Splashing out on the splash pool

From Monday 11th to 20th March, Clevedon Marine Lake will be partially drained to enable contractors to access the inner lake wall to install an inlet valve in the splash pool wall – timed to avoid overtopping tides.  The splash pool area will be fenced off for the week from 10th March.  As the water level will be lowered, the lake will also be unavailable to users.  The lake should refill on Tuesday 19th March at around 6pm.

The new drain works for the splash pool, costing over £4,000, will make sluicing and maintenance of the splash pool a lot easier for volunteers – as it normally requires pressure washers and electric pumps to clean it thoroughly.  In future, thanks to this project, the same will be achieved using the sea wall valve to drain the pool and the lake wall valve to let water in to flush everything through.  The investment will be well worthwhile, also enabling youngsters to enjoy good, clean fun every time they visit the splash pool.

There’s lots to do from Sunday afternoon on March 10th until March 19th, in terms of litter picking, muscle work and site management, so if you can spare any time to help out, please contact volunteer@marlens.org.uk

A fantastic year of life on the lake

2018 was a fantastic year for life on the lake.  Not only are visitor numbers ever increasing – but also much needed funds to keep Clevedon Marine Lake ship shape.  Here’s a snap shot of some highlights we’d like to share with you, to give you a better understanding of all the improvements we’re making thanks to your generosity – in terms of both time and money.

Some significant donations in 2018 > £3,000

We’ve had some incredibly generous donations from individuals – who’ve either asked friends and family to gift money to MARLENS instead of a birthday present or nominated MARLENS to commemorate a loved one’s passing as an alternative to flowers – whilst others have invested their time and energy in organising social swims and swim challenges in support of the charity.  In addition, in January 2018, a local business, MBDA based in Filton awarded MARLENS £1,700 through its Charity Challenge Initiative Scheme.  Together these gifts totalled over £3,000.

Clubs and Coaches doing their bit – £3,500

Every time you see a Club or registered coach running a session on Clevedon Marine Lake, remember they’re contributing to everyone’s enjoyment of this amazing space.  Clubs and Coaches register with MARLENS to use the lake by paying an annual fee as well as making a contribution per session.

Some Fantastic Fundraisers in 2018 – £11,000

Community events and subscriptions in support of MARLENS are making all the difference too.  In round numbers, here’s a taste of how well they did last year – Clevedon Open Water events £3,300, MARLENS’ Lottery £1,900, Last Night of The Proms £1,700, Winterfest £1,200, The Curzon ‘Swimming under the Sky’ £900,  New Year’s Dip £600, Friends of Clevedon Marine Lake £500, Avon Gorge Boat Trip £500 and Light up The Lake £400.

Just some of the costs in 2018 – £10,000

It costs a lot to run Clevedon Marine Lake, and many of the expenses are unseen.  Administrative costs simply to run the charity amount to £3,500 per annum.  In addition, in November 2018, MARLENS submitted an application to Marine Management Organisation for two silt removal sessions per year (March, October) for the next five years, 2019-2024.  The application costs £1,500.  It is required to enable MARLENS to deposit silt back into the estuary.

MARLENS spent over £1,500 on routine repairs and maintenance around the lake in 2018, and over £1,000 on equipment to support the work carried out by volunteers.  Other investments at the lake in 2018 included non-slip matting for events, running costs for the webcam, new flags on the upper promenade and the installation of three murals which together cost over £2,500.

Some 2019 Investments – £10,000

From 2019 onwards, we are looking to carry out two drain downs for mud clearance each year.  The lake’s annual heavy machinery bill for the de-silting programme alone will be £3,000.

We’re planning to digitise subscriptions and donations on Clevedon Marine Lake website this year, and together with continued water quality testing, we’re budgeting over £1,000.  Another £1,500 will be set aside for more concrete benches and helpful fittings lakeside.  There’s a major, remedial project planned to improve the splash pool in 2019 which will reduce on-going maintenance and is estimated to cost £4,500.

LTL

We’re excited about the year ahead and bringing all these plans to life – but we couldn’t do it without your continued support.  Thank you from MARLENS and our growing community who ‘Love The Lake’.  There’s lots to do – and lots of love for this amazing space!

MARLENS, the charity behind the lake is run solely by volunteers.  Clevedon Marine Lake is run for the people by the people.   New volunteers are always welcome.

Well done to everyone who assisted

Just before Christmas an elderly gentleman suffered a cardiac arrest after a brief swim in Clevedon Marine Lake. He was fortunate to receive immediate care from three swimmers lakeside, who were off-duty or ex-nurses; he was given CPR and the Coastguard Station defibrillator (pictured) was deployed. Three paramedic vehicles and the air ambulance attended and took over after approximately 15 minutes. The patient was stabilised and transferred to an Intensive Care Unit.

We are pleased to announce that after several days in ICU, the gentleman has been transferred to a Cardiac Unit for further treatment.

Marlens would like to say thank you and well done to everyone who assisted.

