Headwaters of the Exe Launch

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Left to right: Bea Davis (Headwaters of the Exe project manager), Adam Lockyear (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West), John Hickey (Westcountry Rivers Trust), Katherine Williams (Exmoor Hill Farming Network), Stanley Johnson, Mark Thomasin-Foster (Chair of Headwaters of the Exe steering group). Photo by Steve Guscott/ENPA

Eighty-five people gathered to celebrate the launch of the Headwaters of the Exe project at Hawkridge Village Hall recently and the project team was delighted to welcome Stanley Johnson – former MEP, author, journalist, environmentalist and local landowner – to formally launch the project.

The Headwaters of the Exe project is working with farmers and land managers to ensure good water quality in the catchment of the River Exe.  It is part of South West Water’s Upstream Thinking programme. The project will run until 2020 and is funded by South West Water and Exmoor National Park Authority, with support from the Exmoor Hill Farming Network.

At the launch event a number of presentations were received from project partners, including the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West, Westcountry Rivers Trust, South West Water and Exmoor National Park Authority. The event also included a nearby river walk to discuss water quality issues.

Chair of the Steering Group, Mark Thomasin-Foster, said “This excellent project will build partnerships with farmers and land managers bringing increased benefits to the valuable water resource and ecology of the River Exe headwaters. We are very grateful to South West Water and Exmoor National Park Authority for providing this opportunity.” 

Project manager, Bea Davis, said “We were overwhelmed by the fantastic turn out for the launch event. It was wonderful to see so many people coming together to celebrate this innovative new project.”

The Headwaters of the Exe project covers an area of 27,559 hectares and includes the upper Exe, the Rivers Barle, Quarme, Pulham, Haddeo and smaller tributaries, as well as Wimbleball Reservoir.

If you would like to get involved with the project please do not hesitate to get in touch with Bea Davis on 01398 322278 or bdavis@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or Katherine Williams on 01643 841455 or KWilliams@northdevonplus.co.uk.

For further information please visit the project webpage at http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/headwaters.

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