East Devon Catchment Partnership

East Devon | South West

Contact Information

Catchment Host

Devon Wildlife Trust & Westcountry Rivers Trust


Ed Parr Ferris


direct 01392 260868 | mobile 07572 687573 | switchboard 01392 279244




Ed Parr Ferris
Conservation Manager
Devon Wildlife Trust| Cricklepit Mill| Commercial Road| Exeter| EX2 4AB
direct 01392 260868 | mobile 07572 687573 | switchboard 01392 279244

Catchment Website


The East Devon Catchment Partnership, established in 2014 under the Catchment Based Approach programme, has the following objectives:

To deliver positive and sustained outcomes for the water environment by promoting a better understanding of the environment at a local level; and

To encourage local collaboration and more transparent decision-making when both planning and delivering activities to improve the water environment.

We will adopt this approach to promote a platform for engagement, discussion and decisions of much wider benefits; including tackling diffuse agricultural and urban pollution, and widespread, historical alterations to the natural form of channels.

Community events will be held to enable engagement and delivery with communities across the catchment.

The East Devon catchment has a varied landscape and stretches from Exmoor and the Blackdown Hills in the north to Exmouth and the Jurassic coast and west Dorset.

At approximately 750 sq.km, the East Devon catchment drains the rivers Exe, Otter, Sid, Axe and Lim.

Only 7% of the catchment is developed, compared to the national average of 16%. East Devon is predominantly agricultural, with lowland cattle and sheep farms constituting 38% of the farming practice. The population of the catchment includes the main urban areas of Exeter, Crediton, Tiverton and Cullompton. Exeter, the county town of Devon, has a population of 119,600.

The catchment contains one National Park and three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) covering 66% of the catchment.

East Devon’s varied landscape provides ecologically important habitat, with:

  • 4 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
  • 1 Special Protected Area (SPA)
  • 1 National Nature Reserve (NNR) and
  • 29 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

There are 103 river water bodies in the catchment as well as 4 lakes, 4 estuaries, 10 groundwater bodies and coastal waters to the south.

There are areas in the catchment where the benefits of the water environment is recognised and are designated as protected areas. These areas can be designated as protected for several reasons, whether they are important habitats, bathing waters or areas around drinking sources.

Working in Partnership

The Partnership is hosted by Devon Wildlife Trust and is made up of the following partners:

Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership
Clinton Devon Estates
Devon Wildlife Trust
East Devon AONB Partnership
East Devon District Council
Environment Agency
Exe Estuary Management Partnership
Exmoor Mires Partnership
Exmoor National Park
National Trust
Natural England
South West Water
Westcountry Rivers Trust

Other key partners include:

Otter Valley Association, Sid Vale Association, Axe Vale and District Conservation Society, Axe Vale Rivers Association
County, City, District, Town and Parish Councils
Tale Valley Trust

Featured Projects

Our Work

A wide range of projects and initiatives have been – and are being – delivered and developed through Catchment partners, from soils management to natural flood management. A selection of these projects and related findings are detailed in the reports/resources listed below.

Website links to projects operating within the East Devon Catchment:

Connecting the Culm


River Otter Beaver Trial


Lower Otter Restoration Project


Upstream Thinking

Upstream Thinking – South West Water

Upstream Thinking – Westcountry Rivers Trust

Upstream Thinking – Devon Wildlife Trust

Corry & Coly NFM


Clyst Valley Regional Park


Exmoor Mires Partnership

Exmoor Mires Partnership – South West Water

Exmoor Mires Partnership – Exmoor National Park

Exmoor Non-Native Invasive Species Project


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