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Dear Tamar Catchment Partnership Members,

Welcome to the Autumn news round up from the catchment. Please read on and enjoy some good news from around the catchment.

- Tamar catchment monitoring review and 2019 WFD classifications
- Burrator Biodiversity Project
- Bude Climate Partnership
- Dartmoor Headwaters NFM
- Climate change adaptation for rural communities
- Plymouth River Keepers
- SuDS resources from Sponge 2020
- Preventing Plastic Pollution Project

- Tamara Landscape Partnership
- Upper Tamar Working Group


If you have anything you would like to be shared with the partnership please email Freya and it can be added to the next newsletter (Winter - Dec) 

What do we know about the Tamar?

Following the recent release of the 2019 WFD Classifications for rivers in England, which have been determined using a different approach to previous assessments, we have initiated a systematic review of the data and evidence relating to the ecological and chemical condition of the rivers in the Tamar Catchment. In the Tamar we have a net deterioration with more water bodies in worse condition than in 2016 plus we have the addition of PDPE and Mercury in the chemical assessment which reduces overall status.

The review process, which is being undertaken in close collaboration with experts in the EA and other monitoring experts in the partnership is expected to take 3-6 months and we will be reporting our findings (and their consequences for the Tamar Catchment Action Plan) in early 2021.
2019 WFD data
See below for Westcountry Rivers Trust CEO Dr Laurence Couldrick's comments on the recent speech from the Environment Agency’s Chief Executive regarding the environmental regulation of our rivers.
Click here

Update: River Basin Management Planning

The Challenges & Choices Consultation has finished, thank you again for all your input and for taking part in the workshop. The next steps in the process for us is the Catchment Pages. These pages will be part of the updated River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs). Prior to that they will form part of the draft River Basin Management Plan (dRBMP) due to be consulted on in 2021.

RBMPs are the strategic plans for water management in England. Every partnership nationwide will have their own catchment page. This is a significant opportunity to highlight catchment partnerships and the work they do underpinning CaBA’s role in river basin management. Our catchment page will represent the partnership, not your the host (WRT). These pages will be displayed within the Catchment Data Explorer and will be accessed via the management catchment page.

The aim of catchment pages is for viewers of the RBMPs to gain an understanding of the activities of each CaBA Partnership and their future priorities for environmental improvement, including:
  • Partnership information
  • Partnerships vision and evidence base
  • Link to the partnership's Catchment Plan and partnership's webpage
  • Top current challenges
  • Top developing challenges/future pressures 
  • Successes achieved by the partnership during the second cycle of RBMP (2016-2021)
  • Plans for the partnership's development over the next 6 years
  • Future priority actions (measures) to protect and improve the catchment during the third cycle by 2027
  • Links to partnership and contributing partners

New Project: Burrator Biodiversity Project

A new two year project managed by South West Lakes Trust started in April to identify and assess the condition of habitats and species across the Burrator Catchment on Dartmoor.  The project will involve working with local stakeholders and groups to explore opportunities for improving biodiversity, water quality and resilience to climate change.
More info on the SWLT website

New Project: Bude Climate Partnership

 A group of 12 local community organisations, including Westcountry Rivers Trust, has been awarded £200,000 by the National Lottery Climate Action Fund for an 18-month project to investigate, test and develop ways to protect the Bude area and community against the impact of climate change. This project will involve works on the River Neat which lies within the Cornwall catchment partnership but very close to the Tamar catchment partnership.
 
More info here

Project Update: Dartmoor Headwaters Natural Flood Management

Most people wouldn’t want a ‘leaking wall’ but that’s exactly what the River Operations Team at Westcountry Rivers Trust built on Walkhampton Common, Devon, to help with flood management. This work is part of the Dartmoor Headwater Natural Flood Management Project, a partnership between Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) and the Environment Agency. It is trialing the effectiveness of using natural river processes, land management techniques and soft engineering approaches to slow down and store water to help reduce the risk of flooding downstream, as an alternative to the more traditional hard engineering approach.

