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 treated waste water 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 our drinking water supply and participate in ‘designing for action’, where data about the future of water
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 River Dart
and in our homes and workplaces?

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

“In England, May 2020 was the driest on record The Environment Agency’s estimate is that summer rainfall is expected to decrease by approximately 15% by the 2050s in England, and by up to 22% by the 2080. It means that if we don’t take action, by 2050 the amount of water available in England could be reduced by up to 15%; that some rivers will have up to 80% less water in summer; and that we will need around 3.4 billion extra litres of water a day to meet the needs of people, industry and agriculture.”
– Sir James Bevan, CEO of the Environment Agency, October 2021

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 about water.

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

If you have questions, please email 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.