Hampshire Avon
Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) Project

Hampshire Avon Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) Project
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The River Tamar has been adopted as an official satellite to the Hampshire Avon sentinel DTC.  This expansion is supported by DEFRA and provides an opportunity to assess the water quality and freshwater responses to mitigation strategies funded by South West Water (SWW) via Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) scheme being implemented by the Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT).

The River Tamar catchment is located in the South West of England and flows through the counties of Cornwall and Devon.  It is 80 km in length and drains an area of 1,800 km2.  The river originates near Bude on the north Cornwall coast flowing south into the Hamoaze (an estuarine stretch of the tidal river Tamar) before entering the sea at Plymouth Sound in South West Devon.  The river Tamar forms most of the border between Devon and Cornwall.

Tributaries of the river include the rivers Inny, Ottery, Kensey and Lynher on the Cornish side, and the Deer and Tavy on the Devon side.  Together, the Tamar, Tavy and Lynher are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Tamar-Tavy estuary is a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of the habitat and wildlife found there.

The catchment comprises of the upland areas of west Dartmoor and east Bodmin moor and the rolling farmland, valleys and heaths.  The upper catchment is predominantly granite with the lower areas comprising of sandstones and mudstones overlain with alluvial silts and clays.  Annual rainfall ranges from more than 2,000mm on the edge of Dartmoor to less than 1,000mm on the coastal lowlands.  Most of the catchment is rural, with only 4% being urbanised.

Conservation projects (past and present) on the river Tamar:

   Upstream Thinking  An initiative with South West Water to improve raw water quality and all ecological aspects of the region's rivers.      RDPE  A project to ensure that the South West region becomes the premier tourism destination for country sports and supplies of local game.
   C-Plus  An environmental restoration project to help conserve the South West's environment and improve the condition of the rivers.      Collabor8  A transnational European project that aims to contribute to the economic prosperity, sustainability and cultural identity of North West Europe in increasingly competitive global markets.
   AARC  A project to turn good science into practical on the ground help for rivers.       The Indicang project  This project examined and gathered data concerning eel populations across the Atlantic Arc.
   Wetfeet       Tamar Lakes project  This project aimed to promote water quality and increase biodiversity.