Britains top surfers get onboard in South West

Ben Skinner, Longboarding champion and National Trust Ambassador

Ben Skinner, Longboarding champion and National Trust Ambassador

Latest update 20.11.2013 15:18

Longboarding champions joined the National Trust Surf Ambassadors Project to support and promote the conservation work carried out by us in the surfers’ playgrounds along the Devon and Cornwall coast.  The ambassadors each carry our oak leaf on their boards and champion our work.

How do our surf ambassadors help us?

  • Communicating through a variety of media from short films to facebook
  • Getting involved in local coastal conservation projects
  • Helping at eco-surf events with our rangers, spending the morning carrying out conservation work on the dunes, cliffs and heathlands overlooking the water, and the afternoon appreciating their hard work from the sea.

Who are our surfers?
Alan Stokes 2009 British Champion, Jayce Robinson 2011 British Nationals Runner-up, Celine Gehret and Dan ‘mole’ Joel legendary big wave surfer have been working with us for the last few years.

Just recently, they've been joined by a host of Britain’s best longboarders. The group includes European Longboard Champion Ben Skinner, runner-up Adam Griffiths, Ben Howarth, Candice O’Donnell, Becky Stanhope and Raife Gaskell.

Stoked to be helping out
After a quick brief on how we manage the local area, the ambassadors were put to it on vital conservation work.

‘I had a lot of fun and learnt lots about the National Trust and what they do for the coastline. I'll be getting my hands dirty and involved in the conservation work again’, said Candice O’Donnell, the 2011 British Longboard Champion.

Ambassadors are National Trust volunteers and they join some 60,000 others who give up their time to help us. Raife Gaskell said he was ‘stoked to be helping out and am impressed how many volunteers you have'.

After a couple of hours’ hard graft clearing scrub, the tide dropped enough to get in the water. Ambassadors were watching it while they worked and knew the peak they wanted to surf. There was healthy competition between the short and longboarders in the line-up but everyone was stoked to be the only ones in the water.

Back in British waters
For many, after wintering in places like Costa Rica, it was great to back in the water in Britain.

‘I think that the Trust rangers are doing a great job by keeping the coastline looking pristine; it makes the surfing experience much more enjoyable with an amazing background like at Sandymouth’, said Ben Haworth, 2011 British Longboard Champion.

‘It’s a real privilege to be working with such amazing surfers who are so down to earth and so interested in our work' said Rob Joules, Watersports Co-ordinator for the National Trust.

'We manage and maintain the coastline for everyone to enjoy but rely heavily on donations to allow us to continue.'