Vaughan has always loved water and fish, but he’s particularly interested in the links between landscape, agriculture and fisheries.
He studied zoology at Exeter University before working in the fisheries department at Thames Water, and for the National Rivers Authority. In 1993, he set up his own business, Windrush AEC Ltd. Based in the Cotswolds, it’s a fisheries and aquatic resource consultancy, covering all aspects of fisheries work with particular areas of specialisation including natural flood management and habitat restoration. Since then he’s worked with a large client base, ranging from angling clubs, private landowners and charitable organisations, to multinationals, NGO's and government organisations. Recent clients include: The Environment Agency, England and Wales, Natural England, The National Trust, The Wild Trout Trust, Royal Parks and a variety of water authorities across the UK.
Vaughan came to FarmED in 2015, to lead the Natural Flood Management project. The scheme rerouted the running spring to help reduce the likelihood of flooding along the Evenlode Valley and also create a new wetland habitat area for wildlife in the grass field. The project was intended to provide a small scale demonstration of how a watercourse can be improved to reduce runoff and erosion. A Cotswold Rivers Trust Demo Day was hosted at FarmED a couple of years ago, when we welcomed representatives from various water and river authorities, councils, and bodies including the Environment Agency, as well as flood action groups. As a result, funding was obtained for a catchment based approach, with more similar projects planned across the whole Evenlode Valley, which Vaughan is managing.
Vaughan is delighted that farmers and landowners now seem to grasp the importance of managing the water on their farm as a natural resource, and his task now is to forge stronger links with water authorities, something which he looks forward to seeing happening at FarmED.
‘FarmED is a great venue for sharing ideas and linking together experts, groups and organisations who would not normally get the chance to meet,’ Vaughan says.