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River Yealm Environment

The Yealm estuary, with its relatively smaller freshwater rivers input, is more saltwater dominated and supports a rich diversity of habitats with their animal, seaweed, and plant communities. Quietly sheltered from the open coast, the depths and waters of this beautiful estuary can boast, among others, seagrass jungles of marine life and prolific mudflat communities.

These natural riches are recognised by most of the estuary being designated as both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation; and all within the South Devon Area of Natural Beauty.

The South Devon AONB web site gives more details about the estuary and some of the self-guided trails around the area – one of the best ways to enjoy and discover the estuary. The local community take huge pride in their estuary and invite everyone to share in its enjoyment and pleasures.

Every spring there is a Harbour Clean Up where residents walk along the foreshore at low tide and collect as much rubbish as possible. Please help keep the harbour and river clean by putting all of your rubbish in the bins provided at the Harbour Office.

The rich sea grass meadows in the mouth of the Yealm Harbour support a true jungle of life, including nursery, spawning and feeding grounds for many fish. The meadows are vulnerable to boating damage, so please be aware of where they are, and avoid anchoring or grounding within them. You can find out more at www.TheGreenBlue.org.uk

The RYA has reproduced guidance on considerate mooring and anchoring in sensitive areas. The-Green-Guide-to-Anchoring-Moorings

The impact of non-native species is a growing concern along our coast and estuaries, and all water users are requested to play a part in preventing the introduction or spread of non-native species through a set of simple biosecurity actions – as set out in the new Yealm Estuary Biosecurity Plan, download (1Mb pdf download).

Yachts should also follow the GreenBlue’s guidance on hull fouling and maintenance and anchor stowing. www.TheGreenBlue.org.uk

Smaller vessels should follow the Check-Clean-Dry guidance.

Wembury Marine Conservation Area – Wembury Bay is part of a Marine Protected Area and all vessels are asked to respect this special area by causing as little disturbance as possible. Landing on the Great Mewstone and Little Mew is prohibited except in an emergency