This project is part of a national pilot, being delivered locally by Volunteer Cornwall on behalf of and in conjunction with the Environment Agency. The project runs until March 2015.
Bude in North Cornwall is renowned for its beaches and coastline, an important factor in the local economy with a great deal of this area dominated by tourism as well as agriculture. The project aims to engage the local community in a combined approach to protect and enhance the local environment, in turn addressing any contributory factors which may impact on bathing water quality.
By working with local stakeholders the approach aims to raise awareness of the connectivity between our actions and water quality, either from homes, businesses or other land based activities. This has included advice to farmers and landowners via linking up with Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) in the Neet and Strat which flows into Bude; engaging with Tourism and recreational business providers such as campsites or food retailers, as well as awareness raising amongst local businesses and the general public. The overall message is to consider your impact on the aquatic environment; what has the potential to enter watercourses or drainage systems, best practice to protect these natural resources and minimise the risks of pollution incidents – ultimately for the enjoyment of all in freshwater and coastal areas.
An example of public engagement is a real time data feed from the River Strat to the receiving beach at Summerleaze; river quality is sampled and data communicated via an interactive screen which is located between the car park and beach front. From this, beach users can see for themselves the current water quality entering the sea and this has proved both popular and useful eg. for regular watersports users.
For more information on the project or to get involved, please see the website.