Loe Pool Forum (LPF) is an environmental partnership working to improve water quality and reduce flood risk in the River Cober catchment. LPF is taking a catchment based approach to managing local water risks; this commits to thinking holistically about the catchment and its issues. Central to a catchment based approach is collaborative working between environmental agencies and local stakeholders such as the agricultural, commercial and residential communities. Through stakeholder engagement the priorities for action are decided and a sustainable management plan can be agreed on. LPF is the longest catchment partnership in the UK.

Click here for the 2017 Cober Catchment Management Review and 2027 Plan


This site aims to communicate the achievements of LPF, convey the catchment’s environmental importance and serve as a resource for the local community, students and researchers interested in catchment management.

The Cober catchment, encompassing Loe Bar, Loe Pool and the River Cober, is of great importance because it plays a key role in the rural economy, community well-being, as well as hosting unique environmental habitats. Loe Bar is of national significance because of its unusual geomorphology and as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural BeautyLoe Pool is the largest natural freshwater lake in Cornwall, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and of considerable amenity value for Helston’s residents and visitors. And the River Cober is of high value for South West Water because they abstract to supply Helston and the Lizard with clean drinking water.

History of the Forum

Like many of our lowland lakes in the UK, nutrient levels in the Lake’s water are too high and as a result, Loe Pool suffered from algal blooms during the 1980’s till 2006. The process of nutrient enrichment is called eutrophication and has had a huge impact on its ecology, including the native plant and trout populations.

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Images of algae blooms in the Pool

Loe Pool Forum initiated in 1996 to look a ways of reversing the process of eutrophication. The core members of the Forum include the National Trust, Natural EnglandEnvironment Agency and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Other supporting members include South West Water, Catchment Sensitive FarmingRoyal Navy Air Station Culdrose, Kelda Water and Cornwall Council,  The Forum has made substantial progress in addressing the eutrophication process. One enormous step forward was the installation of Tertiary treatment plant at South West Water’s Helston’s sewerage treatment works. This quartered the input of Phosphorus into Loe Pool and there have been no algal blooms since 2006.

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  • To bring about a change in Loe Pool from an algae dominated state to a clear freshwater lake with healthy populations of plants and fish.
  • To allow for seasonal, natural fluctuations in water levels without compromising flood defences, allowing shoreline plant communities to thrive.
  • To make the most of wildlife value of Loe Pool and its catchment.
  • To make Loe Pool and its catchment a place that is attractive and well used by the local community and visitors alike.


  • In partnership with the Environment Agency promote a catchment approach to manage both pollution and flooding risk.
  • Work with the local farming community to help to improve the water quality across the catchment.
  • Continue liaison with Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose and South West Water about improvements to sewerage treatment works.
  • Support the National Trust to improve community engagement with Loe Pool environment though footpath networks and local events.

Partnership Structure

Activities Agenda

LPF is separated into three working groups. Each sub group develops an activities agenda for the coming years:

Activity Summary

The achievements of LPF over the last few years are summarised in the reports below


P1020431This site is managed, on behalf of Loe Pool Forum, by Timothy Walker a Research Fellow at the Centre for Geography, Environment and Society, Exeter University.

If you would like to know more about Loe Pool Forum’s work or get involved please email Tim at t.w.walker@exeter.ac.uk

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