Why it's important for your waterfront not to get neglected
With funding pots like Inspired Facilities bringing investment to the sport in recent years, a lot of focus has gone on facility redevelopment especially around clubhouses and training.
But, although it might not be as 'sexy' ensuring your waterfront is in good nick is an important as nice changing rooms and a decent bar, in making sure people want to keep coming back to sail with you.
Over the past 12 months a number of clubs in the Midlands have sought support to regenerate foreshores that were falling into disrepair.
So why is this so important? Gareth Brookes, Midlands RDO, explains...
"It sounds obvious but it is much easier for people to get on and off the water if they have a nice jetty and slipway for access, and even better if there is a jetty next to a slipway.
"This helps boost confidence is newcomers and less experienced sailors as, for example, they don't have to wade into the water and haul themselves into the boat before.
"Also if a derelict foreshore makes launching and landing difficult, or sailors have to pull boats to a more suitable place to get on the water, you can lose sailing time and the whole experience just becomes a bit more of a struggle and potentially off-putting for people new to the sport. There is obviously the safety element to consider too."
Amongst clubs that have recently made improvements to their foreshores include Hykeham SC and Greensforge SC, who have or are both carrying out extensive works to their waterfronts and Bartley SC, Earlswood Lake SC and Rudyard Lake SC, who have added new jetties and pontoons.
Amongst the funding sources utilised for the projects include Sport England, the Landfill Communities Fund and The Veolia Environmental Trust while Bartley negotiated replacing their jetties with their landlord Severn Trent.
If you want advice on improving your foreshore speak to your Sailing Development Officer or Gareth Brookes - contacts can be found here.
In the meantime here are a couple of case studies from Hykeham and Greensforge...
£41,000 Biffa Award Transforms Sailing At Hykeham
A £41,700 Biffa Award, part of the Landfill Communities Fund, has transformed the waterfront. Erosion of a storm-damaged part of the waterfront was impacting on club activities as not only was the land available to the club eaten into but debris sliding into the shallower waters along the shore had the potential to damage boats.
For the full story click here.
Greensforge secure £20,900 from Veolia's Environmental Fund
Ian Cooper, Principal and project leader at Greensforge SC, explains why they needed to seek investment.
1. What's the problem?
In front of the clubhouse the mooring frontage comprises 3ft x 2ft vertical concrete slabs over a length of 40m which has been there about 40 years. Some of the slabs have broken and water has got behind them eroding the backfill, making it difficult to get out of boats, the slabs are uneven and now dangerous. We've had to cordon off around 15m that we can't use at all. Over the years the club's managed to do running repairs to keep us sailing but that just wasn't possible anymore, we needed a permanent solution.
2. Why Veolia?
Veolia is a national company but to qualify to apply for funding your facility has to be within a certain radius of a site. The Veolia Environmental Trust HQ is less than two miles from the club, so that was one factor. The other was they changed the criteria for applications this year so single sport clubs can now apply. Less than 25% of applications are successful so we were delighted to get accepted.
3. What's the next step?
We have an agreement in principle from the Canal and Rivers Trust, with whom we hold our licence to sail, to progress the works. There were a number of options we looked at to shore up the waterfront but we have opted to use the type of edge shuttering typically found along canal banks. 2m deep galvanised piles will be driven into the floor of the reservoir. Onto the front edge of the piling we shall install a 4x4 timber bar from which we suspend car tyres for dinghies to moor against. This wale bar can be replaced every 10-15 years without having to re-do the rest of the bank.
4. What difference will this make to Greensforge?
These repairs have not been about expanding our activities
merely making it much safer and more pleasurable for people who already sail
with us, and not put off any visitors or prospective new members wanting to
join us.. Space is already at a premium and we need that space back. It had
reached critical point. There is still 60m to do but 40m will be usable again
and between races sailors will be able to moor their dinghies in front of the
clubhouse once again. We are still
having to find 20% of the funds ourselves so we can only do a bit at a time.
5. Are you doing anything else?
Because the machinery to put the shuttering in is so heavy all the slabs outside the clubhouse will have to be uplifted anyway so we're taking the opportunity to replace the terracing at the front and then relay the slabs flat complete with a ramp at the emergency exit to improve disabled access. It will transform the club.
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