Rationale for CRP
In common with the rest of the
UK, the riverine environment in Cornwall continues to
be threatened and often adversely impacted both directly
and indirectly by a variety of activities that combine
to reduce and degrade natural ecosystems.
Damage to the mainly rural catchment
areas in Cornwall has resulted largely from changing land
use patterns over the past thirty years or so. This is
a local manifestation of a linkage between land use and
corresponding impact on rivers that has been confirmed
by scientific studies world-wide.
Much of this deterioration has
been led unintentionally by national and supranational
fiscal change, land use policy and technical developments
far from the point of application. In many cases these
changes have not only undermined the sustainable use of
natural resources but also failed to provide sustainable
income to the rural economy.
River corridors, the elements
of which comprise the river channel together with the
adjacent floodplain and/or footslopes, form a crucially
important component of the landscape. Intact river marginal
wetlands are known to perform valuable functions as buffer
zones for environmental protection of watercourses.
The WRT has identified at least three major barriers which
are restricting progress on protecting Cornwall's river
A lack of
community involvement and partnership to help draw together
the owners of land and water rights with regulatory,
technical, conservation and other interests. This has
the effect of causing opposition and delay to progress.
of sound, practical, economic and integrated advice
on sustainable land use practices and a "methodology"
which readily encourages uptake. This is recognised
as an international problem that has resulted in a slow
rate of change in improved management of natural resources.
no single statutory body responsible for wetlands in
the UK and no specific policy and coherent strategy
for wetland management. While responsibility falls upon
a number of well intentioned and concerned bodies, none
of these seem to be able to offer a holistic approach
or effective co-ordination.
The Westcountry Rivers Trust
believes it to be imperative that remedial action is taken,
as a matter of urgency, to begin the process of restoring
and protecting Cornwalls freshwater heritage so that it
can be of sustainable benefit to the local community.
Cornwall Rivers Project has been designed to bring about
these results in a way which have positive environmental,
economic and social outcomes.