The Kit Brook is a tributary of the River Axe. The River Axe and her tributaries are in a poor condition primarily because of the high nutrient load in the rivers. SWW has informed us that about 20% of the nutrients come from sewage and other domestic sources. The remainder comes from farming practice. Chardstock Eco Group is leading a pilot project within the Triple Axe Plan to develop a catchment action plan co-created by the 'people of the place'. The innovative aspect of this project is that it will bring together all stakeholders with an interest in the river quality from land managers, farmers to residents and children
A key aspect is to develop citizen science opportunities which will engage residents more closely to the river. Chardstock Eco Group currently undertakes Westcountry Rivers Trust CSI https://wrt.org.uk. We now wish to expend this work to include Riverfly and MORPH citizen science data and evidence gathering. The funding will be spend on purchasing both Riverfly https://www.riverflies.org and MORPH https://modularriversurvey.org/training for c20 volunteers. The impact will be two-fold: firstly more residents will get involved with caring about their river. Secondly, the data gathered will help shape the catchment action plan which needs to be evidence-based and data-led.
Chardstock Eco Group has been identified by the East Devon Catchment Partnership (consisting of the Environment Agency, Devon Wildlife Trust, the AONBs, South West Water, the NFU, Natural England and multiple other partners to be the power house behind this pilot project. Members of the Group are already engaged with citizen science work, good working relationships within the partnership, a sound understanding of the key issues, local knowledge and access to professional expertise and specialists through the Triple Axe Plan team. We have an ecologist as a member of the Group, and have very close working relationships with Westcountry Rivers Trust.
|MORPH River Survey Training for ten delegates||£900|
|Riverfly training and equipment for ten delegates||£1,000|
|Protective H&S wear for MORPH work||£100|
The Kit Brook Catchment Action Plan is expected to deliver the following over three years: • Increased community cohesion and engagement especially with the natural world • Improved water quality and riparian habitats (recognising the importance of this as the Kit Brook is a tributary of the River Axe) • Nature corridors and buffer zones • Reduced risk of flooding to domestic properties • A more climate resilient community The specific project for which we are seeking funding namely the funding of two training events will enable us to establish two new citizen science projects on the Kit Brook. Although there is an immediate impact of connection people to their river at least as important is the use which will be made of the data gathered to input into the development of the Kit Brook Catchment Action Plan. The data will assist in identifying what actions are necessary and where. Without this data the Project would be less objective.
As said previously Chardstock Eco Group has a positive reputation with the East Devon Catchment Partnership which approached the Group about undertaking a pilot project within the Triple Axe Plan. Members of the Group are regularly invited to speak to other community groups about our work with rivers, and recent presentations have included talking to Axminster Town Council about the State of the Axe. The manager of the Blackdown Hills AONB has been a great supporter of our work.