In February 2011, the UK Government - through the Defra Statement of Position - supported the Catchment Based Approach as a viable mechanism to improve the water environment as part of Water Framework Directive activities. During April 2011, the Environment Agency started piloting new approaches in 10 catchments and a further 15 pilot areas were established in January 2012, managed by external organisations. Funding from Defra was provided to assist with the catchment plan preparation.

In addition to these original 25 catchments, a further 41 initiatives on other catchments were funded, led by organisations that expressed an interest to pilot the catchment approach. The Crane catchment is one of the latter 41 selected, forming part of the London catchment within the Thames River Basin District.

The Crane catchment plan was prepared by the London Wildlife Trust in partnership with the members of the CVP.

The Plan was launched at the Crane Valley Conference on 4 October 2013.