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Severn Estuary Spring Clean 2023

Published 30th January, 2023

Join us for some spring cleaning on the Severn Estuary! Joining forces with the Marine Conservation Society, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Britain Tidy, we are calling on all litter picking groups, individuals, community groups and businesses to pitch in to reduce the flow of litter into our seas. Help us to #SpruceUpTheSevern! 

The Severn Estuary is part of a wider landscape made up of catchments and tributaries, so actions we take in the Estuary catchment will ultimately impact on the estuary as a whole. Removing litter in the catchment reduces the flow of litter into the estuary and our oceans. Working from source to sea is key!

If you’re interested in taking part in a local clean up, or organising your own, please get in touch!

We have plenty of information on our website to help you get started on planning your own beach clean or litter pick. Take a look at our map of cleans below to see if there is a clean happening in your local area and take a look at our best practice guidance below before you attend or organise a beach clean to find out how you can protect the Severn Estuary while you litter pick!

The Good Practice Guidelines have Relaunched!

Published 8th November, 2022

The Association of Severn Estuary Relevant Authorities or ASERA are re-launching the Good Practice Guidelines, with updated guidance on flying drones within the Severn Estuary area.

The Good Practice Guidelines have been developed by the Association of Severn Estuary Relevant Authorities to promote sustainable use of the Severn Estuary by all. The resource raises awareness for the special features of the Severn Estuary European Marine Site and aims to inform on recreational activities that could cause harm to the site, making sure that the site is protected for our future generations.  

This guide includes recommendations for many popular activities on the Severn, including dog walking, birdwatching, angling, wildfowling, and boating. The re-release focuses on the new legislation surrounding the use of drones and their licensing. This update states that all fliers must carry their documents of ownership, and mark their drone with the operator ID. In addition, the Good Practice Guidelines outline Estuary-specific guidance on staying safe and minimising impact to the site, such as avoiding disturbance to resting, feeding, and nesting birds and sensitive habitats like saltmarsh and Sabellaria alveolata (honeycomb tubeworm) reefs.

Severn Estuary Big Beach Clean 2022

Published 19th August, 2022

The SEP team are busily preparing for our Severn Estuary Big Beach Clean in September! We are delighted to be running our third estuary wide Severn Estuary Big Beach Clean from the 23rd – 25th September 2022! Joining forces with the Marine Conservation Society and their national beach cleaning event, we are calling on all litter picking groups, individuals, community groups and businesses to join us in reducing the flow of litter into our seas.

In 2018 and 2019, we worked together with a huge range of beach cleaners around the Severn Estuary to mark the annual event and managed to record over 1000 volunteer beach cleaning hours via 31 beach cleans all around the estuary. This year we’d love to do the same thing, with the hope of inspiring even more residents, visitors and businesses to join us as we work collaboratively to #SpruceUpTheSevern!

We’re keen to highlight not only the work that goes into cleaning up our coast, but also the work that goes into cleaning up our inland streets and rivers all around the Severn Estuary area.

If you would like to join a clean, register your litter picking group for the event, or would like more information, get in touch with us via email at, or via our social media channels @SevernEstuary.

Walking the Future Wales Coast Path

By Dr Emma McKinley, Cardiff University

Published 11th July, 2022

Over the last few months, SEP and Cardiff University have been working with artist, Alison Neighbour, on her Arts Council Wales funded project, The (Future) Wales Coast Path. This creative project is a year-long series of creative events and installations about our relationship to land and water, focusing on two places in the Severn Estuary – Newport and Magor. Through the project, we will be inviting members of these communities to join us in our programme of events, which started way back in February, and talking to them about how their local coast is changing, how the coast path may look different in the future, and their sense of connection with the Estuary. 

A key focal point of the project is the installation of two lighthouses at places around the Estuary where the future coast path might be found as a result of changing climates and landscapes. While the project is very much situated in south Wales and around the Estuary, the team are also working with Vikram Iyengar, whose work is based in the Indian Sundarbans – the lighthouses are connected to the tidal data of the Bay of Bengal, flashing as the tide rises to alert those around them. 

Dr Emma McKinley, a marine social scientist from Cardiff University and frequent collaborator with SEP, joined Alison for some of the events in April, when the lighthouse installations were first put in place. Taking place over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, these two walks, the first from the lighthouse positioned just outside the Riverfront Theatre in Newport, and the second from Magor Marsh and the Gwent Wildlife Trust centre, brought together a real mix of people interested in knowing more about how these places connect to the Estuary.  As these were not guided walks, but rather spaces for people to explore their connection to the dynamic environment of the Severn Estuary and to consider the fluidity and changeability of the landscape, participants were encouraged to think about where the sea begins, the notion that the land we were walking on was once under water, and to think about their hopes and wishes for the future.

Join us for the summer programme of events, including an evening talk on Tuesday July 26th at the Riverfront Theatre, Newport, and a series of walks taking place from 25th to 30th July in both Magor and Newport. For more information and registration for the events, check out the website and events page here: Events – The (Future) Wales Coast Path

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