What’s Up

Things are hotting up at the lake – quite literally – with the easing of lockdown and some spectacular weather…

Stepping up to the mark

With crowds literally flooding the lake over half-term week, not only have the bins been overflowing, but the amount of rubbish left around the lake has been shameful.  Thanks to volunteers like Gill (pictured above) and many others, including a growing number of new helpers and hands-on locals, the lake has been looking spick and span every morning before 9am!  What a great job Marlens’ volunteers do.  THANK YOU.

Don’t overstep the mark – Stay 2m apart.

The lake has remained open as a place for individual exercise during lockdown – conditional on social distancing.  It has been extraordinarily busy over half-term and social distancing is not being observed.  Towards the end of the week, volunteers sprayed 123 yellow lines, 2m apart on the lower promenade to help people manage their space.  With spray can supplies replenished, more will appear this week!

Water quality testing

The first sample taken on Thursday 28th May recorded a result of POOR water quality in the lake.  The water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake will be sampled before and after each series of overtopping tides (approximately those over 12.5m), during the warm summer months when the lake is heavily used.  The testing schedule is below.

  1. 4th – 8th June
  2. 21st – 24th July
  3. 18th – 23rd August
  4. 16th – 22nd September

There are marginal overtops 5th – 6th July and 4th – 5th August.  These will only be tested if there is an indication of water quality problems.

Two red flags have been put up, one at either end of the lake, adjacent to the information boards with an explanatory notice.  A red flag means the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake is currently POOR.  The latest test results and alerts are shared on social media, via our BLOG and lakeside to explain the situation and actions being taken.  Information is shared to allow lake users to make an informed decision about entering the water.

If the water quality in the lake is tested as POOR, it is recommended that the public do not swim in the lake until the water has refreshed, especially if unwell or with low immunity.  Anyone choosing to swim is advised to wear ear plugs and goggles to protect against infection.  All visitors having contact with the lake water are advised to wash or cleanse hands before eating.

Repairs

Following the 14m high tides around April’s Full Moon on 8th, there was a rockslide along the entry ramp leading to the pump house.  Contractors were on site w/c 18/5/20 making good the area, with a rather splendid retaining wall!

 

Getting the message across

If you are in or around the lake over the coming weeks, we are asking everyone to help spread these messages:

  • Help us Help the Lake. Marlens’ charity and a team of volunteers, run the lake, not North Somerset Council.
  • It costs £20,000 p.a. to keep Clevedon Marine Lake open to the public.
  • The lake is a semi-natural environment like a beach or river. Users enter at their own risk. Be safety aware.
    • Cold water – Know your limits.
    • Shallow perimeter – No diving or jumping in.
    • Uneven lakebed – Look at the lake map to understand where it is deep and shallow.
    • Underwater hazards like rocks – Risk of cuts and grazes, minimise contact with lakebed.
    • Overtopping tidesCheck tide times & heights before each visit; don’t enter the lake when it’s overtopping.
  • Respect the lake and its inhabitants. Bag and bin any litter – or even better, take it home.  Leave crabs as happy as you found them – and no bait scraps or fish hooks.

Friends of Clevedon Marine Lake

If you’re a Friend of Clevedon Marine Lake, why not become a friend for life?  We kindly ask Friends to consider setting up a standing order for £50 a year to become a perennial Friend, to continue supporting the lake, at less than £1 a week.  This can be done via on-line banking ‘Payments & Transfers’, set up as an annual transaction using the following details  * Account name:  MARLENS * Sort code:  20-94-74 * Account number:  13465160 * Reference:  Perennial Friend.

Sign up to Marlens’ Lottery

Alternatively, if you fancy a punt on Clevedon Marine Lake, with better odds of winning than the National Lottery, you can now sign up to Marlens’ Lottery on-line.  Marlens’ Lottery was launched in August 2015 to create a steady income to help run Clevedon Marine Lake throughout the year, following its renovation.

Lost and Found

Lost property is regularly picked up by MARLENS’ volunteers from around the lake and stored in the boathouse. For items left behind, contact 07867 336480.

Polar Bears go the distance – once again!

Clevedon Marine Lake is run by Marlens’ charity and its team of volunteers, who work hard year-round to maintain and develop this amazing space.

It costs £20,000 per annum to keep Clevedon Marine Lake open to the public.

£5,000 alone is required each year to dredge hundreds of tonnes of mud out of the lake, as part of a 10-year programme to remove 5,000 tonnes of mud from the lakebed.  The mud is two feet deep in some areas having accumulated over the years, brought in by the overtopping tides from the Severn Estuary.

The initial application to remove mud from the lake cost £10,000.  Marlens has secured permission from Marine Management Organisation to dredge the lake twice a year, in the autumn and spring, over the next decade – which began last year.

