The Tees rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 137 km to join the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar. The catchment drains an area of 1835 km2 and has 5 major tributaries (Lune, Balder, Greta, Leven and Skerne) and numerous smaller tributaries.
    Before the reorganisation of the historic English counties, the river formed the boundary between County Durham and Yorkshire. In its lower reaches it now forms the boundary between the ceremonial counties of County Durham and North Yorkshire, while in the highest part of its course it forms the boundary between the historic counties of Westmorland and Durham.

    The catchment has a diverse topography ranging from the North Pennines which reach heights in excess of 700 metres above sea level) to the lowland of the east coast. The source of the Rivers Skerne and Leven reach heights of 140 metres and 280 metres respectively.

    Annual rainfall in the catchment varies from 1,800 millimetres over the Pennines to approximately 600 millimetres over Middlesbrough.

    The exposed moorland and rough grassland of the western and upland areas are used for grouse moor and rough grazing. Arable and pastoral farming dominate towards the east. The land around Middlesbrough is dominated by petrochemicals, engineering and manufacturing, the service industry is also expanding in this area.

    The Tees Catchment includes parts of the North Pennines and the North York Moors National Park and has a number of national and international designations to protect flora and fauna. These include Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). The catchment also contains Habitats Directive sites including the North York Moors SPA and SAC and the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast SPA and Ramsar site.

    The host for the catchment partnership is the Tees Rivers Trust

    Building a Partnership and Engaging Stakeholders

    The Partnership was launched in March 2014 at a stakeholder event held at Darlington Rugby Club. The partnership received funding through the DEFRA CaBA fund which was matched by a £9k contribution from Northumbrian Water Ltd. The input of the stakeholder consultation gave the partnership the basis for prioritising its work areas and these have formed the basis of a plan. An interim partnership board has been established to take the partnership through this first phase of development.

    Catchment Planning Using Data and Evidence

    The Partnership have begun the planning process and agreed on 20th October and 1st December 2014 that there should be five key themes to prioritise:

    1. Stewardship
    The YTCP will engage communities, water managers and users in understanding the key issues and taking action to maintain and improve the natural heritage of the Tees catchment.

    2. Water Quality
    In 2021 the Tees catchment is an improved and healthier system because people understand the sources of pollutants and take action to tackle point source and diffuse pollution.

    3. Access
    To increase the number of people who actively use the Tees for everyday recreation and seek to increase a sense of responsibility for a healthy water environment.

    4. Economy
    The YTCP advocates and will work towards increased use of the water environment in the Tees catchment for recreation and tourism and an environment that supports and catalyses growth alongside existing business and commercial uses.

    5. Biodiversity
    The YTCP will monitor biodiversity in the Tees catchment water environment and take action to deliver a living connected network of thriving aquatic, marine and terrestrial habitats.

    The YTCP have begun work on a small sub catchment to investigate options for whole catchment flood solutions. This is with funding from the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership and in partnership with Durham University, Durham City Council and the Rokeby Estate, and local tenant farmers. It is hoped that the measures worked up through the project will be implemented using local flood levy funds set aside for this catchment. This small project is the beginning of the YTCPs modelling process and our next phase of work is to investigate options for the Leven Catchment with a view to establishing a Landscape Partnership.

    Delivering Catchment Management Interventions

    The Tees Rivers Trust successfully bid for DEFRA INNS LAG funding in 2012 and employed an INNS initiative officer to head this up.

    With the help of volunteers, the initiative has mapped the extent of INNS throughout the catchment and trained volunteers in ID and spraying skills as well as providing ppe and hardware. A key species of focus has been giant hogweed as this is an increasing risk to both the ecosystem and enjoyment of the river.

    As the DEFRA funding comes to an end this year (2015) the project will be funded through the River Tees Rediscovered HLF Partnership and the Heart of Teesdale partnership and continued.

    Click here for the film of the wholesale destruction of hogweed at Roundhill near Yarm.

    Core Partners

    The catchment host for the Tees Catchment is the Tees Rivers Trust.

    The partnership has many stakeholders but representation on the interim board is from people who represent a wide range of organisations and skills to reflect the diversity of the catchment.

    TeesRT Logo

    Information will be posted here when monitoring is underway.

    Tees Catchment

    Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Tel: 01325 787651 / 07900 650371
    your tees catchment partnership logo

Northumbria Info

The Northumbria RBD, which covers an area of 9,029 sq km, includes Northumberland and County Durham, with small areas of North Yorkshire and Cumbria. Northumbria's landscape is one of extreme variation, from highly industrial urban areas to moors, hills and valleys of the National Park, the Heritage coastline and the Pennines AONB. Approximately 2.5 million people live in the region, primarily in two locations: Tyne and Wear, and the Tees Valley. The most significant cities and towns include Sunderland, Newcastle, Durham, Stockton and Middlesbrough. To the west, a diverse rural landscape supports a range of agricultural activities from livestock and dairy farming to cereal and vegetable production. Forestry is also a significant industry.


The Catchment-Based Approach website is designed to showcase the work of catchment partnerships aross England and Wales and to encourage the sharing and adoption of best practice in stakeholder-led catchment managment planning, delivery and evaluation.
Email: info@catchmentbasedapproach.org


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