Tamar Catchment Partnership

Hosting Partner: Westcountry Rivers Trust
Contact: Freya Stacey, Evidence and Engagement Officer, Westcountry Rivers Trust
Address: Rain-Charm House, Kyl Cober Parc, Stoke Climsland, Callington, Cornwall PL17 8PH
Telephone: 01579 372140

Blue painting of the word Tamar made to look like a river

The catchment of the River Tamar and its tributaries, when combined with the other rivers that flow into the Tamar Estuary, cover a total land area of around 1,800 sq km. The River Tamar itself, which forms the boundary between the counties of Devon and Cornwall, rises in the hills of North Devon and flows 78 km southwards before entering Plymouth Sound. In addition to the River Tamar, the wider catchment includes the Rivers Tavy, Plym, Yealm, Lynher and Tiddy.

The topography of the wider Tamar catchment is highly varied, with the main upland areas found in the western and eastern fringes of the catchment (Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor). The upper and central sections of the River Tamar catchment are largely comprised of rolling farmland where the low porosity clay soils and granite bedrock give rise to incised ‘flashy’ rivers prone to rapid onset of spate conditions.
The Tamar Catchment has a diverse mixture of rural and coastal, towns and villages, and the main types of industry are agriculture and tourism. The most populated urban areas are Plymouth, Tavistock, Launceston and Holsworthy.

Image of a train crossing a viaduct© Jiri Rezac 2015


Catchment Partnership Priorities:

• Water quality
• Water quantity
– Pluvial flooding
– Fluvial flooding
– Coastal flooding
• Sustainable water resource management
– Low flows
– Drought
– Rural SuDS/ Working with natural processes/ Natural flood management
• Water sensitive urban design
– SuDS/Blue infrastructure
• Space for wildlife
• Carbon sequestration
• Local food
• Recreation, leisure & culture
• Public engagement
– Community resilience
– Climate adaptation

Key issues in Tamar Catchment:

• Nutrients
• Sediments
• Modification, barriers to fish migration
• Metal pollution
• Flood risk

Current projects

• Business Board
• Tamar Fisheries Forum
• Plymouth River Keepers
• Upstream Thinking
Roadford mitigation
• Westcountry CSI

Link for further information on the Tamar Catchment Partnership