The Blueprint for the Culm is a long-term plan for the River Culm, the streams that flow into it, and the land that drains into it. It will be a practical management plan, shaped by the people that live in the area, to guide and inform activities and decision-making that affects the Culm river system. Having a Blueprint for the river that everyone has agreed to will help draw down future funding to make change happen.

The Blueprint will bring local residents and community groups right into the centre of decision-making. This is a new approach for river and catchment planning, and it is a key part of the wider Co-Adapt innovation. We want the Blueprint to have a lasting impact and to change the way local and national organisations work, by giving local people a much stronger say in what happens and how it affects their lives.

The plan will also involve specialists from government bodies like the Environment Agency, local government members and officers, local amenity, environmental, recreation and other special interest groups.

Flooding, drought and wildlife losses are all happening more quickly due to climate change and the river is under greater pressure than ever before. By working together, we can change things and help create a healthy river that protects people and nature, enhances well-being and builds a more resilient local economy.

We have a role to play. Even though I don’t own a part of the river, I can access it and there’s things we can do as a family to help protect it and make sure it’s in really good condition for future generations”

Mel, Bradninch resident

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we’re going to be doing much of the plan development work online – at least for the time being. We’ll be organising workshops, information-sharing sessions and generating a host of interactive resources over the coming months. We’ll be getting started this summer with the aim of agreeing the final plan by October 2021. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to share your ideas and help shape the plan along the way.

Our plan is to set up three geographic working groups, covering the Upper, Middle and Lower Culm respectively. These groups will be open to all and will develop detailed plans for specific areas.

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