Posted by Paula Woodward in Beaches, Cornwall,

Bude Sea Pool is a partly man-made and partly natural swimming pool tucked beneath the cliff at the northern side of Summerleaze Beach.

The sea pool provides a safe haven for swimmers who can enjoy the benefits of wild swimming without having to worry about the dangers of the sea such as rips, big waves and surfers.

The sea pool relies on management from the Friends of Bude Sea Pool (FoBSP), a local volunteer-run charity set up to maintain the sea pool and maintain it’s landmark status in Bude.

We spoke to Fay Hargreaves, a member of the Friends of Bude Sea Pool, to learn more about this fantastic facility.

How and why was the Friends of Bude Sea Pool charity created?

FoBSP was created due to the reaction from the public – both locals and visitors – to Cornwall Council’s withdrawal of funding for Bude Sea Pool. The council were going to demolish it due to ongoing maintenance costs.

The tide bashes the pool twice daily therefore the fabric of the pool is compromised. Coupled with the lack of investment over preceding years this meant a lot of money was needed to bring it back to life, and safety standards.

How do Friends of Bude Sea Pool make a difference?

FoBSP are a small committee supported by a larger group of volunteers who are passionate about Bude Sea Pool.

Bude relies on tourism for its economy and therefore the businesses are very supportive. FoBSP raise funds via advertising businesses, membership, beach hut rentals, deckchair rentals, events, merchandise sales, donations and grants.

We raise the profile of Bude Sea Pool via social media interaction, and proactively highlighting the profile of Bude as a holiday destination. The funds are all used to bring the pool up to date with maintenance to ensure the safety standards are met as best possible practice.

Funds also encourage local engagement, for example, starting a water polo club with a grant from Sport England.

What makes Bude Sea Pool an important feature on Summerleaze Beach?

Summerleaze Beach is the first beach visitors go to when entering Bude, it is safe swimming on the North Atlantic coast, making it very family friendly. It is also used for training.

Bude Surf Life Saving Club use the pool for nippers training, and surf schools use it for beginner surf lessons sometimes when the sea is too rough.

Who uses Bude Sea Pool?

Many locals and visitors use the natural pool instead of swimming in the sea or chlorinated water of leisure pools. The canoe club uses it sometimes, and schools use the pool for lessons.

Why is it important to maintain Bude Sea Pool?

It is vital to retain Bude Sea Pool as a free amenity, for safe swimming in an otherwise hazardous area, with large sea swells and many rescues, especially in the summer months.

Visitors to Bude use the pool and Bude relies on tourism for it’s economy. Historically Bude Sea Pool was built in 1930 to save lives; this heritage is continued today and we hope it will continue for many generations to come.

How does seawater quality or pollution affect Bude Sea Pool?

The run off from the valleys when it rains a lot comes down the river in to the sea, this in turn washes into the pool twice daily. Equally it is safe to swim most of the time.

The only times the pool is closed is when the sea is polluted by South West Water and we are notified from doing sampling. Mostly the water is fresh and clean and a wonderful place to swim or play.

For more information on the pool and how to find it, go to Friends of Bude Sea Pool.

Images courtesy of Symages Photography, Visit Cornwall and Adam Gibbard.