Tamar - Boyton - Devon
 River Tamar - Between West and East Youlstone, Cornwall
 Greg Bennett  Environmental Monitoring Officer for the Environment Agency  Cornwall  To me, the Tamar is an amazing resource of hidden treasures, many of which are overlooked by those passing by, largely owing to its often slightly turbid appearance!  Many will be unaware that the River Tamar is one of three index rivers in England and Wales for monitoring Salmon and Sea Trout. It is also the only index river reporting on the marine survival rates of these protected species.  We extensively monitor the Tamar at Gunnislake to provide information on the biology and status of stocks at a dedicated location. I currently lead on the fieldwork element of this monitoring programme which has been established for over 25 years, where we trap, count and assess health of these magnificent fish. It forms a large part of my job role within the Environment Agency. I am incredibly fortunate to have worked with some highly skilled, dedicated & professional colleagues who have made this project what it is today.  The consistently high quality of data collected helps influence decisions made across the business, helping environmental monitoring, conservation and management.  When not working at this location I feel fortunate to be able to engage across related disciplines including analysing invertebrate samples in our laboratory, many of which are collected from the Tamar and its many tributaries, and form part of our wider monitoring programme. Being able to link the various environmental parameters together is vital in understanding the bigger picture and the overall ecology of the river.
 Tamar - Between Devonport and Torpoint
 Tamar River - Woolley Moor
 River Tamar - Southdown Quay, Millbrook  Lynda Ashwell - Residential Boat Owner  I'm not sure exactly how long my husband and I have been here. If I'm happy somewhere, years don't come into it. When you are content, you don't think about it. I feel that I may have the kind of life that people dream about. Its a bit ramshackle, but this is where I really want to be. Its a beautiful setting where you can watch the deer, the egrets, the swans and the herons. Its an ever changing landscape that is like a painting. I'm a water sign and have never been far from the water. I am at home here, love being here, feel that I was pulled here.  The river allows you to absorb its calmness, enables you to reflect, helps you to discover peace. The river gives life and it takes life. It doesn't make any rules, it just flows.
 River Tamar - Southdown Marina, Millbrook looking across to Plymouth
 River Tamar - Weir Quay, Devon  Andy Anderson - Local Resident  I’ve always been around water, the Tamar. All my life has been to do with the river. My first experience was the old ferry that used to carry cars and passengers across to Saltash before the road bridge was built in 1961. I went on days out with friends, mostly exploring different beaches to play football on.  My working life began at the marine engineering firm Fox & Haggart, which was based on the Barbican in Plymouth. I served my apprenticeship there, working on trawlers and coasters before moving on into the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service that was based in the dockyard in Devonport and I ended up spending the rest of my career there.  I was born on the Isle of Man, but moved to Devon when I was two years old and always found that I was coming to spend time in Weir Quay, so it felt natural to move here in 1965. I go to the river bank every day. I wouldn’t say I’m drawn to it but certainly connected. I have come to know the river back to front - local knowledge you would say – the channels, the landmarks, the changes in the banks and wildlife that reflect the seasons.  The river represents freedom and a place to get away from people. I love the stillness and quietness of it – especially in a rowing boat when you can feel you are in the middle of nowhere.
 River Tamar - Woolley Moor
 Tamar River - Woolley Wood
 River Tamar - Mendennick Barton, Millbrook  David Turner - Landowner and Farmer  There is a direct family connection to this land since 1597 and I myself was born and bred here. The central farm itself is around 450 acres but I have additional responsibility for estates on Maker, Anthony and Port Eliot which together totals over 1600 acres. You are conscious that there is a lot of history around here, with some settlements dating from the Iron Age. I feel that I am just passing through this land, hoping to improve it's condition, make the farm more up-to-date and leave a positive legacy which my son can carry forward.  To me the river represents a very convenient space between here and Plymouth. It is a barrier to development and in that sense a force for good. The estuary adjacent to my land is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and that has been very beneficial in establishing my organic business as an example of Higher Level Stewardship*. In that sense, the river has helped me again and I'm thankful for that.  *The primary objectives of Higher Level Stewardship are the conservation of wildlife; the maintenance and enhancement of landscape quality and character; the protection of natural resources; the protection of the historic environment; the promotion of public access and understanding of the countryside.
 Tamar River - Woolley Wood
 River Tamar - Border between West and East Youlstone  Left Image - Cornwall     Right Image - Devon
 John Britton - Tenant Dairy Farmer  Luffincott, Devon  My parents took over this farmstead in 1970, so there has been a family connection to this land for almost 50 years. I was only 8 years-old when I came here. Some of the land that I farm is on the Tamar’s floodplain, so my relationship with the river can be described as one of acceptance. Rainfall many miles away from here has a direct impact and the river can be constructive and destructive in equal measure. The topsoil adjacent to the river can be 6 or 7 foot-deep and is extremely fertile, but you could never plant crops here. The farming industry is precarious enough at the best of times, so you have to acknowledge and manage the risk that the river can represent. In that sense, you can never truly relax and enjoy it.  The landscape here has barely changed in my time, although fencing and mature trees are occasionally lost to the river’s meanders. I’ve known and worked this place for almost all of my life, so it is easy to forget how unique and beautiful it actually is. Looking down on this valley on a frosty Spring morning is just magnificent. I just take it for granted.
