From Paper to Pixels: Introducing the Thame Catchment Plan StoryMap

November 3, 2023

The Thame Catchment Partnership, jointly hosted by River Thame Conservation Trust and Freshwater Habitats Trust, has updated its dynamic vision for the future of river management in the River Thame Catchment Plan. The River Thame Catchment Plan is a strategic document detailing the objectives of the Thame Catchment Partnership. It aims to enhance the freshwater environment across the entire River Thame catchment area, offering a blueprint for its sustainable management.

But this isn't just another plan buried in the pages of a document; it now exists as an engaging and interactive website, the Thame Catchment Plan StoryMap. The innovative StoryMap transforms the plan into an engaging, user-friendly format. Gone are the days of weighty reports which once produced, collected dust on shelves, were known to exist by few, and read by even fewer. StoryMaps provide an easily discoverable, succinct, visually intuitive means of sharing data, especially spatial data. Our StoryMap allows users to explore the catchment comprehensively, from its source to its confluence. StoryMaps have been widely adopted by the Catchment Partnerships across the UK and the Rivers Trust movement. They have become a useful tool for democratising data, making it available to all instead of just sitting in spreadsheets on servers.

Contents of the StoryMap

This section of the StoryMap sets out the core principles of the partnership. It provides insights into the partnership's vision, remit, guiding principles, and aims. It also introduces you to the diverse group of organisations and individuals that form the backbone of the Thame Catchment Partnership, working collectively to achieve these aims.

In this segment, you can explore the catchment in-depth. Learn about its unique characteristics, the varied land uses within it, and the diverse habitats that make up its 675 square kilometres. Discover the key species that call the catchment home and the critical aspects of wildlife and water quality. Additionally, this section highlights the recreational opportunities the catchment offers and provides access to additional resources for further exploration.

Recognising the challenges facing the River Thame catchment is crucial to effectively addressing those challenges. In this section, you'll gain insights into the issues at hand. Explore the impact of habitat loss, the barriers to fish movement, the consequences of intensive land use, the effects of pollution, the challenges posed by invasive species, and the ever-present influence of climate change

The next segment of the StoryMap unveils the partnership's action plan. Learn about the concrete steps and flagship projects designed to address the catchment's challenges and fulfil its potential. These projects are at the heart of the partnership's efforts to drive positive change within the River Thame catchment.

The final segment illustrates the many ways individuals and organisations can get involved with the Partnership. The partnership's commitment to inclusivity and collaboration means that anyone, regardless of their background or expertise, can play a role in safeguarding this valuable natural resource. Explore the StoryMap for more information on the various ways that individuals and organisations can participate, such as:

- Reading and following the advice for protecting rivers.

- Reporting issues and provide feedback through the Partnership's online form.

- Signing up for volunteer opportunities.

- Joining the partnership’s quarterly meeting as a representative of a local organisation.

- Investing in a project supported by the Partnership.

A Dynamic Plan for a Dynamic Ecosystem

It's important to note that the River Thame Catchment Plan and the StoryMap are not static documents. The Thame Catchment Partnership is committed to continuous improvement and adaptation. The plan and StoryMap undergo annual reviews and updates, ensuring they remain aligned with evolving environmental needs and community aspirations.

In a world where environmental conservation is paramount, the Thame Catchment Plan StoryMap invites you to join the journey towards a sustainable future for the River Thame catchment and its surroundings. It's an opportunity to explore a vision for a thriving ecosystem and to contribute to its preservation.  

RTCT is looking at how some of its wider work can be made readily accessible through the StoryMap format. Currently we are looking at how we might apply this to the data generated by our extensive Water Quality Monitoring Network and our recently completed fish survey data.

Explore the Thame Catchment Plan

We would like to know what you think of StoryMaps and invite you to get in touch with us to share your thoughts and ideas about the Catchment Plan StoryMap and our ongoing efforts. Email us at

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