Plymouth River Keepers
An organisation set up to restore and improve the three specific streams that feed Tamerton Creek
The Tamerton Creek and Stream has suffered several pollution incidents over the years.
In August 2016, a pollution incident caused by the build-up of commercial-use wet wipes created a blockage in the sewerage pipe in Widewell Woods. This led to untreated sewage being released into the Tamerton Stream
This Category 1 (major) pollution incident had a substantial impact on the stream, unfortunately killing more than 80 Brown Trout.
This incident resulted in an Enforcement Undertaking (EU) between the Environment Agency with South West Water (SWW) to the value of £350,000.
To help improve the area, SWW used this money to enable Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) to conduct work to improve the urban watercourses in the Tamerton stream catchment. This has led to the creation of WRT’s Plymouth River Keepers (PRK) project.
Plymouth River Keepers aims are:
- To prevent pollution incidents and improve water quality
- To protect the streams for wildlife and current and future generations
- To ensure the places streams flow are ones people can enjoy, now and in future
- To embed water environment caretakers in communities
- To build a local love for water across the UK
Plymouth River Keepers in-house work:
Plymouth River Keepers aims to improve water quality for fish and other wildlife, and for the people who live in the area. WRT have undertaken surveys to establish the current state of the streams, including fish surveys, assessments of barriers to fish migration (such as culverts) and water quality monitoring.
In the fish surveys, the streams around Tamerton Foliot, and Cann and Whitleigh Woods, performed the best out of all of the PRK streams for trout and European eel, with the highest number of fish being present in these areas.
The water quality monitoring results show that the Tamerton Stream in the village scored poorly for overall water quality. The 12-month monitoring report is available to read on WRT’s Plymouth River Keepers webpage.
The next stage of the project will see practical works, such as habitat management and potential easement of fish migration barriers, and the community will have the opportunity to get involved with some of these works.
Plymouth River Keepers work with Tamerton Foliot Community:
- Members of the community are monitoring the water quality in the Tamerton Foliot area, alongside other volunteers in the wider PRK area. These volunteers are part of the WRT’s Westcountry CSI program, with the results being used to produce an annual water quality scorecard for each of the sampling points. The latest scorecard is here.
- The River Keepers organise litter picks in the area in conjunction with the Prevention Plastic Pollution project, along the water courses, woodlands and footpaths. Future litter picking events will be advertised here and on the Tamerton Foliot Community Facebook Group. All are welcomed to join us. Bags and picking sticks provided.