Forum

The Exe Estuary Management Partnership holds two forums a year. These events are free and open to all who have an interest in the Exe Estuary. The Forums aim to enable lively discussion and provide information on topical Exe Estuary issues. Organisations and authorities that are involved with the management of the estuary are invited to these events to share information and answer any questions that local communities may have.

The Winter Forum is held every year during February and is a formal opportunity for local residents and stakeholders to hear the latest about the management of the Exe and to ask questions directly to those involved with managing aspects of the estuary.

The Summer Stakeholder Forum was introduced to offer increased opportunity for local stakeholders to engage with the work of the Partnership. The Forum provided information on the management of Exe Estuary and enabled discussions around relevant issues or topics. It is held in September.

If you would like to be added to our database to receive invites to future Forum events, please visit our Become a member page.


Past Forums

Exe Winter Forum 2024

6th February at Council Chambers, County Hall 

The Winter Forum took place on 6th February 2024 at the Council Chambers in County Hall, Exeter. The event took place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, with a variety of stands in the Ante Chamber offering information on water quality and a number of other initiatives. The event was Chaired by Ted Draper, Forum Chair.  

At the September Forum event, attendees confirmed that water quality of the Exe Estuary is currently the top topic of interest. We therefore devoted the majority of the February Forum to this matter. 

The aim of the event was to gain a better understanding of:  

  • the current status of water quality on the estuary 
  • what key stakeholder organisations are planning to do or expecting to happen 
  • where more information can be obtained 
  • what you can do to help 

The event included a series of structured speaker sessions covering: 

Towards the end of the event, the programme incorporated three short and snappy five-minute soapbox sessions, to inform members of the Forum about various important activities.

Two discussion sessions were also included, based on questions from attendees. Questions and answers are included in the Forum Feedback Report below.

Please see the Agenda for full details of the evening. Presentations were as follows:

Water Quality Opening Words
– Ted Draper, Forum Chair (Exe Estuary Management Partnership)
Email: draper@eclipse.co.uk

Water Quality at a Catchment Level: A high-level overview
– Alex Swan, East Devon Catchment Coordinator (Environment Agency)
Email: Alex.Swan@environment-agency.gov.uk

Water Quality of the Exe Estuary
– Stephanie Harper-Chung, Exe Estuary Officer (Exe Estuary Management Partnership)
Email: exeestua@devon.gov.uk

South West Water: A water company perspective
– Nick Paling, Stakeholder Engagement & Collaboration (South West Water)
Email: npaling@southwestwater.co.uk

Environment Agency: Enforcement and Monitoring
– Clarissa Newell, Area Environment Manager (Environment Agency)
Email: DCISEnquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Environmental Campaigning Group: Surfers Against Sewage
– Giles Bristow, CEO (Surfers Against Sewage)
Email: giles@sas.org.uk

River User Action Groups: End Sewage Convoys And Poollution Exmouth (ESCAPE), Friends of the River Exe (FORE)
– Andy Tyerman (ESCAPE); Mary Culhane & Clare Jeffery, Coordinators (FORE)
Email: a.tyerman@gmail.com

Update on the Harbour Revision Order
– Grahame Forshaw, Harbour Master (Exeter Port Authority)
Email: Grahame.Forshaw@exeter.gov.uk

Opening of the Lower Otter Restoration Project
– Rick Lockwood, Otter Estuary Ranger (Lower Otter Restoration Project)
Email: Rick.Lockwood@clintondevon.com

Exmouth Sea Scouts
– Rob Masters, Scout Leader (Exmouth Sea Scouts)
Email: rsm@taylormasters.co.uk

The Forum Feedback report is available here: Exe Estuary Management Partnership Winter Forum Feedback Report 2024

For further information, please contact the Exe Estuary Management Partnership at:

Email: exeestua@devon.gov.uk

Tel: 01392 382236

Address: Stephanie Harper-Chung, Exe Estuary Officer, Exe Estuary Management Partnership, c/o Devon County Council, Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD

The Summer Stakeholder Forum 2023

The Summer Stakeholder Forum took place on the 6th of September 2023 at Powderham Castle, Exeter. The event took place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. The event was Chaired by Ted Draper, Forum Chair, with Gordon Betteridge, Forum Vice Chair, also attending and facilitating the management priority workshop.

The Exe Estuary Officer began the Forum with priorities of the Exe Estuary Management Partnership (EEMP), explaining why certain work has been prioritised, how the Forum has inputted into this, and updating the room on current progress and plans for future work.This included an update on the Exe Sedimentation Project.The Officer for the South Devon AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) Estuaries then offered a comparative look at the priorities over the five estuaries in this area. This was used to inform the workshop facilitated by the Forum Vice Chair, which gave attendees an opportunity to share their views on whether we are focussing on the correct priorities for the Exe Estuary, or whether these
should be reviewed. The Harbour Master attended to offer important safety advice for the estuary, river and
canal on behalf of the Exeter Port Authority.

