Catchment Based Hosting

East Yorkshire Rivers Trust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust approved as Catchment Based Approach Hosts

Background

The Catchment Based Approach (Caba) is a Defra initiative which aims to provide a clear understanding of the issues in the catchment, involve local communities in decision-making by sharing evidence, listening to their ideas, working out priorities for each action and seeking to deliver integrated actions that address local issues in a cost effective way and protect local resources. Approximately 90 catchments have been identified across England and Wales, primarily defined by river catchments. Each Catchment is hosted by a locally based River Trust, Wildlife Trust, Charity or Organisation; and are known as 'Catchment Hosts'. Each has been given approximately £11,000 to build their local partnerships through stakeholder engagement and develop a catchment plan. The Environment Agency (EA) have specific staff "Catchment Co-ordinators" that are on hand to support the formation of new partnerships/hosting. Catchment Co-ordinators also act as a main point of contact between the Catchment Host and the EA, to develop shared evidence and understanding of the pressures, raise awareness of regulations to support compliance and capture contributions, where identified, for inclusion in River Basin Management Plans (RBMP). It is hoped that Catchment hosts will be in a suitable position to fed into and support the 2nd cycle of RBMP, which begins in 2015.

Although, Catchment Hosts do not have to facilitate projects which meet Water Framework Targets (WFD), the EA will ensure that WFD targets are considered by the Hosts. As a result, a key aim of many will be to tackle diffuse pollution which is associated with about half of the reasons for failure of water bodies and are, by their nature, local. Other Catchment Hosts expectations include, improved:

  • Water quality (diffuse and point source)
  • Habitats
  • Biodiveristy and Fisheries
  • Flood risk
  • Water resource management
  • Improved redevelopment
  • Access
  • Amenity
  • Recreation


Catchment Hosts will meet these expectations by completing a series of stages:

  • Scope and enage stakeholders
  • Agree evidence of the pressure (including catchment walkovers where there are evidence gaps) and having an awareness of activities in adjacent catchments
  • Discussing and agreeing pririoities
  • Source potential funding
  • Planning action in a strategic way
  • Contribute to RBMP 2nd stage and beyond
  • Help to direct funding to local catchment schemes and other actions
  • Monitor progress and managing ongoing improvement
  • Working collaboratively to deliver more cost effective environmental outcomes
  • Maintaining communications


Overall

It is hoped that Catchment Hosts will deliver positive and sustained outcomes for the water environment by promoting a better understanding of the environment at a local level. Principally, ths will be achieved by encouraging a more transparent form of decision making, in support of local collaboration or partnership working, for both planning and delivery.