Taw Torridge estuary users views needed to help us protect wildlife

Taw Torridge Estuary

Cycling, rowing, angling, walking or running, to name just a few - let us know how you use the Taw Torridge estuary and help protect the variety of birds that live there.

A survey is being carried out to find out what recreational activities local residents and holiday makers take part in and enjoy within the Taw Torridge estuary and Tarka Trail. It's to find out the impact of the activities on the over-wintering birds roosting in the estuary. Econ Ecology is carrying out the survey on behalf of North Devon Council, Torridge District Council, Natural England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). 

The survey is part of a research project that when completed aims to provide advice and recommendations to help manage and protect the variety of birds roosting alongside the estuary from disturbance caused from recreational use of the area.

Leader of Torridge District Council, Councillor Jane Whittaker, says: "The estuary is renowned for its wildlife and rare plant species and it's important that we balance our approach to protecting these while encouraging and enabling  people to enjoy varied recreational activities. The survey will help us to gain insights into how we can continue to protect the important wildlife and we would encourage any users of the estuary to participate and help us plan effectively for the future"

Lead Advisor for the North Devon Team at Natural England, Claire Guthrie, says: "The Taw Torridge Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is of national importance for its wintering waders and wildfowl.  This study will help everyone who enjoys the estuary understand how they can do their bit to help to look after the birds that make the Taw Torridge estuary so special."

Senior Conservation Officer for the RSPB, Gavin Bloomfield, says: "This work will establish a robust evidence base to understand how the Taw Torridge's rich wintering waterbird population uses the estuary and the land around it and how they are influenced by people. It will help inform whether management measures need to be introduced to ensure that the use of the estuary by the area's growing local population develops in harmony with its wildlife." 

AONB Manager, Jenny Carey-Wood, says:  "We are delighted to be contributing a small grant from our Sustainable Development Fund towards this important research project. The seabirds and waders that live in or visit the estuary contribute to the natural beauty of the area as well as playing an important role in this estuarine ecosystem."

The survey is available online until the end of February. 

18 February 2019