Kingsbridge Estuary's Saltstone is 'out of bounds'

By Chris Derrick in Environment

AN article on page 23 of the Gazette on Friday, December 30, ‘Devon’s spiritual battery charger’, described Nick Pannell’s trip to the Saltstone in Kingsbridge Estuary.

Several people contacted the Gazette to say that the area is ‘out of bounds’ to the public as a conservation area.

Nigel Mortimer, South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty estuaries officer, said: ‘While there is no real legislation to prevent people visiting the Saltstone, the environment on and around it is so unique that we are actively seeking everyone’s support in not visiting the Saltstone.

‘There is very little to see there at low tide and the island is very vulnerable to trampling, so the damage can be easily done without realising it.

Mr Mortimer continued: ‘We are presently in discussions with the Duchy about putting sensitive signs up at the relevant access points asking for people to keep high up on the shoreline and minimise their disturbance to the foreshore there.

‘I have been lucky enough to dive around the Saltstone several times but only once visited on foot to help a marine botanist with a health check survey there.

‘It appears to have changed very little in the last 50 years or so but could all too easily if disturbed.’

‘People can visit the area carefully and sensitively by boat but again have to ask people to help look after it by not landing, anchoring or disturbing the seabed there,’ Mr Mortimer added.

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