. The East Devon Catchment has a varied landscape and stretches from Exmoor and the Blackdown Hills in the north to Exmouth and the Jurassic coast and west Dorset.

Catchment Partnership Priorities

The main issues affecting the East Devon Catchment are:
• Agricultural diffuse pollution from intensive agriculture
• manures, slurry and soil entering rivers
• nutrients affecting groundwater aquifers
• Flooding due to poor soil condition driven by intensive agricultural practices on vulnerable soils
• Water quality and in-river barriers affecting fish populations and passage
Other issues include:
• Urban sewage and run-off entering watercourses
Bathing Water issues around faecal indicators following heavy rainfall

Current projects

• Soils & Natural Flood Management manual and interactive guide: Building on ‘Think Soils’ guide, to provide soil hydrology guidance to farm advisors and managers
• Ottery St Mary Natural Flood Management Project: Community project within national NFM programme
• River Otter Beaver Trial: Investigating the impacts of wild beavers in a lowland agricultural landscape
• Corry & Coly NFM Project: Using a multi-objective ‘Working With Natural Processes’ approach to address flooding in Axe catchment and delivering water quality, biodiversity and other ecosystem service benefits
• Connecting the Culm (Water Environment Grant funded): Catchment scale climate change adaptation project that looks to co-create solutions with communities and stakeholders
• Connecting the Culm (Interreg 2 Seas funded): Catchment scale climate change adaptation project that looks to co-create solutions with communities and stakeholders
• Woods for Water: Initiative to strategically plant trees to provide water quality and wider benefits
• Exmoor Non-Native Invasive Species Project: Project to trial new techniques for tackling invasive, non-native species on Exmoor
• Great Trees of the Clyst: Project to maintain, restore and enhance trees and wooded landscapes of the Clyst through community engagement
• Crystal Clear Clyst: Catchment scale project to look at natural solutions to the Clyst’s poor water quality
• Culm Garden Village engagement: Stakeholder engagement for the new garden village planned to deliver 5000 homes next to the River Culm
• Lower Otter Restoration Project: Managed realignment of lower Otter Valley addressing loss of coastal habitat in the Exe Estuary
• UpStream Thinking 2 (Otter and Cofton Cross): Catchment investigations and interventions based around farming to address water quality
• UpStream Thinking 2 (Exe): Catchment investigations and interventions based around farming to address water quality
• Upper Wotton Brook Catchment Study: Part of Lympstone Flood Risk Management Project
• Exmoor Mires Partnership: Peatland restoration on Exmoor
• Strategic Exe Weirs (SEW) programme: To improve fish migration throughout catchment for all fish species
• Fisheries Improvement Programme: Catchment-scale river and fisheries improvements to meet WFD targets and restore rivers
• Culm Habitat Improvement Project (CHIP): WFD river and fisheries improvements in the River Culm catchment
• Axe Irish Ford removal: Removal or improvement of migratory obstacles in the Axe catchment
• REHab (River Environment Habitat) project: River and fisheries improvements for Water Framework Directive improvement and water quantity control through Natural Flood Management buffers and extensions
• Life In Trees Enhancement (LITE) project: River restoration and WFD improvements whilst facilitating the national tree planting initiative
• Corry & Coly Natural Flood Management project phase 2: Deploy ‘Working With Natural Processes’ interventions in order to deliver improved resilience to properties at risk of flooding, tackle WFD phosphate and sediment failures, enhance biodiversity

Link for further information on the East Devon Catchment Partnership