Excellent bathing water quality

On Friday 28th September 2018, a sample of water was taken from Clevedon Marine Lake after a series of overtopping tides from the Bristol Channel.  The results indicate the water quality is ‘Excellent’ as stated for Coastal and Transitional waters in The Bathing Water Regulations, 2013.  The lake water will refresh again with overtopping tides from the evening of Sunday, 7th October 2018.

Excellent bathing water quality

On Monday 17th September 2018, a sample of water was taken from Clevedon Marine Lake after a series of overtopping tides from the Bristol Channel.  The results indicate the water quality is ‘Excellent’ as stated for Coastal and Transitional waters in The Bathing Water Regulations, 2013.  The lake water will refresh again with overtopping tides from the evening of Monday, 24th September 2018.

Refreshing news

You may have read reports about the lake’s water being contaminated by faecal coliform bacteria. So, what does it all mean?

Faecal coliforms are present all around us and inside us. They live in our gut. Mammals (including us humans) and fish produce them all the time. They enter our water courses through normal water run-off. After heavy rains, pollutants on farm land in particular, but also those from our driveways and pavements, get into the water. It is unavoidable.

Clevedon Marine Lake fills naturally on over-topping tides from the Bristol Channel. The Environment Agency monitors water quality on the beach adjacent to the lake during the summer season, and issues poor water quality warnings when they arise.

So, what if the lake refreshes with over-topping water during a period of contamination?

We could of course just drain it out, but that would mean it would not refill until the next sequence of over-topping tides, which could mean the lake’s empty for weeks. When this occurred in August 2018, we decided to leave the lake full and to monitor the quality further. We also posted warnings about the water quality, so people could make an informed decision about entering the water before the drain down and refresh on 8th September 2018.  There were no pollution alerts for the Bristol Channel in the run up to the drain down, so the lake should now be full of nice clean water.  To make sure, we’ll test it again on 17th September 2018, after the sequence of over-topping tides. 

Regular swimmers tend to be sanguine about the water and continue to swim as they have done daily for many years. Faecal coliform bacteria can cause gastro-enteritis symptoms or present as eye or ear infections. If any lake user is at all worried about this they should avoid using the lake until the water quality is confirmed as of at least good quality and keep a look out for updates on Clevedon Marine Lake website and social media channels.

Marlens’ Technical Team

Don’t jump into the unknown

Take notice of the safety signs around Clevedon Marine Lake. Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Water depth may be shallower than it seems. Submerged objects like rocks may not be visible – these can cause serious impact injuries. Know the SIGNS. A red ring shape with a line running through it, white background and symbols mean you should NOT do this. There are ‘No Diving’ signs positioned around Clevedon Marine Lake. This means no diving in Clevedon Marine Lake, because most of it is shallow, the water is murky and there may be obstructions on the lake bed.

Lake Day 2018

Celebrating the 89th anniversary of the opening of Clevedon Marine Lake, MARLENS, the charity behind the restoration, management and further improvement of the lake, hosted its third annual Lake Day on 24th March 2018 to kick off a season full of life and activity on the lake, with free taster sessions – have-a-go canoeing, paddle boarding, rowing and model boating, plus other fun stuff going on lakeside.

Here’s an aerial view of some of the activity thanks to Geoff Langan @ Orbitance.

A splash of colour at the lake

Last month, MARLENS (Marine Lake Enthusiasts), the charity behind the lake’s 2015 restoration and continued improvements at the lake, installed three colourful ceramic murals to cheer up the concrete and stone lake surrounds.  The three designs were donated by local artist and outdoor swimmer Nancy Farmer (pictured), and bring to life different aspects of activity at the lake – cold water swimming, crabbing, model boating and a variety of water sports.

Clevedon seafront has a wonderful promenade stretching from the pier to the lake.  Recent improvements at Clevedon Marine Lake give visitors a wonderful place to enjoy not only the stunning panorama but also the buzz about the lake, in real life and now in the detail of three vibrant murals – THANKS TO NANCY!

For more information about MARLENS or to get involved contact info@marlens.org.uk

Photo credit: Hilary Jenkins-Spangler

 

Polar Bear Challenge

During the winter months, November 2017 to March 2018, lots of brave swimmers challenged themselves to swim regularly in Clevedon Marine Lake, incentivised by the Polar Bear Challenge.  The challenge, which was organised by volunteers, required participants to swim a minimum of 100m twice a month.  One way to rack up the required distance was a 100m circuit around the lake’s much-loved pontoon.  Watch this wonderful bird’s eye view of the swimmers celebrating their achievements on 25th March 2018, when individual awards were given out at Clevedon Sailing Club.  The challenge raised £500 to support Marlens, the charity behind the maintenance and development of Clevedon Marine Lake.  Well done Clevedon Polar Bears for enjoying the cold water!  And thank you Geoff Langan from Orbitance for the amazing view.

Polar bears are excellent swimmers; their scientific name, Ursus maritimus, means ‘sea bear’.  They live in countries that ring the Arctic Circle, swimming in seas of -2oC.