North Devon Catchment Partnership

North Devon | South West

Contact Information

Catchment Host

Devon Wildlife Trust


Lisa Schneidau


01409 221823



Devon Wildlife Trust
Cookworthy Forest Centre
EX21 5UX

Catchment Website

Catchment Management Plan for North Devon Catchment

1.0   Our Vision for the catchment

Please see the group’s Terms of Reference.

2.0 Data & Evidence to underpin a weight of evidence approach.

This catchment plan is based on a weight of evidence approach. The key sources of evidence which we have used to identify where we will work and what we will do are:

2.1 Nationally consistent evidence base

CaBA data package for our catchment: (Link to the CaBA website, user guide) The ‘CaBA Data&GIS User Guide’ explains which layers are available, what they mean and how they can be used. There are over 100 data layers available for this catchment which identify the spatial pattern of opportunities; issues, characteristics and the possible sources of the issues. This weight of evidence is being improved by collecting local datasets and working with local organisations in the catchment. This data coupled with ‘Local Evidence’ and ‘Priority Places’ below provide the weight of evidence required to deliver projects which will benefit the lives of people and wildlife living in this the catchment.

2.2 Local Evidence

In addition to the national datasets available in the CaBA data package and via government open data initiatives, local data and evidence (including modelling) is important for helping to pinpoint issues, identify solutions and monitor outcomes in our catchment.

Details of key monitoring and modelling resources and tools which are being used in this catchment can be found in Annex 2.2.


2.3 Priority places

A number of key CaBA organisations are prioritising where they will undertake actions to meet their particular aims, and these actions can potentially impact on other aspects of the water environment.  The following resources have been used by partners to help the partnership focus delivery where it will bring the greatest benefit:

Catchment Data Explorer: This is central to the CaBA planning process and we have used it to help identify where the issues are and the likely causes.

EA Bathing Water Explorer:  This can be used to identify whether runoff from your catchment influences bathing water quality and compliance with the Bathing Water Directive.

Catchment Flood Management Plan:  This can be used to check planned actions for reducing flood risk in this catchment in order to identify opportunities to create multi-benefit actions, and to identify opportunities to add flood risk benefits to other planned projects.

Countryside Stewardship Statements of Priorities: This can be used to identify where Natural England has identified water quality or flooding as a priority issue for allocation of countryside stewardship grants.

EA Local evidence reviews and prioritisation tool: This can be used to understand where the Environment Agency has prioritised waterbodies for future Grant In Aid funding, where actions will provide WFD, Flood risk, Biodiversity and other benefits.

Local Authority spatial plan: This can be used to identify where green infrastructure measures could be targeted, and funded from infrastructure levy, to provide flood risk, water quality, biodiversity and recreational benefits.

Water company asset management plan: This can be used to understand where the priorities are for the water company and identify opportunities for partnership working.

3.0 Delivery or project plan

3.1 What are we currently doing in the catchment?

Below are a selection of the projects currently being delivered by North Devon Biosphere Catchment Partnership partners.

A full list of projects both underway and in development is kept by the Catchment Partnership and updated on a regular basis. However, this spreadsheet is a large document and not appropriate for sharing online.

Culm Grassland Natural Flood Management Project: led by Devon Wildlife Trust. This project will create 100ha of new wet grassland habitat and restore 400ha of Culm grassland by 2020, and achieve better understanding of the role of wet grassland in managing flood risk. Funded by Environment Agency, Interreg 2 Seas, Devon County Council and Exeter University.

Torridge River Restoration Project: led by Devon Wildlife Trust. This project will improve 39.3km of watercourse and advise 126 landowners on two key areas of the Torridge by March 2021. Funded by the Water Environment Grant (EA).

Soils and Water Alliance: led by Westcountry Rivers Trust. 40+ advisors trained, 10+ mentors, 2 demonstration SAC remediation areas , 7 feasibility reports all across Devon and Cornwall. Funded by the Water Environment Grant (EA).

Woods 4 Water: led by North Devon Biosphere Reserve. Strategic tree planting for soil stabilisation, river buffer and infiltration of water. Funded by the Water Environment Grant (EA).


3.2 What flagship projects are we planning to do which are supported by the Evidence?


A full list of projects both underway and in development is kept by the Catchment Partnership and updated on a regular basis. However, this spreadsheet is a large document and not appropriate for sharing online.

Freshwater Pearl Mussel: Prevent the extinction of the Freshwater Pearl Mussel population on the river Torridge through a dedicated hatchery, captive breeding programme and river restoration project to ensure suitable habitat. Led by Devon Wildlife Trust.

Taw River Restoration Project: restore key areas of the Taw catchment through a number of in-river and bankside capital project options. Led by Westcountry Rivers Trust.

Catchment Fisheries Programme: Catchment-based fish programmes as part of a wider area approach to fish improvements. Led by Westcountry Rivers Trust.


4.0 Monitoring and evaluation.

Catchment Management has to adapt as we improve our understanding because we cannot predict with certainty what the impact of our changing environment and the delivery of projects in this plan will be. The monitoring plan for this catchment is to be developed at future partnership meetings in 2019 and beyond.

5.0 Work in progress.

This plan is work in progress and will grow and adapt as we deliver projects to improve the catchment and as new threats, like climate change, emerge. The greater the collaboration between CaBA partners the more sustainable this plan will become and the greater the benefits to the catchment and the people and wildlife that live there.

Component of CaBA Plan Initial Growing Sustainable
1) Vision and ToR x
2) Data & Evidence x
3) Project plan x
4) Monitoring plan x


Annexes for Catchment Management Plan

Annex 1.1 Terms of Reference and Vision

See separate document for the North Devon Biosphere Catchment Management Group.

Annex 2.1  National Data and Evidence Resources

Annex 2.2 Local Evidence tools and resources

Riverfly Partnership survey methodology, training and data management:

Modular River Survey – toolkit, training and data management for river habitat survey

River Obstacles app and data management for fish migration barrier assessment

MyScimap:  A free online version of the sediment risk mapping tool.

Farmscoper:  Decision support tool for agricultural pollution management planning

Annex 2.3 Priority Places Resources

Environment Agency data sharing platforms  This site gives access to the Catchment Data Explorer; Bathing Water Explorer, Flood Data APIs and Water Quality Archive (OpenWIMS) .  This is the partner data catalogue, where EA’s partner organisations can register for an account to access more detailed datasets, which are not publicly available elsewhere.  These include detailed Ordnance Survey mapping (including 1:25k, VectorMap Local and Mastermap), LIDAR, Aerial photography, and Flood Risk datasets. This is the public Spatial Data Catalogue (replacing Geostore), where you can download a wide range of environmental data from EA and other government partners.  You can also find web service URLs, which enable you to view the data in GIS software live via the internet, meaning you don’t need to download and store large datasets.

Other data sharing platforms

Ecosystem Services Visualisation:  A guidance manual for identifying priority areas in catchments, where interventions to improve the water environment are likely to provide multiple benefits to a range of partner organisations and local communities.

EcosystemsKnowledgeNet Tool Assessor:  A summary of spatial prioritisation tools which can help to target actions based on the benefits of natural capital and ecosystem services.

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