Bridport has been recognised for its work in responsible and sustainable water use.

The town has become Dorset’s first recognised Wessex Watermark Town after completing a successful pilot project with Wessex Water.

The civic award was presented as a legacy of the two-year Community Connectors programme with the water and sewage company.

READ: Wessex Water £180,000 sewer project in West Bexington

The project saw individuals, groups and organisations work together to meet shared environmental and social goals in the town and the award has been welcomed by the town council.

Bridport Town Council clerk Will Austin said: “The town council is pleased to receive this recognition of our work, alongside other groups in Bridport and West Bay, to promote responsible water use. 

"The Community Connectors initiative that underpins the award has also helped us to develop our relationship with Wessex Water, and we hope and expect this will extend into other important aspects of our water such as the supply and infrastructure locally."

READ: Wessex Water tour of the path that Bridport's sewage takes

As part of the pilot project, Wessex Water provided more than £28,000 of funding to six projects, all aimed at resolving issues relating to water, wastewater, society and the environment.

The funding was administered by Dorset Community Foundation and projects included garden improvements, river water quality monitoring, creating a nature trail and installing two drinking water refill points.

READ: New water refill stations erected in Bridport and West Bay

An educational map was also produced for schools to show where Bridport’s water comes from, how much is used and what happens after it goes down the drain.

Wessex Water’s head of community engagement Kirsty Scarlett presented the Watermark to Caroline Pearce, community initiatives officer at the town council.

She said: “One of the most important things about the pilot project has been learning how to work more closely with the Bridport community to make positive changes. 

“We’ve looked at different, positive ways to engage and work with our customers to meet shared goals and challenges around the changing climate and future water resources.

READ: Seven-figure project to tackle sewage in Toller Porcorum

“Beyond the end of the project, we’re looking to continue to develop our relationship with communities.

"That means increasing access and information for local people, such as providing drop-in sessions for regular in-person support – these will be held every other month from July onwards in Bridport.

“We’ll be taking everything we’ve learned from the project and making it available to more towns in our region, with the Watermark status rewarding those who value water and understand the supply and waste systems.”