Surfers and watersports enthusiasts have been gathering in North Devon this week to mark the region’s official designation as a World Surfing Reserve. A statue is to be unveiled in Woolacombe by surfers, coastal experts, locals and environmental groups.

The North Devon coastline was designated a World Surfing Reserve last year and will join California’s Malibu and Santa Cruise and Australia’s Golden Coast and Manly as some the world’s best locations to go surfing. The recognition also marks North Devon has having a cultural importance to the surfing community. There are just 12 World Surfing Reserves around the world.

Speaking to the BBC, Kevin Cook, who regularly surfs around the North Devon coastline, said: “We are delighted to have this remarkable coastline recognised for its quality surf and precious eco system. We can now work together to protect this area for generations to come.”

Kevin Cook was one of the people who initially proposed making North Devon a surfing reserve. This along with the existing AONB status will mean that the coastline will be protected and conservation efforts will become a priority for the future.

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