Please the Agenda for full details of the evening. Presentations were as follows:

EEMP Priorities and Sedimentation Project – Steph Harper-Chung and Lilyanna Stokes, EEMP

A comparative look at priorities of the South Devon AONB Estuaries – Nigel Mortimer, South Devon AONB Unit

Introduction to workshop sessions – Gordon Betteridge, Forum Vice Chair

Exeter Port Authority: Safety Afloat – Grahame Forshaw, Harbour Master

Dawlish Warren Beach Management Post-Scheme Review – Martin Davies, Environment Agency

Festival of the Exe & Salmon Run – Mary Culhane, Friends of the River Exe, Anne-Marie Culhane, Tidelines, Jo Salter, Tidelines

The Forum Feedback report is available Exe Estuary Management Partnership Stakeholder Forum Feedback Report 2023

For further information, please contact the Exe Estuary Management Partnership at:

Email: exeestua@devon.gov.uk

Tel: 01392 382236

Address: Stephanie Harper-Chung, Exe Estuary Officer, Exe Estuary Management Partnership, c/o Devon County Council, Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD

The Winter Exe Estuary Forum 2023

7th February 2023 at the Council Chamber, County Hall and online on Zoom

The Winter Forum took place on the 7th of February 2023 at Council Chambers in County Hall, Exeter. The event took place from 7pm-9pm with attendees having the chance to talk and participate in a Pacific Oyster Defra Policy activity beforehand. The event was Chaired by Ted Draper, Forum Chair, with Gordon Betteridge, Forum Vice Chair, also attending and giving a talk during the soapbox session.

The theme for this event was “current issues on the Exe, and planned action for 2023”. The Forum began with presentations which set the scene for “the bigger picture”, including management of the wider catchment and estuary Condition Assessments which will feed into management of the site. Exe focussed key issues were then taken into consideration with presentations on planned projects for the coming year from the Exe Estuary Partnership, as well as the new Pacific Oyster Policy, Exeter Port Authority updates, and nature recovery. This was followed by a soapbox session during which local representatives shared updates on their involvement with the Exe and activities taking place on and around the estuary. Issues such as incidents of Avian flu were also highlighted.

Please see the Agenda for full details of the evening. Presentations were as follows:

-Sedimentation Project-Lily-Anna Stokes, Coastal Support Officer

-Water Quality-Zuzanna Dusza, Coastal Support Officer

Soapbox Session presentations

Attendees also had the opportunity to partake in a Pacific Oyster Policy activity to express their view on the issue of this Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) in the Exe estuary. Prior to Jay Boyle from Natural England giving his presentation on the new Defra pacific oyster policy and its implications, attendees had the opportunity to offer their opinions on the issue locally. The Pacific Oyster Feedback can be found in the Appendix section of the Forum Feedback Report.

The Forum Feedback report is available Winter Forum 2023 Feedback Report

For further information, please contact the Exe Estuary Management Partnership at:

Email: exeestua@devon.gov.uk

Tel: 01392 382236

Address: Stephanie Harper-Chung, Exe Estuary Officer, Exe Estuary Management Partnership, c/o Devon County Council, Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD


Summer Stakeholder Forum 2022

6th September at Ocean, Exmouth and via Zoom

For the first time in years, the Stakeholder Forum could take place in-person at Ocean, Exmouth. The event was also open for people to attend virtually via Zoom.

The event was chaired by the Forum Chair, Jeremy Rawlings, supported by the Forum Vice Chair, Ted Draper. After four years as Forum Chair, Jeremy Rawlings has decided that now is the time to step down to focus on his busy work life. Ted Draper has now been promoted to Forum Chair, and Gordon Betteridge, who has been Rear Commodore for the Exe Sailing Club and Senior Watchkeeper for National Coastwatch, has accepted the position of Forum Vice Chair. Sincere thanks are extended to Jeremy for his time that he has committed to his role, ensuring that the views and concerns of local communities were brought to the Partnership Committee in a fair and balanced way. Congratulations to our new Forum Chair and Vice Chair.

A range of interesting topics were presented at the Forum, including an overview of the projects the Exe Estuary Management Partnership are focussing on, reflecting the input received through the public consultation held during the review of the Exe Estuary Management Plan.

Please see the Agenda for full details of the evening. Presentations were as follows:

Attendees also had the opportunity to provide input into the Dawlish Warren Beach Management Post-Scheme Review. Martin Davies from the Environment Agency gave a presentation about the review, which can be accessed here: Introduction to Dawlish Warren Beach Management Post-Scheme Review. Questions were taken from the room, before attendees were invited to take part in a workshop to offer their feedback on the options presented, the Dawlish Warren Feedback Sheet can be accessed here.

Feedback on the Post-Scheme Review closed on the 20th September. Here you can find links to a summary article about the workshop and a spreadsheet of the full workshop responses. Following further review and more detailed analysis of all the responses received, a summary report will be produced by the Environment Agency and circulated in readiness for the next Forum event in February 2023.

A record of the question and answer sessions, and forum feedback are available here.