 Tamar - Luckett - Cornwall
 River Tamar - Garden Battery - Cornwall  Colbey Short (Aged 13)  I've been coming to this spot for over a year. The city is boring. I need to escape it. I feel drawn to the water and spend a lot of time by the river. There is no one around here, no one tombstoning. Its quiet. Most of my mates are sat at home on their X-Boxes. I like to come here by myself and explore at low tide. I like the freedom and the space. It helps me relax.
 River Tamar - Border between West and East Youlstone
 River Tamar - Southdown Marina, Millbrook
 Tamar Valley Vineyard – South Hooe, Devon  Marcus and Heather Williams and Logan, Paula and Dave Williams  Marcus Williams…  Our family have owned this land on the Bere Penisular since 1958. My grandfather was a German prisoner of war who decided to stay in this country when the conflict ended. A builder by profession, he bought this plot and turned his hand to farming, but in his heart he always wanted a vineyard.  When my grandfather passed away in 2004, the land was passed down the family, which led to a process of rediscovery. Research uncovered that the patch of Devonian soil we owned was of a similar typography to the Rhur Valley which is so beloved by the Riesling grape. The area has a sheltered microclimate and further investigations led us to believing that the Madeleine Angevine, a white wine grape well suited for England’s cool climate and that is also popular in Germany, could actually thrive here. So, we planted our first vines in 2016 and have been clearing the land and developing it ever since.  My family is Bere Alston born and bred and we have deep roots in the area which we are even more conscious of now that we are land owners. Both my wife and I have spent time living and working away from the area, and I think there is a great deal of truth in the saying that you have to go away and then come back in order for you to appreciate what you have on your own doorstep.  This is an isolated and unique landscape that is slowly changing and we are aware that we are part of that process. We feel extremely privileged to be the custodians of this part of the Tamar Valley.
 Tamar - Remains of the Merganser - Weir Quay, Devon
 River Tamar - View from across St John's Lake to HMS Raleigh, Cornwall  St John's Lake is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is of national importance for its wintering population of around 6,000 wildfowl and 10,000 waders. The alga and eel grass beds are particularly important as they provide feeding areas for populations of Wigeon, Mute Swan, Brent Geese, Shelduck, Black Tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Knot, Oystercatchers, Curlew, Redshank, Plovers, Turnstone and Teal.
 Pru Barnes - Local Resident & Landowner  South Hooe, Devon  My family was originally from Chagford on Dartmoor. My father was a farmer but was also a keen sailor and he moved to be by the river to satisfy that passion. But my mother was a Moors person and the tides and the moon really affected her badly and that led to her hating the river.  At the turn of the millennium I inherited this farm, in the region of 40 acres, which is a traditional mix of beef, sheep and arable. It is an intensive form of farming and my husband and I want to change that, to be more ecological, to be self-sufficient and to create a refuge for wildfowl in the area. There has been a loss of freshwater wetland habitat in recent years and we would like to correct this. The Tamar loops around a portion of our land that is fortified by a tidal wall, so the plan is to breach that wall, flood those fields and restore the landscape for the benefit of local flora and fauna.  I’ve always felt a connection to this place, to its sound of birds on the wing. It wonderful to have such a variety of wildlife right on your doorstep. And the mud, you cannot forget about the mud.  I feel that I am a custodian, a lucky custodian, but one with a responsibility that is social and to nature. There are not enough people standing up for nature and I want to be one of those who are changing that.
 River Tamar - Border close to Youlstone Ham Bridge  Left Image - Cornwall     Right Image - Devon
 Tamar - Torpoint Ferry, Cornwall
 River Tamar – Weir Quay, Devon  Val Anderson - Local Resident  I’ve always lived by this river and I cannot envisage any other way of life. I remember living on a wooden ship called the Merganser, the remnants of which can still be seen here today. It was during the Second World War and was with two other families, so you can image the size. We moved to dry land and Kiln Cottage in 1947.  So, I have lived on the river, learnt to walk on the river, learnt to swim in the river and learnt to row on the river. The Tamar has been integral to my life and I have always had a connection to it, either emotionally or physically. A boat, in whatever shape or form has always been a family possession and a source of fun, which has been passed down the generations as my daughter and grand-daughter continue to live in the hamlet.  I’ve always been able to look out onto the river. Everything seems to slow down, but with just a whisper of the wind it can all change, especially with the spring tides – the river is in a hurry then. Its diverse, active, everchanging. Movement is constant.  During April through to October, from Cargreen up to South Hooe, the river gets congested with boats. For me it detracts from the naturalness that already exists. This area has been designated an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty, but it’s being threatened by over-development. However much it changes though, I simply cannot imagine being without it.
