Happy crabbing

Crabbing can be an enjoyable way to introduce young children to the marine ecology when done responsibly, so here are some guidelines on good crabbing.

DO’s and DON’Ts

Don’t put too many crabs in one bucket. Stick to 5 per bucket.
Don’t store your bucket in the sun.
Don’t keep them all day long – return them to sea after an hour.
Don’t use a line with a hook on. Either tie a small amount of bait on or use an old pair of tights/bit of net to hold it in.

Do use crabbing bait like bacon sparingly and clean up any scraps.
Do add rocks and seaweed to the bucket to help replicate the crab’s natural environment and reduce stress.
Do hold your crab correctly – gently hold it either side of its shell or pick it up with one finger on top of the shell and one finger underneath – avoiding the claws.
Do remove any crabs which are fighting – male crabs tend to be more aggressive than the females.
Do remember to take all your equipment and rubbish home with you.

REMEMBER: People swim in Clevedon Marine Lake every day, so please consider carefully what bait you use. Ask yourself if you’d feel happy swimming near it? Raw chicken contains harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. Coli so shouldn’t ever be used.

REFRESHING NEWS

Clevedon Marine Lake will be open as normal, full of fresh water from Friday 2nd August, allowing for three overtops to fully refill the lake.  Please note: The lake might not be full on Thursday 1st August.

Refills have become a popular spectacle to watch – as 30 million litres of sea water gushes over the seawall into the lake.  THE LAKE SHOULD REFILL ANY TIME AFTER 6PM ON 31ST JULY.

The penstocks will be opened at around 8am, and volunteers will be cleaning in and around the lake from 10.30am on 31st July.

Clevedon Marine Lake will be closed to the public and fully drained on Wednesday 31st July so that it can refresh with water from the Severn Estuary repeatedly during the next sequence of overtops between 31st July and 5th August.

The water quality will be retested on 7th August, after the overtops.  Updates on the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake are shared here.

There’s always lots to do at the lake in terms of litter picking, cleaning, muscle work and site management, so if you can spare any time to help out, please contact volunteer@marlens.org.uk

Do your bit for water quality

Clevedon Marine Lake is a much-loved community asset.  Lake users can follow six simple steps to help keep the water quality good in the lake:

  • No dogs lakeside.
  • Use the public toilets next to the arcade.
  • Use crabbing bait like bacon sparingly and clean up any scraps.
  • Not swim when unwell.
  • Use the drinking tap and freshwater shower adjacent to HM Coastguard Clevedon rescue station.
  • Drop £1 in one of the donation boxes every visit, to help pay for water quality testing and lake care.

During the warm summer months, when the lake is heavily used, the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake is sampled before and after each series of overtopping tides (approximately those over 12.5m) to provide a baseline health check.  The test results are shared to allow lake users to make an informed decision about entering the water.

Poor bathing water quality test results occur from time to time.  The causes include:

  • A prolonged warm spell. Although UV in sunlight kills off harmful bacteria, it is only effective at surface level where the light can penetrate.
  • Heavy usage stirring up sediment from the lakebed.
  • Heavy rainfall causing run-off into the Severn Estuary, entering the lake on overtopping tides.
  • Contamination from human or dog waste.

Clevedon Marine lake is a semi-natural environment.  It is a living space filled by sea water from the Severn Estuary.  Faecal coliforms are present all around us and inside us.  They live in our gut.  Mammals (including humans), fish and birds produce them all the time.  Faecal coliform bacteria can enter aquatic environments through direct discharge of waste from these species, from agricultural and urban storm runoff, and from human sewage.

There is a year-round ‘NO DOGS’ order in place at Clevedon Marine Lake and the splash pool for public health protection, to reduce the risk of unfriendly bacteria draining into the lake.  A single gram of dog waste can contain millions of faecal coliform bacteria, known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans.  Faecal coliform bacteria can also present as eye or ear infections.

Updates on the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake are shared here.  If a poor result is reported, it is recommended that the public do not swim in the lake until the water has refreshed and been retested.  People may choose to use the lake at their own risk in the meantime.  Any swimmers doing so are advised to wear ear plugs and goggles to protect against infection.  All visitors having contact with the lake water are advised to wash hands before eating.

In addition, the water quality in the Severn Estuary, which refills the lake, is monitored regularly by the Environment Agency throughout May to September, with samples taken from Clevedon Beach adjacent to Clevedon Marine Lake.  Poor water quality warnings are issued on-line – and the most recent water quality test results also can be checked.

 

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.

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.

Ship shape and Bristol fashion

Ship shape and Bristol fashion

The Marlens’ technical team have been kept busy around Clevedon Marine Lake during the winter months doing lots of essential maintenance and repair work as well as installing new facilities such as the concrete benches and donation boxes. As Lake Day approaches on Saturday 24th March, the pace will pick up to ensure everything’s ship shape to kick start lake season.

Alan Wilson, who heads up all things technical at the lake, fills us in:

The Lake doesn’t exactly care for itself! There will be litter picking sessions occurring with increasing frequency over the next few weeks. As the weather improves, and spring is anticipated, we will have more visitors to the lake and that inevitably generates more work for us!

On 10th March we will be carrying out the first deep clean of the season in the splash pools.  We stop the water entering the pool, drain it and then pressure wash it to remove silt and any algae. We’re currently exploring a paint treatment for the bottom of the splash pools to help reduce any build up. 

On 17th March we will replace the flags on the upper promenade (supplied by North Somerset Council) and put the splash pool hand pump back in place.

If we can get a few dry days without seawater lapping over the lake edges, we will also be painting new ‘NO DIVING’ notices around the lake border. The donation boxes will also go back up over the next few weeks following the initial vandal attack.

Subject to funding being available, we will also try to get more concrete plinth benches in place this year.

De-silting the lake bed has been deferred until late autumn to avoid draining the lake during peak season.

Any volunteers or BLOG readers with useful DIY skills are welcome to join our technical team. We can always use more help! 

To offer help or enquire about 2018 lake maintenance and improvement projects, please contact info@clevedonmarinelake.co.uk  To keep up-to-date on all lake news, follow us on Facebook

Alan Wilson, 26th February 2018

Writing on the Lake

Writing on the Lake: an anthology of poetry and prose inspired by Clevedon Marine Lake

Writing on the Lake was published by the Clevedon Community Press in April 2016 in collaboration with Marlens. It is a celebration of the lake, inspired by the lake. Thirty-three local people share their vivid memories and imaginations and feelings about this amazing place.

£4.95 from Clevedon Community Bookshop