REJECT the proposal by SKEWA for the creation of a new water skiing and wakeboarding area within the Salcombe and Kingsbridge Estuary.

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Salcombe is a  special place, much loved by many people. The estuary  is a  particularly precious jewel  which needs protecting  - it is now under threat as never before  - thanks to a high profile campaign by SKEWA ( Salcombe and Kingsbridge Waterski Association)  to  allow water skiers to  ski inside the harbour limits at Widegates.  This is the wrong place for an intrusive, high-risk activity like water ski-ing and  if allowed  will set a  dangerous precedent leaving the way forward for other sports to come in with their own proposals.

Widegates is an expanse of water situated in the upper reaches of the estuary, near Frogmore creek; it is an oasis of peace and tranquility with a fragile eco-system upon which birds and marine life depend for their survival.

Anyone who has visited  Starehole Bay, Salcombe will be familiar with the waterski scenario:  the endless drone of engines at full throttle, whizzing in circles churning up a wake with the repetitive slap, slap, slap as the hull hits the water at high speed.

Do we really want this replicated further up the estuary at  Widegates?  Well if SKEWA get their proposal approved by the Harbour Board  this  image could soon could  be a reality.

This petition has a threefold objective:

1.     To draw public attention to the activities of SKEWA
2.     To garner support and to give the many objectors a voice and
3.     To alert the decision makers, Salcombe Harbour Board, that there is widespread opposition to this proposal for several valid reasons including, enviromental impact, safety, speed and noise as well as  public opposition.

This petition is not about being a killjoy; it is about preserving and protecting the environment for the benefit of future generations.

In terms of the SKEWA ‘s proposal please note the following points;

·      SKEWA claim that the sport has ‘exploded in popularity’ which suggests this is just the start.

-      SKEWA claim that they have been ‘banned’ from a former skiing site at Bar Lodge when in fact the Harbour Authority merely enforced the existing speed limit.

·      SKEWA claim that they have no safe area to ski in.  Water skiing is a high risk, activity undertaken voluntarily by those with the means and desire to do so.  Opening another skiing area will not make the current site any safer and in fact will mearly create a second high risk area.

 ·      SKEWA appear to have the backing of several local business people keen to put commercial gain before enviromental consideration.

·      SKEWA claim that the new site would be ‘strictly regulated’ but show little evidence  as to how this would happen.  The proposals mentioned would in reality be difficult if not impossible to enforce.

·      SKEWA imply that the impact on the environment will be minimal. Some of the environmental claims put forward are tenuous at best and the need for unbiased expert analysis is crucial.  

 There is widespread support for this proposal to be banned  but this is no time for complacency, if you care about the future of the Estuary and want to protect and preserve it for future generations, then please sign this petition and spread it as widely as possible among your friends.

The SKEWA campaign  already have over 250 signatures in favour of allowing water ski-ing, notably with the largest proportion of those signatures coming from people outside of the county.

In closing, Salcombe is not simply a playground for the wealthy. It is also home to  many people who actually  have Salcombe’s best interests at heart  and understand that this is simply not the right location for water skiing.

If you would like to send a more detailed letter or email, please do so to: 

 ·      The Harbour Master  at Salcombe Harbour Office, Whitestrand, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8BU  or email him  at .

 ·      Chair of Salcombe Harbour Board, SHDC, Follaton House, Totnes Devon TQ9

 ·      You can also send a "letter to the editor" at The Salcombe and Kingsbridge Gazette on expressing your views publically