Through the East Devon Catchment Partnership, Blackdown Hills AONB secured £20,000 to provide nature-based solutions across the upper catchment of the River Culm to address water quality issues identified in the Water Framework Directive.

The Culm Enhancement Project funded four pilot projects with interventions designed to make a notable difference to water quality, flood alleviation and biodiversity – without conflicting with existing agri-environment scheme support.

logs across a stream used to form a leaky debris dam

‘Leaky’ debris dam made with logs

Working to a short, three-month timeframe, the project delivered sustainable drainage systems and water resource protection measures across four rural sites, under different ownerships.

In total, the project funded:

  • 1,790 metres of watercourse stock fencing, incorporating six wooden gates.
  • Three livestock crossing-points and two drinking points made using stone.
  • Six natural flood management features, in the form of ‘leaky’ debris dams.
  • A small area of willow and alder planting.

The aim of these pilot projects is to build support and provide evidence for a larger project, Connecting the Culm, that will work with communities and landowners to adapt to climate change and provide a more holistic approach in line with Defra’s 25-Year Environment Plan.

Cattle drinking point made with stone

Cattle drinking point made with stone

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