River Catchments - COBER and LOE POOL

The Cober catchment drains a 53.75km2 area of West Cornwall. Historically, the River Cober was tidal before it was cut off from the sea by a shingle bar and a freshwater lagoon formed behind Loe Bar to create the now popular Loe Pool. The catchment was initially selected owing to enrichment of the waters within the pool, primarily from agricultural impacts upstream.

Historically, Loe Pool was mined for tin and copper. Nowadays, the spoil heaps and adits are re-vegetating and the mines have become important habitats for Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) and bryophytes. Within the Pool itself, the sea holly and yellow horned-poppy can be found and over 100 bird species have been recorded. Trout, eels and minnows can all be found in the river, in addition to three-spined stickleback and Rudd.

Loe Pool
Loe Pool showing bar blocking to make the lagoon

Agricultural activity within the catchment is centred around dairy farming, with rough grazing taking place on poorer land. There is also some horticulture.

Only 4 Integrated River Basin Resource Management Plans were written for farmers and landowners in the Cober catchment as the area was also targeted by FWAG and it was agreed to avoid duplication by focusing advice elsewhere; none-the-less, advice given covered 202ha, and 2,173m of river. Issues encountered included nutrient management, invasive weed control and tourism diversification.