Every summer we see an increase in visitors to Langport, and the rise of the paddleboarders, rivers swimmers, barbecue-ers and kayakers.
We love where we are next to the river – and part of the draw for Will and the SG team to locate here was the abundance of wildlife, the beautiful views and a sense of community.
As much as we love this time of year, we find ourselves time and again trying to encourage a more environmentally friendly mentality to those who flock to the banks of the Parrett.
Having enjoyed watching the likes of kingfishers, otters and all number of reed birds visit the river over the years, even at one point having our own resident otter, it’s sad now to report that we’ve seen a real decline in wildlife.
In part this comes from an increase in human activity – wildlife likes its own space, and peace and quiet – something that’s not an option on these hot summer evenings.
Will’s put in place several wildlife-friendly initiatives and runs the business as environmentally friendly as he possibly can. He’s made a real effort to preserve the banks for wildlife by planting indigenous trees. Maintaining the bank helps to secure habitats for many birds and mammals.
Nature and the Levels play a massive part in what Will makes here, he’s often said to be inspired by the richness and diversity of wildlife that Langport has on offer.
But lately, more so than the wildlife there’s the litter and pollution that we notice left over from gatherings - chip wrappers, plastic bottles, all left to roll in the river, or be rescued by a discerning passer-by.
The bins on occasion are overflowing. They can’t cope with the amount of rubbish from that many visitors – so we would love to see more people taking their litter home with them.
And then there’s the runoff into the river from the farms making the river more hazardous for swimmers.
As much as we love seeing people enjoying themselves, it’s with a sense of environmental responsibility that we encourage people to be thoughtful when enjoying our stretch of river, to respect the wildlife and not scare it off, and to be mindful of others wanting to experience Langport at its best.
And if we can all do our bit, Langport will continue to thrive.