The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) embeds collaborative working at a river catchment scale to deliver cross cutting improvements to our water environments. Community partnerships, bringing local knowledge and expertise, are active in each of the 100+ Water Framework Directive catchments across England, including those cross border with Wales. More than 1500 organisations are engaged with CaBA nationwide including NGOs, Water Companies, Local Authorities, Government Agencies, Landowners, Angling Clubs, Farmer Representative Bodies, Academia and Local Businesses.
The Environment Agency has set up local partnership hosts, which for South Devon is a co-hosting partnership between the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit and the Westcountry Rivers Trust.
The AONB Unit coordinated and co-hosted five local Catchment Community consultation days in October and November as part of the South Devon Catchment Based Approach work to form a South Devon Catchment Partnership and prepare a South Devon Catchment Action Plan. They were well attended by people from a wide and useful range of disciplines and organisations. The groups discussed what issues affect local healthy water environments in relation to 4 areas:
- Species and habitats
- Value to people
- Water Quality
- Water Quantity
This long list of issues and possible solutions will be used by the new Partnership to prepare a Catchment Action Plan for South Devon.
The events led jointly by the AONB team and the Westcountry Rivers Trust were attended by a variety of organisations including South West Rivers Association, Dart Fisheries Association, Environment Agency, Natural England, the Slapton Ley Field Studies Centre, South West Water, the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth University, together with local landowners and farmers.