For further information or to return feedback forms, please contact the Exe Estuary Officer at:

Email: exeestua@devon.gov.uk

Tel: 01392 382236

Address: Stephanie Harper-Chung, Exe Estuary Officer, Exe Estuary Management Partnership, c/o Devon County Council, Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD


Exe Virtual Winter Forum

15th February 2022  19:00 – 21:00 via Zoom

Following national guidance at the time of organising, this event took place virtually via Zoom and was attended by 46 people.

The new Exe Estuary Management Plan 2022 – 2027 was launched at this Forum. The Plan was developed through a full consultation process, with local people providing input through a six-week public consultation and workshops at the Stakeholder Forum in September 2021.

The Management Plan provides the framework for the management of the site, promoting the sustainable use of the estuary and balancing the demands made on its natural resources.

The event was chaired by the Forum Vice Chair, Ted Draper. The Forum Chair, Jeremy Rawlings, had to send his apologies due to unavoidable circumstances. The evening was filled with a variety of interesting presentations, which all linked to the new Management Plan, and ended with question sessions.

Please see the Agenda for full details of the evening. Presentations were as follows:

A record of the question and answer sessions can be found here:

Exe Winter Forum 2022-question notes.

Recording – if you missed out on the event, you can request the recording or ask any questions about the event by emailing the Exe Estuary Officer at exeestua@devon.gov.uk


The Summer Stakeholder Virtual Forum

September 15th 2021  18:30 – 20:30 via Zoom

Due to COVID-19, the event once again took place virtually via Zoom and was attended by 63 people.

The event was an opportunity for local people with an interest in the Exe Estuary to come and discuss their views and hear about management on the estuary. The Forum is an open event at which any organisation, interest group or member of the public can become involved in discussion of estuary related matters.

This year we focused on the Renewal of the Management Plan which will cover the next 5 years (2022-2027).

The evening kicked off with some short presentations, followed by a series of workshops through 12 breakout rooms based around Sub-Themes within the Management Plan.

Recording – if you missed out on the event, you can request the recording or ask any questions about the event by emailing the Exe Estuary Officer at exeestua@devon.gov.ukPlease note that individual breakout rooms were not recorded.

Please see the Agenda for full details of the evening. Presentations were as follows:

If you attended the event please remember to fill out the Feedback Form and return them to exeestua@devon.gov.uk



Exe Estuary Virtual Winter Forum ‘Coastal Change’

Tuesday 2nd February 2021, 19:00 – 20:30 via Zoom

Due to COVID-19 and lockdown 3.0 the EEMP will once again hosted the Forum Virtually. The evening focused on coastal change with a range of exciting speakers from various organisations, as well as Partnership updates.

The evening was very successful with 112 people attending. Feedback showed a 100% response of “agree” or “strongly agree” that the Forum was worth attending, presentations were interesting, themes were relevant and that delegates would attend the Forum again.

Presentations were as follows:

or you can download the full agenda 

We gave the opportunity to put questions forward to the speakers in advance of the meeting. As with the previous Virtual Forum, there was a dedicated Q&A session at the end of the event. Any questions unanswered were addressed via email following the event.

If you attended the event, please complete a feedback form. It is really important that we receive as much feedback as possible so we can ensure we can reflect on the success of the event and continue to improve for future events.

Recording – if you missed out on the event, you can request the recording or ask any questions about the event by emailing the Exe Estuary Officer at exeestua@devon.gov.uk



Exe Estuary Virtual Forum: October 2020

Due to COVID-19, the Stakeholder Forum event took place virtually; a first for the Partnership. A limited number (80) of free tickets were advertised and the event sold out with a week to go. If you missed out on the event, you can request the recording by emailing the Exe Estuary Officer at exeestua@devon.gov.uk

The evening took the form of a more traditional conference and we welcomed a variety of speakers, who gave us an insight into their work. The presentations were as follows:


Exe Estuary Winter Forum: February 2020

Council Chambers, Winter Forum 2020

This 2020 Exe Estuary Winter Forum took place on the evening of 4th February at the Council Chambers, County Hall, Exeter.

The Forum was a success with 113 people attending to hear a variety of presentations and soapbox sessions.

The Winter Forum was chaired by the Forum Chair, Jeremy Rawlings and supported by the Forum Vice Chair, Ted Draper.

A number of representatives attended to take part in discussions on a variety of very topical subjects including flood defence works and invasive species, please view the presentations below:

Positive results were received from attendees, with 100% of feedback indicating that they would like to attend future Forums. A large majority of attendees stated that the Forum was worth attending, that the presentations were interesting and venue suitable, the topics were relevant, that the Forum was a key opportunity to learn more about the Exe and that the work of the partnership is valued.

Full Forum feedback, including sectoral representation of attendees and key discussion points.


Members of the Forum are kept up to date with these events. If you would like to join the partnership database for free and receive invites to future Forum events, please email us.

For further information, contact Jay Boyle, Exe Estuary Officer:

Email: exeestua@devon.gov.uk
Phone: 01392 382236