Restoring the Gascoigne – Oct 2020

Over the last few months Milborne Port Plastic Free Communities has been working with the West Country Rivers Trust to monitor and restore the river Gascoigne. Milborne Port is inseparable from its river, and the history of our community has been shaped for centuries by its waters.

The Domesday Book of 1086 records six mills in the village, and surviving mill sites stand mute witness to the river’s importance to past generations. The Gascoigne was once a source of unique, natural power, and over time countless lives and livelihoods have rested on the strength and health of the river.

Tracing the course of the river takes us back in time, from the industrial to the agricultural era, and finally to a period before both. Yet however far back we tread, the river remains at the centre of the story of Milborne Port. It is both old beyond measure, and eternally young, perpetually renewing itself from century to century, and moment to moment.

However important its economic role, throughout its life the river has always offered us more than a living. Its beauty can place us under a spell, taking us beyond the preoccupations and stresses of our daily lives, allowing us to live for that briefest of moments in a timeless present. In a way that escapes our understanding, the river helps us renew ourselves.

Unfortunately changing farming practices and the pressures of our ruthless, modern economy have taken a toll on the Gascoigne, and the river now resembles a shadow of what it once was. The Environment Agency classifies much of the river as in ‘poor’ health. Like so much of the natural world around us, our river faces a deepening, ecological crisis.

Increasingly hot and dry summers have also sapped the vitality of the  Gascoigne, and as climate change accelerates this attrition is likely to worsen. The wildlife that depends on the river’s health is also affected. When rivers suffer a cascade of effects spreads outwards, impacting other species, as the biodiversity on which they depend is destroyed.

Milborne Port relies on a healthy environment and clean water for public health, tourism, and agricultural sustainability. Fundamentally we are all dependent on the web of life that surrounds us. Rivers are a crucial thread in the complex pattern that sustains all of our lives. If you would like to help, please get in touch via

Climate change is a burning issue in Milborne Port

Along with millions across the globe, local residents joined a climate strike in Milborne Port, walking out of homes, schools and workplaces to meet others in solidarity, calling for climate justice and urgent action from government

Local resident Lucy MacArthur said, ‘we are heading for a catastrophe within a couple of generations, which organised society may not survive. We need urgent action now, not fairy tales of infinite growth and meaningless platitudes from government.’

Milborne Port’s children lead the way

Children from Milborne Port Primary school in collaboration with Milborne Port’s fish and chip shop, Something Else Fishy, are helping to make Milborne Port a plastic free community

From August 29, 2019, Something Else Fishy is ditching single-use, plastic carrier bags, replacing them with recyclable, paper ones.

Local children are leading the way in confronting the ecological crisis we all face. We all owe them our gratitude and support as they try to protect our collective future.

Cafe Pineapple fights plastic pollution

Cafe Pineapple, Milborne Port’s newest community enterprise, is helping to create a plastic free village.

Customers committed to a pollution free world will find a vibrant cafe that supports their vision, with compostable, disposable coffee cups, free refills for your water bottle, and a 25p discount for anyone bringing their own coffee cup.

Cafe Pineapple uses paper plates and recyclable cardboard for takeaway items and only sells water in recyclable, glass bottles.

There’s always a warm welcome at Cafe Pineapple

As well as providing a delicious range of food and drink, with daily vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options, Cafe Pineapple has made a significant contribution to helping Milborne Port on its journey towards plastic free community status.

Located in the heart of the village on the site of what was once the Queen’s Head, it’s easy to find Cafe Pineapple on Milborne Port’s main High Street (DT9 5FB). If you can, please support them. With a friendly welcome and a real commitment to a brighter future you won’t regret dropping in.

Milborne Port’s community tackles plastic pollution

Yesterday’s (Saturday 6 July, 2019) litter pick was a tremendous success for the community, with over ten bags of plastic waste and general litter removed from the streets of Milborne Port.

Every day eight million pieces of plastic find their way into our oceans and rivers, creating an ecological catastrophe that threatens wildlife along with the clean soil and water we all depend upon for survival.

Three adults and two children litter picking on Milborne Port High Street

While individual contributions may seem small in comparison to the scale of the problem, the fact that so many of us are now tackling plastic pollution is a real cause for hope.

Individual litter picker on East St, Milborne Port