The Catchment Connections team has been out across the Culm this summer running and attending community events and we finally caught up with them to find out what’s been going on!

It has been a busy four months with lots of different events taking place. Much like we were earlier in the year, we have continued ‘popping-up’ in different locations with our information stand. A big thank you to Halberton Court Farm, Fordmore Farm Shop and Old Well Garden Centre for kindly hosting us at their venues and making us feel so welcome.  It was great to share the Blueprint for Culm with everyone who came to see us.

Lucy Jefferson, Culm Catchment Officer, looking at catchment maps with people at Halberton Farm Shop

We have also really appreciated being part of a variety of community events including Stoke Canon Festival, Mid Devon Show, Hemyock Repair Café, Coldharbour Mill’s Power of Water day and Cullompton Autumn Festival. It was wonderful to have so many people join in with our different activities – crafting Festival Fish, contributing to our ever-growing River Reflections community artwork or having a go at river dipping and identifying different fresh-water invertebrates.

Children taking part in river dipping activities at Coldharbour Mill's Power of Water day in August.

Alongside our wider community events, we ran a range of special interest walks and tours. The National Trust’s Tim Dafforn led a fascinating walk and talk at Killerton about the floodplain restoration taking place there and the range of nature-based solutions they have introduced. Gavin Saunders guided a group of people from Smeatharpe Village hall to look at the species rich spring-line mires.  Thank you to Dr David Smith who joined us on that walk and shared his extensive knowledge about peat formation and Sphagnum mosses.

Dr David Smith sharing his knowledge about Sphagnum mosses.

We joined in with the Heritage Open Days festival and ran three tours around Dunkeswell Abbey exploring how the Cistercian monks managed water in the landscape 800 years ago. The landowners of the historic fishponds at Dunkeswell Abbey kindly allowed people to look at these impressive features and the Dunkeswell Abbey Church Trust laid on a delicious range of cakes and tea for people attending the tours.

Tour group at Dunkeswell Abbey looking at the large fishponds built by Cistercian monks 800 years ago.

It has been a privilege for the Connecting the Culm team to be out across the catchment, meeting people, sharing the Blueprint for the Culm with communities and listening to people’s comments, suggestions and ideas.

Do let us know if there are other events that you would like us to be part of or activities that you’d like us to run at . We are always keen to hear from you and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Forum #5 in Cullompton Community Centre on 17th November 2022.