Hele beach is a beautiful small and quiet cove just to the East of Ilfracombe, mostly covered with sand and some shingle.

It is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has an interesting rock arch carved out of the cliff by the wild Atlantic waves.

Hele’s catchment (the catchment is the area of land that can influence the water quality) reaches back as far as Hore Down and includes the North end of Ilfracombe town and thousands of acres of farmland.

Without intervention, Hele beach is predicted to achieve the minimum requirement for European water quality standards. However, the beach has the potential to achieve much better standards.

To ensure Hele has the best opportunity to secure the highest possible European water quality standards Surfers Against Sewage has developed a bespoke action plan.

This addresses the issues that are impacting water quality throughout the catchment. The plan was developed by SAS, consulting SAS regional reps and regional and national experts from the Environment Agency. We have identified a range of simple solutions that can be adopted by individuals, industry, farmers and local authorities to deliver Cleaner Coastal Catchments.

Threats to Hele’s water quality:

Fats, Oils and Greases Blocking The Sewer Network

When Fats, Oils and Greases (FOGs) are poured down the sink they quickly cool and congeal on sewer walls, reducing the volume of effluent the sewers can carry to the sewage treatment plant. Fats, oils and grease (mixed with sanitary products) are responsible for an estimated 253,000 sewage discharges, with an estimated clean up cost in the region of £80 million. FOGs can also block household and business drains resulting in significant remedial work.