Wildersmouth beach is a small, sand and shingle cove with an intriguing array of large rocks scattered across the beach.

The beach is located directly below the iconic Landmark Theatre buildings and borders Ilfracombe town with a wide range of beach shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs.

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

To ensure Wildersmouth has the best opportunity to escape the unwanted consequences of failing the 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.

Without intervention, Wildersmouth beach is predicted to fail European water quality standards. This will result in permanent signage warning the public against using the sea and could cause the beach to be de-designated as a bathing water, compromising further investment.

Threats to Wildermouth’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.