The Upper Thames Catchment Partnership is hosted by Gloucestershire FWAG (key contacts are Jenny Phelps and Sarah Wells) chaired by Chris Short (Countryside and Community Research Institute) and our catchment coordinator from the Environment Agency is Stuart Malaure


What is the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA)?

CaBA is a policy framework introduced by the government in 2011 to encourage the wider adoption of integrated catchment thinking into local plans with the aim of improving the quality of our water environment. Integrated catchment management can provide multiple benefits for all the partner organisations and the local community, including reducing flood risk whilst also improving water quality, protecting drinking water resources, improving biodiversity and enhancing health and recreation opportunities for local communities.

The Upper Thames Catchment Partnership has been instrumental in developing and pioneering this type of work through its Integrated Local Delivery (ILD) Projects which have been used as a template for many other projects and a case study for the European PEGASUS Project.

Click here for more information on the ILD approach and how it works.



What is the partnership and how does it work?

The Upper Thames Catchment Partnership consists of a wide range of individuals and organisations (from charities to parish councils to the local business) who are working together to improve the water environment and provide wider benefits for people and nature at a catchment scale. This is a partner-led initiative that encourages and facilitates collaboration and synergy between the organisations involved, helping all to deliver their aims. It is hosted by Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West (FWAGSW) and the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) and meets on a quarterly basis to discuss Catchment Priorities, look at opportunities for innovative and joined up projects and mechanisms for delivering them.

The partnership is working towards delivering ‘Good Ecological Status’ of the water bodies within the catchment. ‘Good Ecological status’ is the objective set by the Water Framework Directive.

The partnership recognises however that good water quality extends well beyond ‘in channel’ improvements to rivers and streams and that it is important to influence land use and management throughout the catchment area. For example, the partnership works closely with land managers to look in more detail at how water flows across their land, understand the condition of their drainage infrastructure and impacts on water quality, and deliver habitat restoration opportunities.


The partnership is at the forefront of technological advances in research, including using LiDAR to identify water flow pathways and habitat restoration and creation opportunities within the catchment.


Aims of the Upper Thames Catchment Partnership

Catchment Partnership Management

The Upper Thames Catchment Partnership is funded from Defra’s Water Environment Improvement Fund 2017 and 2018 (Catchment Partnership Hosting Support) and Thames Water as part of their commitment to working in partnership. Our key aims are:

  • Identify collectively the key water-based issues within the catchment (for example, flooding, water quality in our rivers and streams, fish survival)
  • Ensure that work to improve the water-based issues in the catchment is well informed by sound local evidence and data
  • Coordinate and integrate both current and future plans to secure better and more effective outcomes
  • Agree that the priority actions that are required to help deliver projects to improve the water-based issues in the catchment
  • Maximise the use of existing resources and seek to attract additional funding where appropriate
  • Share findings and best practice and communicate widely with surrounding partnerships and local community groups to provide a mandate to improve the water and land environment for all.

The role of the Catchment Partnership host is to build the local partnership through stakeholder engagement and to develop a Catchment Action Plan.

FWAG SW’s Jenny Phelps and CCRI’s Chris Short, joined Sybil Ruscoe to discuss agri-environment schemes post Brexit, at Guiting Manor Farm.


Delivering projects relies on the involvement of local communities and the knowledge and skills that are held at a local level. The partnership is keen to work with volunteer groups and parish councils as part of our integrated local delivery. Volunteer with:

The Catchment Partnership is a voluntary, non-statutory body and is unincorporated and not a legal entity. The Catchment Partnership does not itself hold or expend funds. Projects and activities recommended or supported by the Catchment Partnership will be led by the organisations best placed to do so.


Download the Upper Thames Catchment Management Project Steering Group - Terms of Reference by clicking here.

See how Integrated Local Delivery (ILD) is being used as a case study for the European PEGASUS Project.









Click here to go back to the Upper Thames Catchment Partnership homepage to learn more about an aspect of the partnership, or go directly to the 'Water Bodies' page