The Cruel & Curious Sea II

The Cruel & Curious Sea II

26th & 27th September 2014

5:30pm – 9:30pm
Stowe Barton, Cornwall, EX23 9JW

In association with:
Finisterre | Harbour Brewing Co | Dan Fear design

Hickory Nines and the National Trust once again host this popular art & photography spectacle that has a disquieting twist…

The Cruel & Curious Sea exhibition returns on the 26th & 27th of September, to the atmospheric 18th century stone barns of Stowe Barton, high above the rocky foreshores of Duckpool beach in North Cornwall, home to a plethora of myths and legends of wreckers, mermaids, lost sailors and lost souls…

Timed to coincide with the fading light over these two evenings on the last weekend of September, the show will once again feature a carefully picked selection of artists – some new, some returning – and all subjectively embracing the theme of the oft neglected realism of a life lived by & upon the tempestuous Atlantic.

As well as new artists and new areas, this year also sees the introduction of a Rum & Ale bar, ‘Bean Surfing’ coffee and fresh Seafood Chowder to warm the cockles of visiting folk.

The inaugural event in 2013 was a huge success, and reached capacity on both evenings. This year the opening times have been slightly extended to accommodate.

Once more the show aims to be an antidote to the over-saturated, frivolous seaside vistas found in postcards and paintings throughout our coastal communities; to provide a small but fitting tribute to the myth, murk and mystery, the long & tall tales, and the contemporary curios of this wild, ever-present and ever-precarious ocean.
Artists exhibiting include:

Andrew Wightman

Dan Fear

Daniel Scott

Danni Bradford

Golden Bear

Hana Backland

Hannah Wheeler

Ig Wilkinson


Jeff Sacree

Karl Mackie

Lee Robertson

Lisa Reading

Martin Dorey

Neil Stewart

Nicole Heidaripour

Paul Broomfield

Rachael Jenkins

Rich McGonigal

Robbie Jones

Roo Sheppard

Sue Read

& more.

26th & 27th September 2014 | 5:30pm – 9:30pm FREE ENTRY (donations appreciated)

Stowe Barton, Nr Bude, Cornwall, EX23 9JW


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Boscastle flood – ‘before and after’


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The Boscastle flood – ten years on

It’s ten years since the Boscastle flood ~ this Saturday 16th ~ to mark it, here’s a video from The National Trust about how the village has recovered in that time…

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Extra September date added to Polzeath Summer Trail Series

With requests for an extra event in the Polzeath Summer Trail Series, we have put our heads together with Bodmin Road Runners and come up with Tuesday 2 September at 7pm. If you’re interested in running with us please get in touch to book and find out further details. Call us on 01208 863821 or email

Polzeath Summer Trail series september

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Footpath transformation


With great relief and no small amount of sweating in the recent heat, the steps on the footpath heading from Lundy Bay towards the Bee Centre at Porteath have been completed! This footpath has always been quite steep and over the winter became quite slippery and tricky to use. So we have carved a new line into the hill, hopefully making it easier on the eye as well as knees and hips! We have spent three days preparing the new path, leveling out a new surface and then constructing steps on the steeper sections.

The National Trust rangers with the able bodied assistance of volunteers Roger and Karen rounded up our work last Wednesday, 6 August. We dug out the last few steps and even installed a few personalized and very unique steps on the way, to show our appreciation to our two stalwart volunteers. The new path should hopefully be an improvement that all visitors to Lundy Bay and Porteath can enjoy.

A big thank you again for all the help


North Cornwall Ranger

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Ger is one of our Full Time Volunteer rangers in North Cornwall, living out of Pentireglaze near Polzeath. Joining us from Killarney in the south west of the Emerald Isle, he will be working with us for a fair few months with the idea to pick up some skills and experience, making him a prime candidate to step into a job in conservation. He studied Ecology at University College Cork, loves a bit of hill walking, writing and even tried his hand at surfing recently with Crantock Bay Surf School. Its good to have him in the team, and its great to have another accent in the mix!


As Ger would say, ‘be good now’!


North Cornwall Ranger

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Polzeath runners laugh in the face of rain!

Check out those colours!

Check out those colours!

Despite a forecast for heavy rain, we had 13 runners turn up on Tuesday 5th for our August edition of the Polzeath Summer Trail series. Set to be our third and final running event of the summer, it seems that our runners enjoyed it so much they’re calling out for a fourth date in September! Watch out on our blog and Facebook for further details.

We had one runner joining us all the way from the Lake District, quite a few from the Polzeath – Wadebridge area and then various runners from Bodmin Road Runners and Bodmin Womens Running Club.

This spectator thought the idea of running 5 miles was very a-moozing...

This spectator thought the idea of running 5 miles was very a-moozing…

Pentire Head looks just as good on a moody, cloudy day as it does in the sunshine and we just about managed to avoid the rain until the final half mile. I reckon you burn off at least twice as many calories when its raining anyway!

Drawing the line at a soggy beach BBQ, we opted to move inside our trailer shed for a bit of National Trust ambience.

We’ve had a great time introducing runners to the joys of the Pentire head coast path trails. Watch this space for future running events in North Cornwall.

North Cornwall Ranger

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Bug Hotel

hunt for bugs jpeg

Another summer activity for the children these holidays! This is going to be brilliant!! Give your garden beasties the V.I.P treatment this summer – join us at Tintagel Old Post Office NT on August 6th to make and take ‘bug hotels’ to encourage their habitation in your garden.
Hunt for bugs as part of the #50Things to do before you’re 11 3/4 and collect the sticker for your 50 Things scrapbook, also available here.
(Normal admission charges apply. Members free)


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Go Wild in the Woods

One for the school holidays!! ‘Go Wild in the Woods’ this Saturday 9 August from 10 til 5 ~

Join us in building dens, cooking on camp-fires and searching for wildlife. These are the things you will get up to if you join our National Trust rangers for the day in the woods in #Boscastle.

Meet in the pay and display car park in Boscastle (not National Trust) grid ref SX096914 PL35 0HD.

Bring along clothes and footwear suitable for the weather and a packed lunch. Just £5 per person (payable in advance, limited places so booking is essential) Call 01208 863046. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult

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Balsam Roundup

Every Tuesday throughout June and July our team of conservation volunteers have been working with us as part of a long term project to remove Himalayan balsam from the river Valency catchment in Boscastle. Yesterday was our last outing to uproot this non-native, invasive species. Disturbing the seed pods can cause them to explode spreading the seeds several metres so we stop uprooting the plant as soon as the pods are ripe, or we run the risk of making the problem worse.

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We have been stung by nettles, scratched by brambles, wilted by the sun and eaten alive by horseflies but we carried on unhindered and I am pleased to say we have made huge progress. It was also very encouraging that in some areas along the valley there has been a marked reduction in the presence and density of the balsam. This year we have concentrated mainly in the upper parts of the catchment but we will only be able to see if our efforts have been rewarded if next year we see a further decrease in the number of balsam plants.

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We cannot say thank you enough to everyone who has helped us on this project. We could not attempt to do this with out their help and we are, as ever, hugely grateful for their continued support. I hear they are already looking forward to more of the same next year!

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