Local sustainability and conservation charity the Lake Distinction Foundation (LDF) launched a “Greener Boating” campaign this week which aims to give boaters clear and practical advice on how they can play their part in keeping our lakes and rivers clean and safe. As the Lake District welcomes visitors back this week, LDF want to make sure people have the information needed to help keep this place special.
As well as information on their website, the LDF has produced an informative poster that covers the three simple things that boaters can do to make a difference and join the fight against pollution to help keep our rivers and lakes fit for people and for wildlife:
1 – STOP SPILLS AND MANAGE ACCIDENTS. Boaters should take care to prevent spills and manage any accidents by using a spill kit to absorb oil or fuel and dispose of them in hazardous waste bins at a marina, harbour or recycling centre.
2 – SEWAGE DISCHARGE is prohibited by law on inland waterways in the UK and raw sewage discharge is a serious public health risk. Instead, boaters should use a designated pump out station such as Low Wood Watersports Centre, Ferry Nab, or Tower Wood Outdoor Centre.
3 – CHECK, CLEAN & DRY to prevent the spread of Invasive Non Native Species(INNS). Invasive species can quickly invade an area and are then very hard to remove, disrupting the ecosystem and causing chaos for native and local wildlife. CHECK your equipment and clothing for live organisms – particularly in areas that are damp or hard to inspect. CLEAN and wash all equipment, footwear and clothing thoroughly. If you do come across any organisms, leave them at the water body where you found them. DRY all equipment and clothing – some species can live for many days in moist conditions. Make sure you don’t transfer water elsewhere. And it’s not just boats that can carry invasive species, anyone using the water such as stand up paddleboarders and wild swimmers all need to check, clean and dry their kit.
As well as posters and information at boat hire, sale and registration locations, the LDF will be using social media to share the Greener Boating messages and hopes that community groups and businesses across the county will get involved and help to share the campaign messages.
With the lifting of lockdown restrictions now easing and the predicted increase in visitors to the Lake District, it is hoped that this campaign will help to remind both visitors and residents of the importance of the precious natural resources that we need to look after, and the practical action that we can all take today to ensure our lakes and rivers stay clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.
Sarah Swindley, CEO Lake District Foundation, said, “We know that visitors and residents love the Lakes and want to help to keep this place special. Water quality is important for wildlife, our health and the tourist economy too. And of course the countryside code applies too, such as taking your rubbish home, respecting local communities and following advice and local signs. We are delighted that so many local business and community groups are already helping us to spread these messages far and wide”.