Access and recreation
Sailing Club - Silverwings Lake, Surrey
Silverwings Sailing Club Facilities
For a number of years we have been providing facilities to Silver Wing Sailing Club, located in Wraysbury. The facilities are situated approximately one mile from the M25, junction 13 on 48 hectares of land and water. The club has a growing number of dedicated members with a very strong family atmosphere. It has recently become a fully recognised by the Royal Yachting Association as a training centre and they also have a very active children's section. There is wide selection of club boats available for learning sailing and developing skills into club racing.
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In addition, the site is also a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), dedicated for the presence of rare bird species such as Gadwall. We work closely with Club and Natural England and undertake regular surveys of the site to monitor its ecological status.
Access and recreation
Water skiing for the disabled -Heron Lake, Surrey
We are the key partner for the British Disabled Water Ski Association (BDWSA), making the Heron Lake facility available on a long-term lease. The Association introduces people to water skiing, regardless of physical or learning ability and it is the only dedicated disabled water-skiing facility in the UK. BDWSA provides expert support, specialist assistive equipment and guidance from fully qualified instructors. In 2015, only there were around 1,500 visitors to the Lake that used the facility.
We have been proud to support the BDWSA, and the specialist recreational opportunities it offers, for nearly 20 years, especially as it involves working with people who have not previously considered the sport accessible.
The facilities at Heron Lake
Fish friendly screen installation at river intakes
Between 2013 to 2015, fish screens were installed at our river intakes on the Thames in order to protect fish and eel populations. This was required under our duty to meet the Eels Regulation (2009).
We continue to lead by example as one of the first companies in the country to install and operate these fish friendly screens. We have shared our experience with other water companies and the Environment Agency (EA).
Thames Catchment Management Steering Group (TCMSG)
The TCMSG was formed in 2010 by Affinity Water, Thames Water and South East Water to jointly investigate the impacts of metaldehyde and other pesticides in the Thames River Basin District.
All three companies have agreed a programme of work with the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) to work with landowners, farmers and agronomists to identify solutions to reduce metaldehyde. Since its formation, the TCMSG has developed a combined river sampling programme which covers most of the 16,000km² of the Thames River Basin District. The river sampling helps to identify hot-spot areas where pesticide concentrations are highest, and develop consistent messages and investigate catchment-based solutions to prevent metaldehyde and other pesticides getting into surface waters at the source, rather than relying on complex and expensive treatment at our water treatment works.
Every year the TCMSG hosts a workshop for key stakeholders including the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), the Environment Agency (EA), Natural England, the Health and Safety Executive, agronomists, Campaign for the Farmed Environment and pesticide manufacturers and distributors. These annual stakeholder events are an opportunity for the TCMSG to update on the pesticide sampling programme, present progress on projects like our Zero Metaldehyde pilot in the Mimmshall Brook, and discuss issues impacting on untreated water quality in an open forum.
Affinity Water Catchment Management Manager engaging with the TCMSG at the annual workshop.