Rivers and coast

Devon’s rivers, lakes, bathing waters, estuaries, wetlands, and groundwater provide many benefits. They supply drinking water and support fisheries. They provide an essential resource for business and agriculture, transport routes and recreational opportunities. Healthy water environments help to protect us from floods and droughts and to regulate air quality and our climate.

Our vision is to ensure Devon’s river catchments provide resilience to flooding and drought, healthy fisheries and wildlife habitats, fantastic recreational opportunities, and a clean water supply.


  • Board lead: Perry Hobbs, SWW
  • Working Group: Peter Burgess (DWT), Laurence Couldrick (West Country Rivers Trust)

Current work

  • A map of the catchment partnerships in Devon and East Cornwall. In Devon these include North Devon, East Devon, South Devon and the Tamar which is also partially in Cornwall The Devon Catchment Partnership come together for a Devon-wide meeting under the umbrella of the Devon LNP. The Devon-wide Catchment Group includes representatives from the four catchment partnerships across Devon and other key partners who meet to:
    • Provide oversight of catchment issues at county scale to reduce overlap and duplication and ensure consistent engagement of stakeholders across all partnerships
    • Coordinate strategic issues across Devon (e.g. NFM, soils)
    • Develop tools and guidance collaboratively at county level
    • Share learning, experience and data at a wider level
    • Feed into LEP industrial strategy and other relevant county-wide plans
    • Address difficult issues which are common to each catchment
    • Developing cross boundary projects

    Meeting Notes 19th July 2019

Partner projects

  • Upstream Thinking is South West Water’s flagship programme of environmental improvements aimed at improving water quality in river catchments in order to reduce water treatment costs.  The initiative is supported by a number of partners. Current Devon projects funded through Upstream Thinking include:
  • The North Devon Biosphere video shows how farmers in North Devon have managed the land to create new wetlands and help to preserve nutrients in soil and save money.
  • Agricultural Resource Management report, 2016 – this report outlines any barriers to good land and soil management, identifies what is missing, and suggests actions needed in order to improve land management to improve flood risk management in Devon. Produced by FWAG for the LNP.

More information