The River Keepers Project is all about 1) citizen-led stewardship of our rivers and 2) changing our relationship to and understanding of water in our bioregion. Based in South Devon, the project it is built on a multi-stakeholder partnership initiated by three key ‘backbone’ organisations – the Westcountry Rivers Trust, the South Devon Catchments Partnership and the Bioregional Learning Centre.

The idea comes in response to turbid, polluted rivers; the rapid loss of native species; topsoil run-off into rivers due to extreme rainfall; a need to reverse the focus on cities over rural communities, and at a time when the concept of ‘Green Brexit’ is still to be defined. This initiative is designed to create the will in citizens to take sustained, appropriate action in caring for their natural heritage. In summary, it is about collective responsibility for the precious resource of water.

The actions outlined in the diagram below comprise 10 components, which will differ in scope and combination according to location. The intent is that each community of interest will determine the outcomes that make sense to them, while guidance and support will be given by the project team and the South Devon Catchments Partnership.


During the development of the River Keepers Project a graphic was created to bring the ethos and ambition of the idea to life…