The designation of the estuary is described and briefly reviewed in the following document:-
Posts tagged Avon Estuary
We wanted to once again notify you of the Swoosh swimming event which will be taking place in the Avon Estuary on Saturday 6th July 2019 with swimmers entering the water at Aveton Gifford from 9.20am and exiting at Bantham Beach by 12.05pm.
We are once again working very closely with Aveton Gifford Parish Council and the Bantham Estate on the event. We’ll be having another 6 swimmers fundraising again this year for the Aveton Gifford Community Swimming Pool.
If you’d like any further information about the event please let me know.
Abi Moores (née Edgar)
The Outdoor Swimming Society
Tel. 07859 970709
Have you ever been up to your neck in that black, gluey and smelly mud which abounds in the upper reaches of the Avon Estuary and around the salt marsh areas – thinking you might never escape its clutches and, somehow, might have to call the Coastguard for rescue if only you could get your hands free of the stuff? If so, you might want to withdraw your curses and instead sing its praises, rather like the old Flanders and Swan song – “Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud” – because, with the recent renewed level of interest in global warming, that black goo has now been reinvented as ‘Blue Carbon’.
Click on this link for a mud bath! YOU CAN SKIP THE ADVERTS! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QW85kfakJc
For an aerial view of some of the estuary mud, click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ekZu202ZZo#action=share
According to the website at BlueCarbonPortal.org., ‘Blue carbon’ is the carbon stored and sequestered in coastal ecosystems such as mangrove forests, sea grass meadows or inter-tidal salt marshes. These valuable ecosystems hold vast carbon reservoirs; they sequester atmospheric CO2 through primary production, and then deposit it in their sediments. In fact, most blue carbon is found in the soils or sediments beneath the vegetation.
The rates of carbon sequestration and storage are comparable to (and often higher than) the sequestration rates in carbon-rich terrestrial ecosystems such as tropical rainforests or peatlands. Unlike most terrestrial systems, which reach soil carbon equilibrium within decades, deposition of carbon dioxide in coastal ecosystem sediment can continue over millennia. However, when these coastal ecosystems are degraded or destroyed they can become carbon dioxide sources due to the oxidization of biomass and organic soil.
Because coastal ecosystems do contain substantial amounts of carbon, and because this carbon is in danger of being released, they are important in mitigating climate change. Unfortunately, however, the rate of loss of mangroves, seagrasses and saltmarshes (driven mostly by human activities) is estimated to be among the highest of any ecosystem on the planet, prompting international interest in managing them more effectively for their carbon benefits.
Although the Avon Estuary’s contribution to carbon sequestration may be small on a planetary scale, that contribution to conservation strengthens the argument for its designation by Natural England as one of the new Marine Conservation Zones and for the inclusion of the embryonic salt marsh at South Efford within its boundary.
Those anaerobic bugs thriving in the mud, locking up carbon, could be the saviours of our planet. Disturb them at your peril!!! GLORIOUS MUD indeed!
Click on the link for a review of water quality in the Avon Estuary
Salcombe Harbour Authority is advising those taking to the water this summer on how to stay safe on boats.
Following a serious, but rare, incident at the weekend involving youngsters on the water, and in a bid to encourage locals and visitors to keep safe while having fun in the harbour, the Harbour Master is sharing key boat safety information.
The campaign aims to remind boat users to wear a ‘kill cord’. This red cord has a quick-release fastening at one end and a clip at the other. The quick-release fastening is attached to the boat’s instrument panel and the other end is attached securely to the driver; making sure that the outboard engine cuts out if the driver falls overboard.
This is especially important to avoid another ‘Padstow’ type incident where a family suffered fatalities and life changing injuries when they were thrown from their boat and collided with it, while it was out of control in a high speed turn.
Salcombe Harbour Master, Cameron Sims-Stirling, said: “We want everyone to enjoy everything the harbour has to offer and to do that, we call on boat owners to take sensible precautions before taking to the water.”
If you are planning on driving small pleasure boats this summer, there are no set requirements for safety equipment, however, it is important that you are properly equipped before going on the water.
Have a safe day out by remembering to use:
life jackets which fit
stay within the speed limit – 6 knots (kts) in the estuary
don’t mix alcohol and boating
All equipment should be checked regularly for damage to make sure it is fit for purpose. It is also important that lifejackets come in different sizes, so make sure you have one which fits you properly.
South Hams District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, Cllr Rufus Gilbert, said: “It is important that this safety message is heard far and wide by both our residents and our visitors. We hope that accidents can easily be avoided if these simple measures are followed.”
With the recent change in ownership of Burgh Island has come a welcome change in management style. At a recent, very well-attended, Bigbury History Society event held by invitation in the Burgh Island Hotel’s spectacular Ganges Room, we were all treated both to a presentation by Duncan Gray, the Managing Director, and to some generous hospitality.
Duncan reviewed something of the hotel’s history but also revealed his far-sighted plans for redevelopment of the hotel and the Pilchard Inn, on the island, together with Warren Cottage and the Bay View cafe – which his business consortium has also purchased, on the mainland. Whilst maintaining the exclusivity of the hotel and developing its attractions as a high-class venue for social and business events, the plan is to welcome other visitors to the island, especially local people. Perhaps the most visible immediate manifestation of this plan are the changes to the Pilchard Inn, where the outside seating capacity has already been doubled, non-resident visitors are made welcome throughout the pub, and the basement cafe has been reopened.
Longer term, we were told amongst other things, about ambitious plans to develop the tidal Mermaid’s Pool, set amongst the island’s cliffs, which until recently had been used as a repository for unwanted junk and accumulated silt. For example, the natural shape of the rocks and good acoustics might make for a floating, under-lit stage in an amphitheatre similar to the iconic Minack Theatre in Cornwall. To widespread acclaim, the new owners have dropped the recently approved but highly controversial plans for a stand-alone hotel suite perched on the cliff top overlooking the Avon Estuary.
Local concerns about the future of Warren Cottage and the Bay View Cafe should be allayed because the future of both buildings now looks secure; Warren Cottage as residential accommodation for hotel staff and a revitalised, re-named Burgh View Cafe.
Plans are afoot to help develop closer local relationships by holding a fund-raising BBQ event in aid of the Hope Cove lifeboat in September – watch out for details!
Boat owners and swimmers, please BEWARE
The Devon Avon is becoming increasingly popular for outdoor or ‘wild’ swimming but many swimmers seem oblivious to the dangers posed by their poor visibility to power boat owners, in particular. If you are wearing a dark wet suit, you will be almost invisible to boat users down at water level, especially if the water is choppy.
Please consider your personal safety when swimming in open water that is used for other recreational activities. Although organised events such as the Bantham ‘Swoosh’ are well supervised from a safety viewpoint and wild swimming websites generally offer extensive personal safety advice (see, for example, http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/health-safety/ ) they make surprisingly little mention of the need to make yourself visible by wearing brightly coloured headgear, for example.
Swimmers personal safety is their own responsibility but boat owners should be constantly on the look-out.