Clarification of Roles of Bodies that Manage the Exe Estuary
During the current consultation on the Exe Estuary Management Plan, it became apparent that there is a lack of clarity about the various groups, partnerships and projects that are currently taking place on the Exe. This has led to confusion and concern in the local communities, so the information below aims to clarify the different bodies that are involved with the management of the Exe.
Exe Estuary Management Partnership (EEMP)
The EEMP coordinates management of the estuary, on behalf of local authorities, government agencies, conservation bodies, users and owners of the estuary. It takes a balanced and impartial view on the management of the estuary, so not only seeks to conserve and enhance the estuary’s special nature, but also promotes sustainable economic and social activity. It does this by managing competing demands and addressing any conflicts as they arise, also providing a contact point for local communities. The Exe Estuary Management Plan is the framework for the work of the EEMP and its Partners, who carry out their work for the benefit of both wildlife AND people. The Exe Estuary Officer undertakes work on behalf of the EEMP in delivering this Management Plan.
This year, we have welcomed two new Partners, the RYA and Powderham Estate, to provide representation for recreational users and local land owner / business. We would like to encourage further representation from other local users / businesses, please get in touch if you would like further details.
South East Devon Habitat Regulations Partnership (SEDHRP)
The purpose of the SEDHRP is to ensure effective mitigation of the impacts arising from new development in close proximity to areas of European wildlife importance, i.e. the Exe Estuary, Dawlish Warren and Pebblebed Heaths. The work of this partnership is guided by the South East Devon European Site Mitigation Strategy (which can be found at http://eastdevon.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/environment-and-green-infrastructure/biodiversity/) and the emerging Pebblebed Heaths Visitor Management Plan.
One of the mitigation measures is a new Patrol Boat that aims to be on the water this winter, along with two new Habitat Mitigation Officers (HMOs) who will be in post later this month and will be carrying out work on behalf of the SEDHRP. They will aim to raise awareness about how users of the estuary should co-exist with the important wildlife of the Exe. The main aim of these initiatives is to engage with all users and communicate the importance of the local nature to visitors.
The SEDHRP is not a part of the Exe Estuary Management Partnership. The Exe Estuary Officer sits on the SEDHRP Working Group as an advisor and can offer, on behalf of the EEMP, to take forward certain aspects of the work of the SEDHRP if it requires public consultation, since it is better placed to work with users. An example of this is the review of zonation of activities and codes of conduct, which the EEMP will be consulting with users on from October 2016.
Exeter City Council - Harbour Authority
Exeter City Council, as Harbour Authority, is currently applying for powers to create Harbour Directions (the extent of powers is limited primarily to ‘ships’ -vessels used in navigation- using the port area). As part of this process, the City Council seeks to consult with harbour users and interested parties, through the newly formed Port User Group (PUG). There is currently no information about what the harbour directions might cover, this is to be discussed once ECC are granted these powers and will consult directly with the PUG. Further information about the Exe Estuary can be found on the ECC website at https://exeter.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/sport-and-leisure/waterways/the-river-exe-and-estuary/