CROWDED WATERS

The Avon (Aune) Estuary is a priceless environmental asset. It is a County Wildlife Site and Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) with its shallow waters, extensive mudflats, and saltmarshes.  All of these features are of exceptional ecological value to important populations of fish, invertebrates, migratory birds and waterfowl.

It is vital these habitats remain undisturbed; educating all estuary users is a first step in managing these areas for the benefit of all.  Historically, the Avon Estuary has always been highly valued as a place for quiet contemplation and reflection on natural beauty.   We would ask all users of the estuary to respect these values: in these difficult times, they are more priceless than ever.

Thanks to COVID-19 and the imposition of Lockdowns restricting some forms of exercise, there has been an explosion in the popularity both of outdoor swimming and in the use of SUPs, canoes and kayaks.    Whilst it is good to see the estuary being enjoyed and appreciated by more of the public,  the unusual intensity of the recreational traffic on the water has highlighted the need for Codes of Conduct because the waters are becoming increasingly crowded with users of varying degrees of experience – some are complete novices and may pose a nuisance or even a danger to themselves, others and the environment.    Biosecurity is an ever present concern with the threat of the import of invasive species from other waterways on contaminated craft or wetsuits.    Suitable Codes are suggested on the following pages (see Navigation Bar on homepage: >CODES OF CONDUCT>OUTDOOR SWIMMING or >SUPs, CANOES & KAYAKS).

 

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