Archive for the ‘Main’ Category

Gravel augmentation helps salmon to breed in upper Avon

A programme of gravel augmentation has been successfully carried out on the upper Avon by the Westcountry Rivers Trust, funded by South West Water, as an extension of collaborative work to improve the riparian environment for fish.   Gravel is an essential component of the salmon breeding grounds but on the Avon these breeding areas have become depleted because the natural flow of gravel downstream is interrupted by the Avon Dam.   Details of the work are available here:-

http://wrt.org.uk/gravel-bringing-salmon-back-to-devon-river/

ACA launches its Sea Moor Lotto page to raise funds for conservation

We have launched our Sea Moor Lotto page to help raise funds in support of our work on the Devon Avon.  Please help by buying a ticket or two.  Click on the link below for more details:-

we-have-launched-on-seamoor-lotto – digital

PLEASE SUPPORT THE ACA VIA SHDC’s SEA MOOR LOTTO

Since it’s foundation, the ACA – an environmental conservation charity focussed on the South Hams’ Avon – has depended exclusively upon limited funds generated by our lifetime membership subscription (only £20 for a family!), occasional charitable donations and money raised through social events. However, our limited income has always somewhat restricted our activities.  So, we applied and have been accepted to be a beneficiary of the new SHDC-sponsored Sea Moor Lotto, which aims to help a variety of local causes.    Now, we need the support of at least 50 donors to derive the maximum benefit from the lottery.  Please help by going to our lotto webpage by typing the following address into your internet search engine: https://www.seamoorlotto.co.uk/support/aune-conservation-association and making a donation.  Look out for the logo – thank you!

Our existing funds are spent upon such activities as: arranging educational workshops for local schools e.g. on South Efford Marsh; organising expert talks on topics of interest (e.g. micro-plastic pollution, water mills of the Avon); supporting the Avon Patrol to prevent unlawful water-based activities such as speeding boats and associated environmental damage in the estuary; participating in the South Devon Catchment Partnership; and organising the Devon Avon Group to improve both the quality and quantity of river water from moor to sea.  However, we’d like to do more with these initiatives and others to help the public enjoy the unspoilt and idyllic environment of our wonderful river and estuary.   For example, with adequate funding, we could arrange for regular independent testing of river water quality (several sewage treatment works discharge into the Avon and phosphate levels below Loddiswell are too high), do more to help the Avon Patrol and, maybe, even improve the Avon Estuary ferry from Cockleridge (Bigbury) to Bantham harbour, which forms an important but under-used link in the SW Coastal Path.

Please help us to do more by buying a ticket or two!

 

AVON PATROL SAVED FOR 2018!

Readers may be interested in an example giving some insight into our behind-the-scenes activities – all carried out by unpaid volunteers.  On the topic of the Avon Patrol, I heard just before the Avon Estuary Forum in May that this vital service was to be withdrawn, as a cost-saving measure, on the recommendation of the former Salcombe Harbourmaster.   None of those organisations that had contributed to the patrol for many years had been informed, including the ACA; one had even been invoiced for their 2018 contribution!  After a prolonged series of email enquiries and complaints to Parish, District and County Councillors, as well as the Manager of Commercial Services at SHDC, I was informed eventually that some way would be found to resurrect the patrol for July, August and September this year but that the future of the service beyond 2018 was uncertain.   However, a new Salcombe Harbourmaster has been appointed since this story broke and, as of today, I have been told by him that the usual patrol service will be resurrected from 1st July and I sense that we can expect a more enlightened and collaborative approach towards our estuary from SHDC in the future.

WILD SWIMMING DANGERS

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 organised and supervised from a safety viewpoint, wild swimming websites generally offer extensive personal safety advice (see, for example, http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/health-safety/ ) with surprisingly little mention made of the need to make yourself visible by wearing brightly coloured headgear, for example.

Swimmers personal safety is their own responsibility.