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Operating Structure

A small core independent central team is supported and guided by a Local Stewardship Council (LSC) which is made up of a collective of individuals from local councils, environmental organisations, landowners, local and national authorities, educational and research organisations, local businesses, local clubs and of course the local community. All of which can use their influence and power to drive the common, agreed strategic objectives of the Surfing Reserve. The LSC is scheduled to meet once a quarter.


The Core Team works directly with Save the Waves and operates within the established World Surfing Reserve proven model. The Core Team also shares learning and best practice with the other 11 reserves around the world on quarterly calls.


Several activities can be led by the central team but many of the activities will require the LSC to take ownership of areas of responsibility on behalf of the whole Reserve. The LSC is fundamental to the Surfing Reserves success, and each member of the council will bring the power they hold within their role at the organisation or network they represent.


No such forum has ever existed in the UK – to protect the waves, surfing, surf culture and experience.   The LSC was created in 2018 for the initial World Surfing Reserve application, maintained for the 2019 application and has indicated that they will support the national approach.


The Surfing Reserve will need to receive funding for key bits of core work (research, awareness etc) and has reviewed various options for structures. The conclusion is that it makes sense to establish a charity in order to to accept donations and grant funding. It is expected that work will be undertaken in a voluntary capacity in the first year.

Local Stewardship Council

National Environmental Organisations

Environment Agency, National Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, Blue Marine Foundation

Local Environmental Organisations

Exmoor National Park, North Devon Coast: Area of Outstanding Beauty, North Devon's Biosphere Reserve, Plastic Free North Devon, Pickwell Foundation, Devon Local Nature Partnership, Exmoor National Park

National Surf / Ocean Organisations

Surfing England, RNLI, Museum of British Surfing, Surfdome, The Wave Project, Surf Life Saving GB,

Local Surf / Ocean Organisations

Croyde Surf Club, Wave Wahines, Hotdoggers Surf Club, North Devon Schools Surfing, Woolacombe Boardriders Surf Club, Woolacombe SLSC, The Point Magazine,

Educational and Research Organisations

University of Plymouth, The Ilfracombe Academy

Local Government

Mortehoe Parish Council, Georgeham and Croyde Parish Council, Lynton and Lynmouth Parish Council, North Devon Council, Braunton Parish Council

Beaches and Tourism

Visit Devon, Visit North Devon and Exmoor, Croyde Beach / Ruda, Putsborough Beach, Downend Car Park / Croyde, Saunton Beach and Villas, Woolacombe Beach / Parkin Estates

LSC Consultation & Scope

The Surfing Reserve designation will serve as a driver for local councils and service providers commit to the sustainable and respectful growth of the linked surfing economy though setting goals for supporting infrastructure (e.g. surf clubs and facilities), council services (e.g. waste), transport (local buses), carrying capacity – within community defined environmental and social thresholds.


The LSC has been consulted to establish the strategic objectives of the Surfing Reserve listed above.  As it moves ahead the LSC will then be asked to communicate the objectives within their teams, networks and with their stakeholders and challenge. They would endorse action that supports the objectives in the daily workings.


A number of LSC members would also take a lead role in the actions described in the Scope of Work and listed in the Proposed Activities.


The Surfing Reserve will have a small core team moving ahead with coordinating operations. This is currently led by volunteers and will rely on LSC members and other sponsors to support and sometimes fund the key recommended action steps.

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