Voices of the Dart

A river-long exploration combining local knowledge, data and the arts.

Communities up and down the River Dart are contributing to a new project to figure out effective ways to keep the river clean, and to save water. Why? Because we live close to it, drink it from our taps, swim in it, and our sewage goes back into it. 

All life needs water–we need to share it.

The invitation

Join a free workshop in Dartmouth, Totnes, Buckfastleigh or Ashburton, where you’ll learn useful facts about water in the Dart Valley and participate in ‘designing for action’, where data about our freshwater supplies
and scientific modelling of climate change will be shared–alongside some creative fun!

What do we need to know that would make saving water doable–for the Dart
and in our homes?

As climate change intensifies, water is one of the first resources coming under stress.

“Climate change is happening. It means that in the UK we will have hotter and drier summers. By 2040, we expect more than half of our summers to exceed 2003 temperatures. That will mean more water shortages: by 2050, the amount of water available could be reduced by 10-15%, with some rivers seeing 50%-80% less water during the summer months. It will mean higher drought risk, caused by the hotter drier summers and less predictable rainfall”
– Sir James Bevan, CEO of the Environment Agency, Waterwise Conference, 2019

How can we prepare for both floods and droughts? What can we do to ensure the river ecosystems are healthy and water clean? How do we reduce water consumption by measurable amounts? Many groups are already doing their bit to address questions like these. But with citizens, water users, organisations, policy-makers and South West Water all working together what more might we achieve?

This is an opportunity to pool local knowledge and local concerns.

26th February, The Flavel, Dartmouth, 2-5pm
12th March, Civic Hall, Totnes, 2-5pm
26th March, Buckfastleigh Town Hall, 2-5pm
2nd April, St. Andrew’s Church Hall, Ashburton, 2-5pm

Eventbrite links coming soon. Let us know if you’d like to participate by emailing us here.

Watery activities for wintertime

River Diary

Consider keeping track of your riverside observations by making and keeping a diary. You could fill it with words, drawings, images or thoughts inspired by the Dart. There’s a quick guide on YouTube showing how to make your own mini book using just an A4 piece of paper and some scissors.


Take a walk along the Dart (or explore online) and choose something that interests you to collect. You might collect leaves, pebbles, photos of birds, sounds, foam samples, snatches of overheard conversations, objects of a particular colour, memories, etc. How can you capture this collection: with photos / in a notebook / on your phone? Why did you choose to collect this particular thing and what does it tell you about the Dart?

Water at home

How can you connect with the river from inside your home or school? You could… list all the things around you that might end up in the river; map all the things that use water; write or draw what you imagine to be the journey of a drop of water from your tap to the river and back again.

We work in and at the intersection of economy, ecology, learning, arts and culture and the gaps in between.