South Devon Catchment Partnership

Hosting Partners: Westcountry Rivers Trust and South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Contact: Rosie Lear, Evidence and Engagement Officer, Westcountry Rivers Trust
Address: Rain-Charm House, Kyl Cober Parc, Stoke Climsland, Callington, Cornwall PL17 8PH
Telephone: 01579 372140

The Partnership takes a catchment-based approach and covers the rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries and coast of the Yealm, Erme, Avon, Salcombe-Kingsbridge, Dart and Teign, Slapton Ley and smaller coastal watercourses.

Catchment Partnership Priorities
Our aim is to work collaboratively to improve the natural quality of our rivers, estuaries, etc. and their catchments, for people and for wildlife, and to bring people closer to nature. The South Devon Catchments Partnership works to bring together and engage local people, organisations and businesses from across South Devon.

The primary driver for the Catchment Based Approach is the need for the UK to meet its water quality obligations under the Water Framework Directive. However, the partnership also embraces the whole range of ecosystem benefits derived from the water catchments including:
• Drinking water
• Wildlife habitats, corridors and communities
• Flood management
• Recreation
• Culture & heritage
• Sustainable food production
• Health & well-being
• Biosecurity


Current projects
River Gara Diffuse Pollution Interventions
Westcountry Rivers Trust, Natural England, the Environment Agency and Slapton Ley Field Studies Council are working with landowners to improve up to 5km of the River Gara which discharges into the National Nature Reserve, Slapton Ley. Both the Ley and river are failing the Water Framework Directive and this project can help interested landowners in the Gara catchment to undertake improvements to reduce nutrient pressures on water quality.
River Charter for the Dart at Dartington
The Bioregional Learning Centre (BLC) received SDCP’s endorsement and a small amount of funding to help progress the UK’s first River Charter for the Dart at Dartington. Since then the BLC and Dartingon’s estate team have led activities including stakeholder workshops, citizen science training, door-knocking, an interactive exhibition space, and conversations with hundreds of people, to raise awareness of the importance of collective stewardship of the environment.
Dogmarsh Weir
This capital project will work to improve fish passage over Dogmarsh Weir.
Conserving the heritage of Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout in the River Teign (in development)
The Teign Fisheries Association (TFA), working with local people, angling associations, and with support from statutory and charity bodies, is developing a bid for the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project proposal is all about enabling committed volunteers, riparian landowners, and the local community to make a positive and lasting difference to the conservation of migratory fish in the River Teign. It aims to deliver practical program of work and engage the widest possible audience through awareness raising activities.
South Devon AONB Estuaries Partnership
We promote Integrated Coastal Zone Management within the South Devon AONB area for the sustainable conservation management of our coast, estuaries and their catchments – involving formal and informal education; habitat, communities and species conservation.
South Devon AONB Estuaries Management Plan
This plan informs, gives guidance and direction to how our estuaries should be actively conserved and enhanced for their health and the vital ecosystem services that they provide. All South Devon AONB estuaries and much of the coast enjoy a Marine Protected Area designation and the plan also helps to conserve the coastal water quality.
South Devon AONB Estuaries Forums
We support four local estuary forums made up of representatives of their local communities, groups, relevant organisations and authorities that meet biannually to discuss and forward the actions of the Estuaries Management Plan.
Seagrass and saltmarsh conservation
We are engaged in a number of projects to encourage the understanding, conservation and enhancement of these very important coastal communities.
Coastal Biosecurity
We have prepared a dedicated Biosecurity plan for each of our local estuaries, that encourage a greater awareness of Invasive Non-Native Species and their implications, and the prudent actions to help their management control, settlement and spread.

Link for further information on the South Devon Catchment Partnership