Category Archives: Community Engagement

Help Protect Our Rivers

The future of our rivers is far from secure, with many of them still impounded by historic channel modifications and polluted by effluent from sewage treatment works, misconnections, agricultural and road run-off. We continue to work with local groups, landowners, and other stakeholders to improve their lot in the Thame catchment and hope that everyone reading this will take a closer look at their local rivers and consider what actions they can take to protect them.

We have a range of on-line advice and information pages about what you can do to protect your rivers, for:

If you see what you think is a pollution event please call the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60 and Thames Water on 0800 316 9800 to report it.

Farmer Profiles

Introducing farmers of the Thame catchment

Questions & Answers with land managers of the Thame

1: Phil White D’Oyleys Farm

Where and what do you farm?

D’Oyleys Farm is a 250 hectare mixed family farm, with grazing livestock and arable, based in the village of Stadhampton in South Oxfordshire. We have 70 suckler cows – a mixture of Beef Shorthorn and Angus, that we graze on our river meadows; these cows suit the farm and our low-input grazing system.  We also have about 300 ewes that we lamb in the spring.  We finish all the lambs on our herbal leys.  We have always produced traditional free-range turkeys at Christmas time and recently we have started rearing slow-grown pasture fed chickens all year round.  We grow milling wheat, along with barley, oats and peas. As well as the home farm we also rent some land and buildings at Rofford Farm.

Continue reading

River Thame Bird Atlas 2016-2020

by Nick Marriner (RTCT Trustee)

The River Thame flows for c.40 miles from its source North East of Aylesbury to Thame across into Oxfordshire until it meets the Thames at Dorchester. Its wider catchment covers 682km² bordered by the Chiltern escarpment to the south, Oxford to the east – a large area for a small organisation.

To help better understand some of the wildlife using the catchment, I set off with an ambition to produce a Bird Atlas to help the Trust answer some headline questions:

Continue reading

Thames Water 5-year plan for 2020 to 2025 – Thame catchment

Letter to RTCT from Richard Aylard CVO, Sustainability Director, Thames Water. 22nd January 2021.

Link to download Stakeholder Glossary

I am pleased to say that, following two rounds of feedback from Ofwat and after detailed consideration, the Thames Water Board decided to accept Ofwat’s ‘final determination’.

We have now started to deliver our new 5-year plan, in line with our restated corporate purpose ‘to deliver life’s essential service, so our customers, communities and the environment can thrive’. Our plan focuses on three clear strategic ambitions: Continue reading

Merry Floodmas!

Christmas Flooding stresses the need for Sustainable Solutions

Storm Bella hit the UK this Christmas period. In the East Midlands, recent heavy rainfall meant the intense rain fell on already saturated ground, causing significant flooding across Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. Seventy flood warnings were issued – over 30% of these were on the Great River Ouse. There were more than 160 flood-related calls and 1,300 people were advised to leave their homes. Continue reading

Help Fight Pollution

We have produced a range of advice documents on how you can best protect your local watercourses through your day to day activities, this guidance on looking aafter your provate sewage system (septic tank) can be found under the Advice for households pages on our website. Supported by funding from Thames Water.

Continue reading

Hunting Down Pollution Outfalls

In late spring/early summer a small group of volunteers were out carrying out
an Outfall Safari – a survey of the watercourses in Aylesbury to check for
pollution coming from misconnected plumbing. Misconnections include wrongly
connected plumbing from, for example, toilets or washing machines that goes
into the surface water drains (and therefore watercourses) instead of the foul
sewers to the sewage treatment works. These misconnections can have a
major cumulative impact on the watercourses, especially if the watercourse is
small.

Remember, if you see pollution of any type entering our watercourses please
call the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60 and also Thames Water on
0800 316 9800.

Read more top tips on how to protect our freshwater from household pollutants.

Continue reading

Yellow Fish

Only Rain Down the Drain

Earlier in the year project officer Hannah and volunteers were out marking up
road drains with yellow fish markers across Waddesdon and Quainton and
spreading the key message only rain down the drain.
Now 20 road drains have their very own Yellow Fish buddy and over 250
households have been leafleted with key information sheets.

Read more here

Continue reading

Thame Catchment Plan Live

This spring saw the release of the River Thame Catchment Plan. A plan that
outlines the vision, aspirations and goals for improvement to the freshwater
environment in the River Thame catchment. It is a framework document that
will guide the Catchment Partnership’s strategy, action and resource use in the
catchment. Specifically, the plan aims to:

  • Provide a clear understanding of the challenges affecting the River
    Thame catchment, based on current evidence.
  • Work out priorities for improvement (what needs doing and where) and to
    seek to deliver these improvements in a joined up and cost effective way.

It has been developed by the catchment hosts, River Thame Conservation
Trust and Freshwater Habitats Trust, with the support of the the wider River Thame Catchment Partnership

Don’t Give Up on Our Rivers

A partnership between The Rivers Trust and Surfers Against Sewage and the #EndSewagePollution Coalition, is asking politicians to stand up for rivers and bring an end to sewage pollution – and they want everyone to join them.

If successful, Philip Dunne MP’s Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill will place a duty on water companies to ensure that untreated sewage is not discharged directly into rivers or coastal waters. Companies would also be required to set out plans to reduce their reliance on combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and to publicly report on the amount, condition, and quality of sewage discharged from CSOs or other sewer catchment assets. In addition, the new law would compel the government to investigate possible further steps to be taken by stakeholders such as the Environment Agency to improve water quality more generally.

Continue reading