Devil's Point tidal pool in Plymouth set for its first clean in two years

Devil's Point is a tidal pool in Plymouth at Firestone Bay that is a popular tourist attraction at the cafe. Its owner Kelvin Phillips hopes its clean will welcome swimmers this summer. Credit: ITV West Country

A tidal pool in Devon is set to be cleaned for the first time in two years to welcome swimmers this summer.

Devil’s Point tidal pool in Plymouth has historically been cleaned up to six times per year but has been neglected since the pandemic began.

Plymouth City Council has stated it intends to remove debris including "floating seaweed, stones, grit, and sand".

It said: “Devil’s Point tidal pool is to get a spring clean ready for the warmer weather.

"In the next few weeks we will clear the pool as well as carry out a few repairs. The concrete surrounds are going to be power washed to remove the slippery, slimy seaweed to make it safer for people to get into the water.

"A team will remove debris that has washed into the pool over the winter months as well as floating seaweed, stones, grit and sand.

"This will ensure there is clear water for people to paddle and potter in the sea without worrying (much) about what lies beneath."

Grit, sand, debris, and seaweed have aggregated on the base of the pool after years of neglect Credit: ITV West Country

Earlier this week, thousands of tonnes of mud was drained from a seafront lake in Somerset so it can be brought back into use for swimming.

The pool in Stonehouse has been unmoved in the past 100 years but started to develop its own ecology since it was not been routinely cleaned.

It is part of Devil’s Point Café at Firestone Bay which is a popular venue for tourists in the summer.

The café’s owner Kelvin Phillips spoke before the council’s announcement and said: "We had a bit of an ordeal last year because we thought they were going to clean the pool.

"I basically said there's an enquiry as to what plans you promised us for the pool, is anything happening?

"And no-one's bothered to answer me. I noticed they've got all this new waterfront they're going to do up with different things here and there, but nothing about the Devils Point swimming pool. It hasn't been cleaned since 2019."

The tidal point has not been cleaned since 2019 and has grown its own ecology, including seaweed Credit: ITV West Country

The council have since agreed to complete a number of repairs on the pool for the benefit of tourism to Firestone Bay but are yet to confirm its completion date.

It said: "The sea has given the structure a bashing over the winter and spring, so we’ll also be repairing it so that it actually keeps water in - there’s currently a hole in the side.

"Firestone Bay has been hugely popular - the paddlers, the paddleboarders, the swimmers and those who just like to be beside the sea.

"It’s become massively important to a whole new generation of water lovers and a trip to Firestone Bay has done a lot of people the power of good - especially over the last year.

"We want to build on this as part of our National Marine Park ambitions and are working with a number of organisations on how to take this further.

"No dates have been set as we need to coordinate the repair work with the clear-up, but it will be soon - watch this space."


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