Good morning members.  As you will all probably know, the way we are allowed to use our boats looks like being extended to, almost, normal conditions this weekend.  Salcombe Harbour Authority will be publishing its new guidelines this week, look out for them.  Your committee is due to meet via Zoom again on July 15th., by which time things might have moved on enough for us to consider social events.  We will let you know.

In the meantime our Boatwatch teams have been out and about, working to strict Covid regulations.  The guidance notes on the web site have been updated to reflect the present conditions.  In spite of our efforts it appears that criminal activity has stepped up with a number of outboards having been stolen from around the estuary recently, please ensure that your defences are sufficient to dissuade the opportunist.

The members’ adverts slot on the web site is up and running with a few very interesting items for sale already posted.  Post your own ads now or buy from those already advertised.

The Estuary Conservation Officer is concerned about Pacific oysters in the eel grass beds within the estuary and is appealing for help, see the following:-

Dear Kingsbridge Boat Club

I am writing to ask if any of you might have any light-weight 2m poles, pipes or shafts that we could use for a local estuary conservation project please – any unused, broken or unloved windsurfing masts, oars or the like. Further details below.

We have found a very concerning population of Pacific oysters within the nationally rare but locally extensive meadows of dwarf seagrass over the Blanksmill – Rowden – Collapit mudflats.
We are very concerned, that left unchecked, these oysters will continue to expand in number and density – displacing the seagrass meadows. It is usual for these Pacific oysters (aka ‘rock oysters’) to thrive on mudflats but they have a bad track record. With no overstatement, on some of the Yealm Estuary shores, they have become such a hazard for anyone trying to land or just walk there, that the amenity of a beach has been lost.


We believe that we have successfully found a method of managing these oysters by pushing the them down into the mud with poles. They do not have the necessary biology to survive – it may appear wasteful but we cannot think of a more sustainable method.

In our trial we used a 2m length of plastic pipe – it worked but it would not be robust enough to stand the test of pushing down the number we found. I am really after any 2m of pole, pipe or shaft that I could adapt to make a tool for myself and any willing volunteers. They just need to be comfortable to handle and robust enough to push the oysters down and light enough to pull back up for a couple of hours or so. I wondered about old windsurfing masts, longer oars or the like – they needn’t be hollow, I’m sure that I can fabricate a suitable end. I am happy to collect locally at a 2m distance.

Can you possibly help us out please? We have three sets of mudflat safety equipment, so three 2m lengths would be the ideal. 2m or longer has the advantage of being able to reach oysters within the seagrass with minimal trampling.

If you would like to know any further details, please do let me know.


Further information about local biosecurity can be found within our Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary BioSecurity Plan
– https://www.southdevonaonb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Salcombe_Biosecurity_Plan.pdf

Many thanks and best wishes

Nigel

Nigel Mortimer
Estuaries Officer – South Devon AONB Unit
Nigel.Mortimer@SouthDevonAONB.org.uk
Follaton House, Plymouth Rd, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5NE
‘ 01803 229335 ß Please note my new number
È 07971 544010 (NB not 24/7 & sorry, no signal in the office!)
¿  www.SouthDevonAONB.org.uk
Following Covid-19 safeguarding guidelines I am working from home

See you on the water soon I hope.
Tony Watson