Event: Tamar River Festival
Date: 10th October
Time: 11am to 4pm
Venue: Cotehele Quay (National Trust), St. Dominick, South East Cornwall
Cost: FREE

The river that flows through the heart of the Westcountry between Devon and Cornwall will be celebrated at a special festival on Saturday 10th October.

People who live, work and have a close connection to the River Tamar are being invited to share their stories at the inaugural event, which will also showcase projects to protect the river for future generations as well as the array of local produce, artists and community groups based along the 60-mile stretch of water.

Each of the tales from the riverbank will be brought together at the free festival in a bid to capture the spirit of the Tamar and encourage people to support and protect the waterway for generations to come.

Artists including Chrissy Wallis and Peter Ursem will share their work that is inspired by the Tamar River, with Tavy Tars providing musical entertainment.

A number of local experts will share their knowledge of the Tamar’s rich history. Charly Braungardt of Plymouth University will give a talk and display on the mining heritage of the Tamar, while Barbara Bridgeman will present the history and restoration of the Lynher Barge. Author Ted Sherrell will share insights into how he set about writing From the Banks of the Tamar.

Many members of the Tamar Partnership are contributing to the event. Tamar Grow Local has brought together producers of local, sustainable food and flowers. The Westcountry Rivers Trust is inviting people to bring a bottle of water from their local river to test and discover how to become a Tamar River Scientist.

Festival-goers will discover how they can get the best out of their local river and help to protect it. Representatives from the Tamar Valley Tourism Association, Ramblers, Friends of the Tamar Valley, Devon Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust as well as local angling, gig rowing and kayaking groups will all be there to share their enthusiasm for the Tamar and show how people can get involved.

Hazel Kendall, Senior Project Officer for the Tamar Partnership, which is organising the event, said:

“The waters of the River Tamar flow through all of our lives. Whether you wander the river bank with your dog, wash your car on Sundays or cross the bridge on your daily commute, you are making use of the river.”

“The river is invaluable, not only for local residents but for local businesses including some of the biggest employers in the region. Whether they are aware of it or not, everyone in and around the Tamar relies on this evolving community of creatures, characters and culture.”

The festival, due to be held at the National Trust’s historic Cotehele Quay, in St. Dominick, South East Cornwall, on 10th October from 11am to 4pm, is part of the Make Your TaMARK campaign, which is spearheaded by the Tamar Partnership, a collective of organisations and individuals in Cornwall and Devon who have come together to protect and improve water quality and wildlife in our river and hosted by the Westcountry Rivers Trust.

The TaMARK campaign has been on the road throughout the summer, calling on people living close to the water to rally round in support of the river which flows from near Bude in the North all the way down to Plymouth in the South and is a natural border between Devon and Cornwall. Residents, community groups and businesses took part in a series of events across the region and were invited to share their photos and stories and to paint their own interpretation of the River Tamar.

All the TaMARK creations collected during the roadshow will be brought together for a special animation at the festival, reflecting what the River Tamar means to local people. The aim is for the designs to make an ever changing graphic that mirrors the flow and evolution of the river itself.

Hazel added: “The Tamar River supports some 300,000 people living and working within the Tamar river basin. It provides the water we use, much of the food we eat and supports the lifestyles we enjoy. It is part of us all and we are part of it. The ‘Make Your TaMARK’ animation, images and commentary signify the role we all have to play in enjoying and preserving the River Tamar so that it can look after us for generations to come.”

Local food producers, artists and environmental organisations will be among those taking part in the river festival, which is also set to include story-telling, displays, talks and the chance to find out how to get involved with water-based activities including canoeing, gig rowing and fishing.

For more information, please contact the Westcountry Rivers Trust on 01579 372 140 or log on to the website www.my-tamar.org. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @WestcountryRT on Instagram @My-Tamar or Facebook.com/MyTamar and use the hashtag #MyTamark on social media.