The East Devon Catchment Partnership works together for the future health of the river catchments of East Devon. Established in 2014 under the Catchment Based Approach programme, the project works to promote a better understanding of the environment at a local level and deliver activities to help improve the local water environment.


The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) promotes collaborative working at a river catchment scale, delivering a range of environmental, social and economic benefits and protecting our precious water environments – providing us with the safe water we need for living, for our businesses and for recreation.

Within a river catchment, all rain and run-off water eventually flows to a river, the sea, or into a groundwater system. At approximately 750, the East Devon catchment has a varied landscape draining to the rivers Exe, Otter, Sid, Axe and Lim.

Predominantly an agricultural landscape, with lowland cattle and sheep farms constituting 38% of the farming practice, there are a number of water problems affecting the Rivers Axe, Otter and Clyst – mainly related to manures, slurry and soil entering the river. Urban areas present water quality problems too, however the pressure from manure and slurry from farming is greater.

The East Devon Catchment Partnership promotes engagement, discussion and decision-making amongst community representatives, landowners and managers for wide benefits, including tackling diffuse agricultural and urban pollution.

Find out more

Future Farming in the Axe catchment

Protecting and improving water quality and biodiversity in the River Axe catchment depends significantly on moving to a sustainable agriculture that contributes to an improving environment.

Watch this short film to find out more about the EA regulatory project and farms in the catchment meeting compliance with environmental regulations. See some great interviews with a number of farmers on the Axe.

Rivers Otter & Sid

The Rivers Otter and Sid stretch from the Blackdown Hills to the Jurassic Coast. Learn more about these well loved waterways.

Rivers Axe & Lim

Discover these beautiful rivers as they flow across the land to Lyme Bay find facts, stories and news from the Westcountry Rivers Trust.

Soils & Natural Flood Management

The East Devon Catchment Partnership has funded this manual to show how good soil management is fundamental to natural flood management.



  • To deliver positive and sustained outcomes for the water environment by promoting a better understanding of the environment at a local level
  • To encourage local collaboration and more transparent decision-making when both planning and delivering activities to improve the water environment.



  • 2014 – Project start date  


Collaborative working means that a diverse range of funds can be accessed, enabling the partnership to ‘get more for less’, deliver cost-effective improvements and maximize the multiple benefits for both people and the environment.