What is the Catchment Based Approach?
Britain’s freshwaters are under major pressure from many different man- made stresses. Freshwater environments are affected by widespread pollution, particularly urban and farmland run-off and sewage effluents. Degradation and partial or complete loss is now a common theme for freshwater habitats throughout the UK. They suffer from water over abstraction (for domestic use and industry), drainage of rivers, ponds and wetlands and physical changes to watercourses for flood risk management. The best way to tackle the problems facing the freshwater environment is at a catchment scale and the Catchment Based Approach does exactly that (CaBA).
There are 99 active catchment partnerships around the United Kingdom and each of these are made up of local and national charities, government organisations, stakeholders and local community members and groups. This diversity of knowledge and expertise enables the delivery of collective visions and aims for each of those individual catchments as well as allowing the local community to take charge of their local river catchment.
CaBA groups generally support the delivery of Water Framework Directive (WFD) objectives and, through their engagement and site work, also have great potential to contribute to the delivery of the government’s 25 year environment plan.
The River Thame Catchment Partnership
The River Thame and its associated water bodies are amongst the most degraded tributaries in the Thames basin. Pollution from rural sewage treatment works and from agricultural sources, and the lack of high quality habitat for wildlife in the floodplain are major issues affecting the catchment biodiversity.
Who are we?
The River Thame Catchment Partnership is hosted jointly by The Freshwater Habitats Trust and The River Thame Conservation Trust, working in partnership with the Environment Agency.
Many of the organisations in the catchment partnership are involved in habitat management, restoration and community engagement around The River Thame Catchment.
The Thame Catchment Partnership have a shared vision for the catchment;
Working for a river catchment with healthy freshwaters and wildlife, valued and enjoyed by local people.
Our aims are:
- Increase our understanding of the freshwater habitats and species of the Thame
- Improve water quality through tackling point source and diffuse pollution sources such as agriculture and septic tank effluent.
- Enhance biodiversity in all freshwater habitats by habitat creation and restoration projects.
- Improve knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the freshwater environment with local people and increase its recognition in local planning frameworks.