The lake was dredged in October 2019 where 400 tonnes of silt and mud was removed, and again in March 2020 with an estimated 750 tonnes of silt and mud removed from the bed of the lake.  Until then, the last time any mud was removed from Clevedon Marine Lake was in the summer of 2015 as part of a major refurbishment.

It is important to ‘keep on top of the mud’ from now on – and with each dredge costing around £2,500, the entire project requires in excess of £60,000.

There are many ways in which you can Help us Help the Lake.  Simply click on the link and explore how you can make a difference.  And if you fancy something more immersive…

A great fundraising scheme which has been running for 3 years at Clevedon Marine Lake is the Polar Bear Challenge, thanks to organisers Hilary Jenkins-Spangler (pictured) and Gavin Price, members of Clevedon Lake & Sea Swimmers.

Every year during the winter months, November to March, lots of brave swimmers challenge themselves to swim regularly in the cold waters of Clevedon Marine Lake, incentivised by the Polar Bear Challenge.  The challenge requires participants to swim a minimum of 100m twice a month.  One way to rack up the required distance is a 100m circuit around the lake’s much-loved pontoon.

This season 2019-20, the Polar Bear Challenge raised close to £800 to support Marlens.  Well done and thank you Clevedon Polar Bears for enjoying the cold water and making a difference!

 

What’s Up

Sirena the mermaid, who has been watching over the lake since December 2018 retired from marine life in January, somewhat dishevelled and weather-weary!

The sunken buoy has been relocated nearer to the model boat lake and is now visible above water, so should no longer give swimmers an unwelcome start!

MARLENS’ AGM opens its doors to the lake community on Sunday 15th March starting at 6.30pm in Clevedon Sailing Club.  All welcome including volunteers, Friends, Lottery members, lake users, clubs and coaches.

January’s Winterfest raised over £700 for MARLENS, the charity behind the lake, which will be put to good use supporting major projects in March.

The lake will be drained on 29th February to enable mud clearance commencing 2nd March, before beginning to refill on 8th. This is part of an annual programme to dredge the lakebed each October and March costing £7,500 a year. If you are able to help with litter picking and/or cleaning during the week, please contact volunteer@marlens.org.uk

Six new concrete benches are being installed whilst the lake is empty, costing over £3,000, creating more seating around this amazing space.

It costs £15,000 a year just to run Clevedon Marine Lake, on top of these investment projects, which is raised solely through fund raising, so please remember to drop a coin or two into one of the collection boxes at the access points on the upper promenade.

MARLENS is recruiting! A secretary to help with meeting administration and organisation. For more details on pay and hours, contact info@marlens.org.uk

Lost property is regularly picked up by MARLENS’ volunteers from around the lake and stored in the boathouse. For items left behind, contact 07867 336480.

Help Us Help The Lake

You can help Marlens help Clevedon Marine Lake by shopping on-line through Give as you Live and Amazon Smile. Every time you buy through these channels, Marlens benefits from a donation which is either a percentage of the sales price or a percentage of the shop’s listing commission.

Help Us Help The Lake Collect… HUH? TLC… Yes please!

Marlens puts on another foot stomping fundraiser!

On 27th September 2019, just two weeks after the curtain closed on the biggest classical music festival on earth, Marlens hosted its very own tumultuous musical celebration at Clevedon Community Centre. Two hundred and sixty-five people attended a rousing night of popular music and singalong songs to raise funds to maintain and further develop Clevedon Marine Lake. Leading the fantasia was BOLD BRASS with Rachael Cooper (Soprano), John Prescott (Tenor) and Sue Parker (Accompanist).

A spokesperson for Marlens commented, ‘The event not only made a great profit – approaching double the amount raised the previous year, but prommers also said – the evening was fantastic and the band and songs were excellent. Marlens would like to thank the organisers, performers and volunteers for putting on such a good show, and the staff at Clevedon Community Centre for all their support.’

Clevedon Marine Lake is run by Marlens charity for everyone to enjoy year-round. Major fundraising events like Last Night of The Proms and the annual trio of Clevedon open water swimming events are essential to enabling Marlens’ volunteers to carry out cleaning, maintenance and improvements at Clevedon Marine Lake – which is why this amazing space is always ship shape for visitors.

Over the next year, sizeable chunks of money are required specifically for mud clearance from the lakebed, construction of six more benches, installation of a fourth mural to cheer up the wall, water quality testing during peak times, improvements to digital information and on-line donation and administrative support.

Everyone can do their bit to help the lake be it bagging and binning any rubbish created during visits, donating in the one of the boxes lakeside or becoming a volunteer.

Photo credit: Chris Emmerson