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Introducing WATER: Wild About The Erme River


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September 29, 2023

Wild About The Erme River (WATER) is a new organisation working to protect and restore the River Erme and its tributaries. One of two new catchment action groups, set up following Sustainable South Ham’s River Assembly earlier this year, WATER is focused on reducing pollution and increasing biodiversity within the River Erme and surrounding landscape. Read on to find out more about their current work and how you can get involved.

The group has made early progress linking together existing Westcountry Rivers Trust Citizen Science Investigations volunteers. Training is in planning for new volunteers – to increase pollution monitoring at sites across the Erme.  

Volunteers have also been working with Surfers Against Sewage to apply to DEFRA for Bathing Water Status for Coastguards Beach.  If successful, this will result in regular Environment Agency testing at the mouth of the river estuary.  We are now collating responses from the local community – please complete our survey now as it ends 30th September.

We are also planning two river cleans in October (details below) – just turn up – children welcome.

Amid this early activity, a steering group has been formed to identify and link together work already happening, to engage with community and institutional stakeholders, and to establish effective pathways to change.  The steering group is chaired by Charlotte Grezo (Ermington) and supported by vice-chair Tim Poate (Ivybridge).  Charlotte and Tim are joined by John Mildmay-White (networking and engagement), Mike Onslow (governance), Lance Howarth (water-based workstream), Rachael Tily (land-based workstream) and Gemma Onslow (communications).


Support needed!

If you could help us as a volunteer co-ordinator or as a marketing /social media assistant please get in touch; join us at an October river clean (see below) and sign up to our newsletter to receive updates and hear about future activities; contact if you have any queries or would like to be involved.  

By uniting individual and community passion we are determined to make a difference and reverse the decline so evident today.        

October River Cleans - everyone welcome including children:

Ivybridge – click for details

When: Sunday 8th October : 0930 - 1130

Where: Meet: Harford Rd Car Park

Holbeton – click for details

When: Sunday 15th October : 1200 - 1400

Where: Meet: Brownswell Farm Yard (W3W: slippery.weeps.stewing) more details

If you have any further questions relating to the River Cleans, please contact  

We are looking for:

Volunteer co-ordinator

As our amazing volunteer base grows, we are looking for someone to work alongside our Networking and Engagement co-ordinator, with a particular focus on volunteer coordination and support.

If you'd like to find out more - please email

Marketing assistant / social media support

We're looking for someone who can support with copy writing, content creation (including imagery, videos, blogs, newsletters), and social media support.

If you'd like to find out more - please email