 
Project newsletter June 2020

New Project: Climate change adaptation for rural communities

Duchy College, part of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG), has been awarded almost £1.3 million from the The National Lottery Community Fund to run The Farm Net Zero project, which aims to help the farming community move towards net-zero carbon emissions. The project will create opportunities for farmers in Cornwall to learn about economically beneficial changes they can make to farming practice, through bespoke farm carbon footprint calculating, targeting soil health, peer-to-peer learning on effective action, and support networks for farmers and their surrounding communities. Westcountry Rivers Trust are excited to be a part of this, bringing our water quality expertise and farm advice together to inspire communities to act on climate change.

More info here

Project Update: Plymouth River Keepers live event recording

Watch it here
An online event was held to introduce the project team and the initial locations in North West Plymouth and find out how to take part. . There is information about the history of the area from the Bioregional Learning Centre, a short film about how citizen science will play a big role for this project, and information from one of our scientists about the ecology of the locations. The event was recorded and can be viewed below.
Plymouth River Keepers Website

 New Resources: Guidance pack & policy recommendation for Urban SuDS

These resources came from the Sponge 2020 Interreg project and have been created to help with similar projects:

The guidance pack  ‘working with stakeholders for Climate adaptation’ - Practice-based guidance for participative climate adaptation solutions in urban areas
Download here
The Policy recommendations document - Integrating participative adaptation into local climate strategies
Download here

Project Update: Preventing Plastic Pollution

Over the past six months, the Tamar partners have been busy focusing on hot spot identification and data collection. A picture is starting to emerge of where plastic accumulations are most likely to occur within a catchment and this is being tested through systematic fieldwork sampling and analysis.

Community clean ups and interventions with business and agriculture have understandably been impacted by Covid.  However, the partners have been working behind the scenes to prepare for this work in 2021 by identifying opportunities and building wider delivery partnerships.
 
We would also like to promote an exciting survey we are undertaking with Maptionnaire, if you could look at it yourselves, and promote to your virtual audiences that would be really appreciated. 
As part of the work to understand and prevent plastic pollution in the Tamar Catchment We want to hear from you if you see or clean up litter. Please fill in our survey on the locations, types and sources of the plastic and litter you are seeing to help us concentrate our efforts 
Maptionnaire Survey
For more information please visit the website & you can also contact andy@wrt.org.uk.
PPP website

Project Update: Tamara Landscape Partnership

After 3 years of development, with input from over 50 organisations and the effort and time of many many individuals, the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme has now been submitted to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. If approved the 10 projects, with a budget of £3 million will run for 5 years from 2021 to 2025.  
 
Here’s a summary of what has gone into the development phase of the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme to get to this point:
  • 9 partnership meetings, 24 special project group meetings, 6 task and finish meetings, 1 landscape character assessment workshop, 1 community food workshop, a lot of video calls since March!
  • 516 surveys, 10 specialist consultant tenders
  • £350,000 match funding secured and a further potential £243,000 match funding identified 
  • The submission - 1200 pages, 8 maps, 5 year cashflows and project breakdowns, 5 tender specifications and 6 role profiles
 
Thank you to everyone who has been involved and supported the development of this great Scheme from all of us in the Tamara team.  
 

Catchment Coordinator Update: Upper Tamar Working Group

The Upper Tamar Working Group held its Autumn meeting with a particular focus on the River Claw in the Water Framework Directive (WFD) Upper Tamar Operational Catchment.

The Claw is currently failing the WFD for fish from pressures relating to sediment. The group, which meets 3 times a year, was established in 2018 to help active partners coordinate and target activity which ranges from gathering and sharing information on quality of the water environment, providing advice, creating habitat and implementing improvements. Facilitated by the Environment Agency, partners include Devon Wildlife Trust, Natural England and Westcountry Rivers Trust.  
 
EA Incident Hotline - if you see pollution to water or land, including dead fish or fish gasping for air, call 0800 80 70 60.

Check, clean, dry - prevent the spread of invasive species by looking after your kit. Click here for more info.

Love your loo - only flush the 3Ps - pee, paper, and poo - down the loo. Click here for more info.
Website
Our mailing address is:
freya@wrt.org.uk
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Westcountry Rivers Trust · Rain Charm House, Kyl Cober Parc · Stoke Climsland · Plymouth, Cornwall PL17 8PH · United Kingdom

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