Posts Tagged ‘Bantham Estate’

REPORT ON AVON ESTUARY FORUM

At last evening’s Avon Estuary Forum (AEF) there was a detailed discussion about the state of the Avon Estuary Patrol.   Here is my view of the situation.
Historically, this service has operated on a rather haphazard and informal basis depending upon the Patrol Officer’s availability and the apparent need during busy periods.  This year, the patrol was operated, as previously, by Marsh Dawes – the Bantham Harbourmaster – for the months of July, August and September following the outcry that erupted when SHDC had proposed to disband the service earlier in the year.   However, for the first time,  the ACA and others received an incident report for each of the three operational months and it is obvious that there is a strong requirement both for an advisory  service to deter speeding and other potentially dangerous activities, and – importantly –  to act as a deterrent against widespread abuse of the waterway and its bye-laws if it were to be left unpatrolled.
The fate of the patrol in 2019 is currently uncertain.  However, because of the outcry that arose about abandonment this year, the new Salcombe Harbourmaster is taking a much more active interest in the Avon than previously and he and other stakeholders – including the ACA – will be involved in the discussion about the patrol’s future before a final decision is made by SHDC.   At the AEF last evening, there was general agreement that because of the increased recreational use of the estuary, there is a greater need than ever for a patrol – which should be available on a more extensive and routine basis than previously: the operation should respond to the changing need.
Obviously, such increased patrol activity would carry increased costs and these will form an important part of the debate about the future operation and its funding.  One of the future scenarios may be that current contributors (ACA, Avon Valley Ski Club, Duchy of Cornwall, Bantham Estate) will be asked to pay more to keep the patrol running, a second scenario is that the donor base might be widened (possibly to include parish councils or river users, as two examples); a third is that the Patrol Officer role might be incorporated with other roles around the estuary to create a full-time position – possibly as part of the Bantham Estate.
An extraordinary AEF will be held in February to debate and review progress on the matter.
Other matters raised at the meeting included:-
1) Environment Agency – it is the intention to invite stakeholders to suggest where and when more comprehensive water sampling could be carried out in the estuary.  The background to this was not explained but the ACA would be enthusiastic supporters!
2) IFCA (Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority) –  the public is encouraged to report any unmarked (therefore unlicensed) lobster/ crab pots or suspected illegal fishing (01803 856648 or, out of hours,  07740175479).
3) RYA (Royal Yachting Association) – the public is encouraged to report any poorly marked fishing gear via the website.

Estuary and Bantham beach events

FOR YOUR INFORMATION
I have received the following notice from the Outdoor swimming Society:-
We wanted to once again notify you of the Swoosh swimming event that will be taking place on the morning of Saturday 14th July 2018. Swimmers will be entering the water from 7.40am at Aveton Gifford and the last swimmers will be exiting the water at 10.15am at Bantham Beach. 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.  BOAT USERS BE PARTICULARLY AWARE OF SWIMMERS, PLEASE!
Separately, The Tribal Clash on Bantham beach will take place on the w/e of 7th/8th July 2018.  Disruption of Bigbury traffic is unlikely but there will be lots going in Bantham!  The estuary should not be affected.

Upper estuary improvement by Bantham Estate

Following the purchase by the Bantham Estate of Little Marsh, on the bridge at Aveton Gifford, we are pleased to point out the significant clearance of boat ‘junk’ and potential pollutants of the upper estuary from around the foreshore.

The ACA continues to work with the Estate  towards achieving a common understanding of the future for the estuary; a future that will conserve and improve the unspoilt character of this beautiful idyll.