Working with nature and local communities, Connecting the Culm is a project aiming to improve the health of the River Culm for wildlife and people, and increase its resilient to flood and drought. The project commenced in January 2019 and will run until June 2022. It has been developed by a partnership of organisations including Devon County Council, the Environment Agency, Mid Devon District Council and the National Trust and is led by the Blackdown Hills AONB.

The project has several strands, from implementing nature-based solutions to the use of volunteer Citizen Scientists who collect and analyse water samples to assess the river’s water quality. Nature-based solutions such as tree-planting and restoring soil quality improve the catchment’s health and make it more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

connecting the culm

One of the project’s main aims is to create a long-term plan, or Blueprint, for the Culm to tackle the growing issues of flood and drought, improve water quality, and create a better place for wildlife and people. This Blueprint for the Culm will map a path to a positive future, where communities and ecosystems around the Culm are more resilient to flood and drought. You can explore the key issues that the project is addressing through this interactive map.

If you are interested in getting involved to improve the River Culm you can find out more here.

How is this helping Devon reach net-zero?

Connecting the Culm is contributing to the commitments of the Climate Emergency Declaration.

This project is protecting and enhancing the River Culm ecosystem, helping to achieve the goal in the Devon Carbon Plan to restore and enhance habitats and soils so that they fulfil their natural potential for carbon sequestration and storage. Community involvement also plays an important role in building a picture of the health of the River Culm, enabling the local community to feel part of shaping Devon’s transition to net-zero.