Upstream Thinking in the Tale Valley

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September 12, 2016

A big thank you to the Tale Valley Trust

I have recently started a new role with the Devon Wildlife Trust working in the wider Otter Valley on the Upstream Thinking project.  I have been so impressed with the work of the TVT and grateful for the welcome you have offered me.  I am born and bred Devonian and would like to think I know the County fairly well but the knowledge, time and welcome offered by the Trust has been invaluable and is something I am very appreciative of. I am sure there are parts of the Tale I would have never found if I had not been invited to join the Himalayan Balsam pulling this summer for example.  It has been a real privilege and has been invaluable for the work of the project that myself and Yog Watkins from the West Country Rivers Trust deliver. 

So what does the Upstream Thinking (UST) project mean for the River Tale and the wider Otter catchment, its wildlife and the water abstracted for homes and businesses? Drinking water from the Otter is abstracted by South West Water (SWW) via a series of boreholes in the lower catchment, before treatment at one of three Water Treatment Works: Dotton, Ottery St Mary or Kersbrook. The catchment is an important water source for SWW; hence the Tale and the Otter's selection as part of the Upstream Thinking project and SWW funding.

Upstream Thinking takes a land management approach to solving the problems affecting the quality of water in our rivers. Unwanted soil, silt, pesticides and animal waste in rivers increase the cost of water treatment. I know this is work all very familiar to the Tale Valley Trust

Myself and Yog offer free services to landowners in the Tale and wider Otter catchment, including advisory farm visits, soil tests, production of Integrated Farm Management Plans and assistance with applications for both  Agri-environment funding and our own UST grant fund.  Currently lots of farms and landowners are taking up the offer of using our Soil Aerator for free to reduce compaction enabling increased yields and reducing farmland run off.

This is vital and essential work and anything Tale Trust members can do to spread the word we would be most grateful for.
For more information please contact myself David Rolls (on 07976 513132 / drolls@devonwildlifetrust.org) or Yog Watkins (on 07854 145896 / yog@wrt.org.uk).

And finally, yes many, many thanks for all of your amazing efforts.

tags: Upstream Thinking on the river Tale

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