Estuaries Management Plan

An Estuaries Management Plan has been developed to ensure a long-term, healthy future for the estuaries in South Devon.

Following public consultation, the South Devon AONB has been working on a new Estuaries Management Plan for 2016-2024, to fit in with the wider AONB Management Plan. The Plan brings together the previously separate plans for the Yealm, Erme, Avon, Salcombe-Kingsbridge and Dart Estuaries.

Estuaries in the South Devon AONB

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Management Plan

The estuaries within the AONB share their origins as river valleys carved out and then flooded after the last ice age, and are a key feature of the outstanding natural beauty for which the area is designated. However, they also each have their own unique characteristics, ranging from the freshwater-dominated Dart to the more seawater-dominated Salcombe-Kingsbridge estuaries. The Yealm, Erme and Kingsbridge-Salcombe estuaries are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest for their unusual habitats and communities of species.

The key principles of the Estuaries Management Plan vision are that:

  1. the conservation of the estuaries is the responsibility of all those who use and enjoy them directly or indirectly, as well as the appropriate authorities and organisations;
  2. everything practical must be done to prevent the loss and degradation of each estuary’s natural, historic and archaeological resources, conserving their natural integrity and to improve them where they are in a damaged state;
  3. to ensure an awareness of the estuaries environment and the empowerment of the local community to make informed decisions about their use and future management;
  4. to encourage the sustainable use and enjoyment of our estuaries with a sense of their ownership and care;
  5. where there is irreconcilable conflict between man’s use of the estuaries and the conservation of the ecological and conservation value the latter will take preference (extension of the Sandford Principle which applies to National Parks)

Read the full report here.

You might also be interested in the new estuary biosecurity plans, to protect our AONB estuaries from invasive species.

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