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Big improvements in Biosphere water quality


Since 2009 North Devon's Biosphere has been at the forefront of projects to improve water quality at a river catchment scale. Environment Agency monitoring shows that this investment, primarily to support land management changes in farms, has improved the phosphate pollution status of 9 sub-catchments targeted by a variety of projects. More
Pollution project targets new areas
The Catchment Sensitive Farming Partnership in North Devon is one of our four landscape scale projects that are making a difference.

In 2014-15, this programme will be working with farmers in two new target areas. In the Barnstaple Yeo catchment, work will be designed to tackle the issue of pesticides in drinking water, whilst in the Taw Torridge Estuary the focus will be to improve water quality for shellfish.  A newsletter for farmers gives further details of this partnership, our work and support available to farmers.  
Best year ever for the Tarka Trail
More than 750,000 cycle journeys were recorded on the Tarka Trail in 2014. If pedestrians are added, the total traffic approaches 1.5 million. Download data summary.

These figures once again emphasise how important the Trail is for leisure and for the local economy.

Keeping the Trail special is a constant challenge and regular users may have noticed that the winter flail of verge-side vegetation is now underway. This is crucial for keeping the Trail clear and is timed to when wild flowers have already set seed and are dormant. See some of the other sustainable management activities undertaken during 2014 here.

Torridge Riverfly takes off
During 2014, 34 volunteers were trained to take monthy samples of stream invertebrates from 29 points across the River Torridge catchment. This was part of the Riverfly project in the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area. More

This local project is part of a national Riverfly programme and the data collected feeds into Environment Agency monitoring and acts as a deterrent to potential polluters. Local funding has been provided through Natural England, FLAG and Torridge District Council.

We are training 15 more volunteers this year to extend the network to other sites in the Torridge catchment.
Congratulations to Yarde Cafe near Petrockstowe on the Tarka Trail which has just been awarded GOLD in the Green Tourism Business Scheme. The cafe is also a Bronze Award holder in the Biosphere's Investing in Nature scheme. More
Winner takes all - the 6th Boat Story film

Boat Stories is a series of short documentary films about people whose lives revolve around fishing and working boats in northern Devon. 
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