 River Tamar - Military Firing Range, Millbrook, Cornwall
 Tamar - Luckett, Cornwall
 Johnny Cotton  Ernesettle, Plymouth, Devon  Local resident and Crabber  There has been crabbing on the river for at least 30 years. Peeler crabs have a reputation as one of the finest sea angling baits and I come to this patch on a regular basis to harvest them for my own use. My uncle worked a different stretch close to here for a number of years and it seemed natural for me to follow him. I’ve been doing this for just over two.  There are 10 of us here with our own dedicated areas. The pots are actually pieces of guttering that the crabs shelter in when they are moulting. There are currently no by-laws in this area, so we self-regulate what we catch by only taking crabs of a certain size and returning all the females. It is not in anyone’s interest to deplete the numbers that live here. It is estimated that every square foot of mud contains a crab and they migrate up and down the river, reacting to the temperature, wind, pressure and tide.  I enjoy every aspect of the river - the landscape, the fishing, the wildlife. My day job is working in a call centre doing 12 hours shifts, surrounded by people and constant noise. The river is tranquillity for me. Its an escape.
 Tamar - Polson Bridge - Devon
 River Tamar - Looking across to Plymouth from Millbrook, Cornwall
 River Tamar - Southdown Marina, Millbrook, Cornwall  Louise Spencer - Residential Boat Owner  I've slowly graduated to this place over a period of time and have been here for over 3 years now. I find the river soft, quiet, calming and healing. I enjoy the scenery, the space, the different weathers and the constantly changing view - it can be quite gripping. I love the freedom that this lifestyle gives me and I love this spot. I feel drawn to the water and it is ever present here. You develop your own sense of time. You could easily get lost.
 Tamar - Horsebridge - Devon
 River Tamar – South Hooe, Devon  Jim Barnes - Local Resident  I have always preferred to live in the countryside with plenty of space around and the chance for outside work and projects. Where we live now is ideal. Connected to the road system by a dead-end road and to the river system-which used to be the main transport system - at various points on the farm.  I am the secretary for the local mooring association so am very much aware of the river, its tides, depths, and various hazards ranging from mud banks to large floating tree remains. The farm has a small harbour from which we can take sailing boats for winter storage. Removal and launching can only take place at high spring tides and this often means an early start on an autumn or spring morning when the sun is just rising. I have experienced many a frosty morning when the valley is shrouded in mist and the early morning sun is trying to break through. The colours, noises of the river birds and general serenity affects you.  The geography of where we are, being continually surrounded by water, means that it is like living on your own little island. The river is a barrier. It is a boundary. When I first moved here with my wife, we used to travel up the river, moor overnight and absorb our surroundings. They are all now very much ingrained in our lives.
 Tamar - Polson Bridge - Cornwall
 Tamar - Higher New Bridge - Devon
 Celine Artero  Scientist for the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust  Cornwall  I am involved in the European SAMARCH (Salmonid Management Round the Channel) Project, as the scientific lead in the tracking of wild salmon and sea trout.  Although the project involves working on a number of rivers in the Channel area, the majority of the data collection and research focuses on the five salmon and sea trout ‘Index’ rivers in the Channel area. Index rivers are those that have been collecting data on salmonids for a considerable time and these are the rivers Frome and Tamar in the south of England and the Scorff, Oir and Bresle in northern France. The project includes a number of partners from France and England who are a blend of research and regulatory organisations, and key stakeholders of which the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is one.  The goal of the project is to accumulate new scientific evidence on the survival and migration of young salmon and sea trout in order to improve our understanding and management of the two species and hopefully increase their numbers.  My work involves me spending time on all the different rivers, capturing, measuring and tagging fish in order to solve the mystery of what they are actually doing in the estuaries and whilst they are at sea. I use acoustic tracking technology to follow the sea trout and salmon smolts through the estuaries of the river Tamar and with the help of the Environment Agency, collect samples of juvenile brown trout to build a common genetic data base.  I really enjoy working on the Tamar, not only because it is particularly beautiful but also because of all the passionate colleagues around me and the people that I meet.  The river and its tributaries are always full of surprises, constantly changing with the weather, the time of day and the seasons. It can sometimes make it difficult to work with, but at the same time you feel that the river is alive. But over time, you gain the knowledge that helps you tame the river just enough for it to reveal the secrets that it is hiding.
 River Tamar - Garden Battery, Mount Edgecumbe, Cornwall
 Tamar - Thorn Point - Devon
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