We love the River Dart. As it is only 30 metres from our Buckfastleigh Riverstone funeral home we watch it with interest all through the year, from a calm slow flow to a raging torrent with standing waves. It can rise by several metres in just a few hours. Thankfully it has never come into our building.
With an office also in Totnes, the river is ever present for us. We have undertaken funerals in Holne, Buckfastleigh, Staverton, Dartington, Totnes, Sharpham, Stoke Gabriel, Dittisham and Dartmouth, both on land and on the water. We have sailed coffins down from Dittisham to Dartmouth and held funerals on vessels in Dartmouth Harbour. The river is such a part of these communities.
We are now active supporters of ‘The Friends Of The River Dart’ (FoD), a relatively new and rapidly expanding grass roots community group working to improve water quality and protect the Dart through effective collaboration with local people and SW Water, The Environment Agency and Defra. By engaging in water quality testing at various points it is working towards river water quality being designated bathing water status at several places along the Dart. Currently there are only a few such river sites across the whole country.
FoD is encouraging people and agencies to see it as a community river used and enjoyed by many, for business and leisure – swimming, fishing, watersports, birdwatching and visitors alike.
As a river swimmer myself, I have an active interest in this, but it’s much wider than that, as a community river used and enjoyed by many, for business and pleasure – swimming, fishing, watersports, birdwatchers, walkers and visitors alike.