River Thame Catchment Partnership

Water Framework Directive

The Water Framework Directive is an EU directive which commits all members to achieve “good status” of ground and surface waters. This encompasses the hydromorphological (bank structure, bed substrate), physiochemical (temperature, oxygen, nutrients), and chemical (pollutants), as well as the obvious biological (fish, invertebrate, plant) quality of water.

It was implemented in 2000. No component of the water must be below “good status” if the water is to be deemed decent quality for the Directive. Its main aims are to tackle water pollution and manage river basins effectively. Preventing or limiting entry of pollutants into water channels is one of the key suggestions to tackle this. The River Thame Conservation Trust is working towards the Water Framework Directive.

Catchment Based Approach

A catchment based approach is used because the river is affected by all processes occurring in the catchment, and co-operation is needed to solve common issues. Following the catchment based approach, organisations have to work with others to secure funding and sustain themselves.  It aims to positively influence the local freshwater quality and environment, encouraging local people to get involved in the process. The utilisation of local expertise is key. It is hoped to encourage discussion about threats to the river like pollution and changes to the natural channel.

The 'River Thame Catchment' area covers a huge amount of space, we want to protect all of the water within this red line!

The ‘River Thame Catchment’ area covers a huge amount of space, we want to protect all of the water within this red line!

River Thame Catchment Partnership

The Freshwater Habitats Trust (FHT) and the River Thame Conservation Trust (RTCT) were appointed as the joint catchment hosts for the Thame in 2013 and are leading the development of the catchment partnership with the support of the Environment Agency.

We are proud of our different approach to catchment management; through learning from Freshwater Habitats Trust, we are realising just how important all water is within our catchment, not just the main rivers! We work to create, maintain and protect all water which provides us with a more biodiverse, stable and resilient catchment.

Our partners include individuals from Thames Water, local councils, small local groups and the Environment Agency. We come together at least three times a year to share resources, concerns and ideas.