Looking after the fish, looking after the river.

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“Caring for and having access to our heritage and our natural world will be ever more important as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis. Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will engage a wide range of people in recording the history of angling on the River Teign and in creating a healthy future for the river and its wildlife.”

– Stuart McLeod, The National Lottery Heritage Fund

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Latest News

SALMON – A production about People, rivers and kindness by MED Theatre. Coming on the 4th September

July 7, 2021

SALMON is only one element of the four-year River Teign Restoration Project but is one that we hope will draw new visitors to the River Teign, engaging them with the issues that face the river.

Smoltification – that’s the name of the game!

May 11, 2021

We thought we’d share this video with you. How stunning are these little beauties? Not much longer than your finger (assuming you’ve got big man’s hands like me). This is a gathering of Smolts. Having spent several years in the River as Parr, they are now getting ready for the next stage in their incredible […]

Skunk Cabbage – The big, the bad and the smelly!

May 4, 2021

As if that isn’t enough it’s also a bit of a bully. Skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is also known as American Skunk Cabbage, Eastern Skunk Cabbage and Swamp Lantern all very accurate and descriptive names as we will get onto in a bit. It doesn’t belong in the UK originating from the damp woodlands of […]

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) © Jack Perks
Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) © Jack Perks

A Salmon is so much more than a fish, and in the same way, a river is much more than just water.

A living Salmon is a culmination of the environment and every living thing in and associated with that river. In the same way that a river is much more than the simple flow of water from the hills to the ocean.

Both river and therefore fish are influenced by every single drop of rain that falls on the slopes, as well as every plug pulled, every dishwasher emptied, each toilet flushed and every field farmed. In addition, the soil and vegetation that form the landscape and grow on it are reflected in the character of that river.

To be a river whose character can be defined and described as a Salmon river says a lot. It says clean, vibrant, healthy and wholesome. Therefore to be called a Salmon river is high acclaim indeed.

The river Teign, in Devon, is just such a river and since the last ice age, it has been always been this way. Things however are changing and we don’t fully understand why. We have theories, hunches and ideas, but the facts, other than the certainty that fish - both Salmon and Sea Trout and other species are declining are difficult to find. This is where the River Teign Restoration Project and you can make a difference.

A River doesn’t exist in isolation, it is a living entity, a collective partnership of many different species including us. The decline in Salmon in any river is a clarion call that tells us all is not well in the world and in its waters.

Mayfly dun © Nick Baker
Mayfly dun © Nick Baker
Brown trout (Salmo trutta) © Jack Perks
Brown trout (Salmo trutta) © Jack Perks
Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) © Tim Smith (Instagram @casualsnap)
Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) © Tim Smith (Instagram @casualsnap)
Steve Phelps - lets the Skunk Cabbage have it!
River Teign Guided Walks

We'll be running occasional guided walks with local guides and knowlegeable experts. These will be as and when numbers and interest allows. Themed around fish, wildlife, bird watching and general interest . If you wish to sign up for any of these please get in touch via the contact page to register your interest.

Volunteering

Get involved! There is so much you can do to help your river. Whether you're a keen angler, a regular dog walker or just someone who wants to learn more about the river there are loads of ways you can help. From the practical hands-on stuff such as helping to clear blockages, bankside habitat management, water quality testing or insect and wildlife surveys, or maybe you have IT skills, want to help with data entry, training, school visits or open days? There will be something for everyone. We're a friendly bunch so get in touch to find out more.

Explore your Teign

The beautiful River Teign, all 31 miles (50) km of it passes through some of Devon's most fascinating and spectacular scenery. From its humble beginnings way up on the blanket bogs of Dartmoor, it flows through ancient woodlands, steep sided gorges and meadows. It has been a focus for human activity since ancient times as well - its water providing fish and fishing, power and energy, while its bankside has a rich history of farms, farming as well as industry. The diverse geology that creates many of the different characters of this river on it's journey have also meant the region has been the focus of rock and mineral quarrying since pre-roman times. whether it's its industrial or fishing heritage or its landscape and wildlife there is plenty to intrigue and fascinate.

the project

Anglers around the UK and throughout the species natural range have been aware of the worrying decline in Atlantic Salmon for a while. Every year less and less Salmon return to their home rivers and in response to this here on the river Teign a group of concerned Anglers decided they needed to do something about it.

The Teign Angling and Conservation Association formed an alliance with the National Trust, Environment Agency, West Country Rivers Trust, Peter Randall-Page and MED Theatre and a successful application was made to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

And so The River Teign Restoration project came into being and got underway in February 2021 and is due to run for at least four years.In essence, this project aims to improve the River Teign and all of its tributaries for Salmon and Trout. Halting the decline and restoring their populations.This will by definition benefit the health of the river, its associated wildlife and of course us. You don’t have to be an angler to appreciate a healthy river. A clean and healthy riverine ecosystem is good for everything and all - just think of the enigmatic and iconic otter, the dash of a dipper or kingfisher and the dazzle dragonflies and damselflies and that is literally just skimming the surface. The presence of life in all its forms is reassurance to the itinerant paddler, river walker and bank-side pic-nicker that all is well.

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Atlantic Salmon © Geoff Simpson
Atlantic Salmon © Geoff Simpson
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) These pretty ducks are not native but seem to be doing quite well in Devon, the lower Stretches of the River below Dunsford are particularly good for them. © Tim Smith (Instagram @casualsnap)

Reconnecting with the River

Increasing awareness, informing and educating is critical to the future of this river. We aim to do this in a multitude of ways. Over the course of the project, we will put on performances, presentations, competitions, provide school visits, guided walks and fishing demonstrations. We will recruit a team of 'river watchers' and volunteers that will help us achieve these and also carry out practical conservation work from surveys to water quality testing and riverbank management.

This project aims to involve not just those that live in the catchment but also those underrepresented audiences such as young people, visitors, holidaymakers and the residents of the many new developments. Responsibly promoting the river as a place of life, enjoyment, angling and its many health and well-being values.

Leaving a legacy. After four years we hope to have set in motion a project that has enough momentum to carry the values of this project into the future. Not just a living legacy of a recovering river but an accompanying archive of cultural heritage and of course useful information that will guide the continued trajectory to a better, cleaner and more fishful river.

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