The Cruel and Curious Sea 2014

On the last weekend of September the National Trust played host to some of the regions most inspiring creative minds, artists, bohemians and vagabonds at our rangers office in the wilds of the North Cornwall countryside.

Under the watchful eyes of Roo Shepard, Cai from Hickory Nines, and our NT rangers, a team of volunteers gave their time to transform the old farmhouse at Stow Barton into a magical art exhibition for a couple of evening…

The artists, all working under the theme of the Cruel and Curious Sea, created some awe-inspiring and diverse work. Thoughts of sea monsters just out of sight in the sea mist, songs of pirates and smugglers, the feel of sea spray on your face. A world away from the candy-floss kiss-me-quick of the traditional seaside image postcard.

And we filmed it.
We spoke to the organisers and some of the artists, and we tried to capture the essence of the weekend….

We hope you enjoy it

Cruel and Curious 2014 from North Cornwallnt on Vimeo.

Directed and Edited by Rhodri Davies (NT)
Camera work by Rhodri Davies, Cai Waggett and Elizabeth Shaw
Music ‘Wait Until Darkness Comes’ by Lesley Young

Project supported by Finisterre Clothing, Harbour Brewing Co., Fear Design and The National Trust

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Winter working


The joys of winter working include sunset strolls back to the truck after a day’s hard grafting on the coast path near Tintagel.

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Events and ranger days in North Cornwall T to H Jan and Feb 2015-page0001

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Winter Beaches

Thanks to Cornwall’s unique position on the south west peninsula, 80% of the county is surrounded by water, giving Cornwall the longest stretch of coastline in the UK at 697km. In fact, in Cornwall you are never more than 16 miles from the sea. With over 300 beaches to choose from, just because it’s not summer it doesn’t mean you can’t continue to reap the benefit of the rugged coastline.

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Here’s a date for your diary…

Come down to Boscastle for some Christmas shopping bargains on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th December


Normal winter opening hours. 10.30 until 3.30 in the cafe and 4pm in the shop.

And new for this year, our neighbours at the Witchcraft Museum and opening during the weekend, and over the Christmas holidays. Details below..

winter_times_poster (2)

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New volunteer ranger on the block


I’m Sarah the latest volunteer ranger to arrive at the Morwenstow to Boscastle team.

 I graduated from Plymouth University this summer with a degree in geography. Until nearly two weeks ago I was a volunteer at Hengistbury Head nature reserve close (ish) to where I live in Dorset. I really enjoyed this and decided to apply for a full time volunteer post in this beautiful part of Cornwall. I am particularly interested in the use of grazing within habitat management and a large part of my final year was based around my dissertation on the role of rare breeds within conservation sites in Dorset.

 Just in these two weeks I have learnt so many new skills and really got a feel for the huge variety of work involved as a ranger and hope that I can eventually apply these to a career in the conservation sector.

 I had great fun cutting back scrub with the conservation volunteer group last Sunday in Boscastle and made full use of the farm shop at the end of the day by having the largest hot chocolate going!

 I have also been helping with repairs to the steps at St Gennys, beach cleans at Sandymouth and the building of five kissing gates, one of which I am proudly standing next to in this photo!


Look forward to seeing you out and about,




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Surfs up!


On 25th and 26th October, Crantock beach near Newquay hosted the finals of the BLU 2014 series in some fairly blustery weather. If you were walking on the beach you may have seen groups of surfers wearing brightly coloured vests paddling out through the white stuff. Alternatively, you may just have seen a group of hardy judges, hunkered down in the back of our pickup trying to judge the competition and shelter from the worst of the wind! Here’s an event report from Vic Danks from the British Longboard Union.

The final event (event # 4) of the series was held at Crantock in solid 4-5 ft surf with off/side shore winds.
Strong performances in heavy surf at a challenging Crantock Beach decided the divisional championships for 2014.

Big thanks to our main sponsors, The Bowgie and the National Trust. Big thanks to all our other sponsors, Custard Point, Robies, Ocean and Earth. And thanks to the RNLI for providing cover for the event.

Event results can be found at on the ‘results’ page with highlights below. Final standings will also be published on the BLU website.

2014 Division Champions

Open Ben Skinner (with four straight wins)
Single Fin Equal first Connor Griffiths & Ben Skinner
Ladies Claire Smail
U16 Boys Jack Unsworth
U18 Boys Jack Unsworth
U18 Girls Equal first Maisie Marshall & Emily Currie
Masters Colin Bright
Grand Masters Colin Bright

If you’ve been inspired to test the waters and give surfing a go, North Cornwall is definitely a good place to look. There are surf schools at many a National Trust beach including:

Holywell Bay – or
Crantock –
Sandymouth –

North Cornwall Ranger

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Cliffs and Coffee

Saturday 8 November

Hear about the extraordinary cliffs and rocks of the area over a cuppa, and then explore the geology and its wildlife on a walk with local expert Jane Anderson
Meet at the National Trust café, Boscastle. Grid reference SX 096 914, PL35 0HD
£4 to include tea or coffee – pay on the day
Wear appropriate clothing for the weather.
10.30am – 1pm  Booking not needed

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Heroes of Scrub

Scrub season in North Cornwall. Only the bravest of the brave take on the thorns, brambles, smokey bonfires and often less than perfect weather in the name of conservation. They do it for the wildflowers. They do it for the insects and they definitely do it for the birds as well. A large amount of the National Trusts’ work that is done in North Cornwall, especially over winter revolves around returning clifftops dominated by gorse and blackthorn to their previous incarnation of maritime grassland. This habitat is richly diverse, with an array of wildflowers benefiting a host of insects which in turn allow for a wider variety of bird life. Without volunteers to help us, this conservation work would be a colossal task and so to our volunteers, we salute you!

On Wednesday 29 October on coastal slopes above Lundy Bay, we were joined by 3 families, our first Heroes of Scrub of the 2014/2015 season. Much scrub was cleared, and many marshmallows were toasted (safely over a bucket of ash!). If you would like to join us and also become a Hero of Scrub, check out our events pages or email me to find out more and you too could see your photo in this hall of fame!

Our Heroes of Scrub

Attards assemble! These londoners gave the scrub some attitude.

Attards assemble! These londoners gave the scrub some attitude.

The Payns from Wadebridge gave it everything they had.

The Payns from Wadebridge gave it everything they had.

Mike Eley and friends. They arrived late in the day but stayed on till the bitter end.

Mike Eley and friends. They arrived late in the day but stayed on till the bitter end.

National Trust ... one Scrub...nil

National Trust … one

These guys don’t mind finding gorse needles in their boots two days later. Get in touch and get involved!

North Cornwall Ranger (Holywell – Tintagel)

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Geology Rocks! Tuesday 28 October

Geology Rocks walk photo by Jenny Lord
Join us on a guided walk
Geology Rocks! Pentire Head, near Polzeath.
Interpret the coastal landscape from a different perspective – join local expert Jane Anderson to guide us through the geological history of the area. With insights from National Trust rangers on wildlife and history too, this should prove to be a fascinating walk.

Meet at the National Trust Lead Mines car park, near New Polzeath. Grid reference SW 941 799, PL27 6QY
11am – 3pm
Wear suitable walking gear and bring refreshments, a packed lunch and binoculars if you have them.
£3 per person
Booking essential 01208 863046

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