The Taw Torridge Estuary Forum was founded jointly, in 1980, by North Devon District Council and Torridge District Council, under the Chairmanship of Captain C.J.A. Johnson, RN. Its role is to act as an independent voice for the whole of the Taw Torridge Estuary. Captain Johnson retired as Chairman in January 1995, and he was succeeded by Rose Day.

The Forum now comprises 40 national, regional, county-wide and local member organisations, made up of the parish and town councils bordering the Estuary, the recreational and sporting clubs and organisations which use the estuary, the nature conservation, environmental and historical organisations concerned with the Estuary, commercial and recreational fishermen, the Ministry of Defence, the RNLI, the MCA, etc., all of which have an interest in and influence upon the Estuary.

Member organisations appoint one delegate (in rare cases, two) to represent their interests on the Forum, and the delegates are expected to report back to their parent organisations on a regular basis. The minutes of our meetings are distributed widely, and our meetings are open to the public. Minutes, reports and information items are also posted on our website.

The role of the Forum is to:

1. act as a consultee body to both District Councils, to Devon County Council, to the Environment Agency, and to any other body requiring information about the Estuary

2. comment upon plans, such as the Shoreline Management Plan, Environment Agency Plans,
Oil Pollution Plans, District Local Plans, County Structure Plans, Minerals and Waste Plans, 
Aggregate Extraction Plans, etc., as required.

3. comment upon planning applications and environmental statements with relevance to the Estuary

4. represent members' interests on bodies such as the North Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership, the Braunton Burrows Biosphere Reserve Management Board, the Environment Agency Devon Area Environment Group, the Devon Maritime Forum, the North Devon and Torridge Local Strategic Partnership Federation, the Devon Estuary Officers' Group, etc.

5. liaise closely with the Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service and any Taw/Torridge Estuary Officer (when appointed), and assist in the updating of the Taw/Torridge Estuary Management Plan.

6. reflect our members' concerns; bringing these concerns to the attention of the relevant bodies.

7. resolve conflicts between member organisations, and between outside agencies and our member organisations.

8. act as a lobby group, where necessary.

9. inform and educate our member organisations concerning Estuary matters and the rights of other Estuary users. 

10. apply for grant assistance on behalf of member organisations, for work commissioned by the Forum.