Compared to so many other places we have got off lightly. There are however a couple of places where footbridges have been torn away by the sea. At Baby Bay, also known as Pentireglaze Haven, near Polzeath the footbridge is now totally gone…
It will take a while to get replacement wood to construct a new one. In the meantime to get round, please walk down onto the beach where access across the stream is easier and then back up onto the path. Check tide times though, as it may not be possible to access the beach when the tide is high!
We’ve also had bridges affected by the raging water at Polly Joke and Holywell, both still accessible and safe to use. We will be carrying out improvements over the next few weeks.
Just off our land at Porth Mear, Park Head (north of Bedruthan Steps), the footbridge has been ripped out of its position and the stream considerably widened. It will take a while to sort out new access across the stream here. Until then the Cornwall Council Rights of Way team have put in a diversion.
Carolina Cellars at Port Quin, one of our holiday cottages, had tiles blown off by the powerful waves. Fortunately we had already moved the holiday makers to another cottage so the property was empty at the time. Also at Port Quin, rocks were washed up off the beach and strewn across the road, the life ring and rope were ripped out of their storage box and wrapped around the bridge. Life ring, rope and rocks all back where they should be for now!
At Port Gaverne, again we had a life ring and rope to recover and replace in its storage box and rocks and boulders washed across the road to remove. The sea hit us harder in Port Gaverne this month than last, this time doors to storage units were smashed in by the waves and the steps down to the beach broken away.
The beach is still easily accessible without the need for the steps at the moment. They will however be replaced at some point.
The steps down to Lundy Bay have had some damage too. A number of the steps are now missing, we have put rope across the top to stop people from going down. We will repair them and make them safe again as soon as possible.
Next week we will be checking the staircase at Carnewas down to Bedruthan Steps beach. We will let you know if they have held up against the batterings by the waves so that we can re-open the staircase for half term (starting 15 February).
The beaches have all been changing over the last few weeks with each high tide and the strong winds. Sand dunes have changed shape, some beaches are lower showing features not normally seen and streams are getting deeper, wider and changing route. The power of nature is both amazing and humbling.
What can you do? Please take notice of any signs and diversions, all in place to help keep you safe! The strong seas have bought in lots of rubbish, please take a bag with you and fill it with rubbish when you are out and about, take it home and bin it properly to help safeguard all our precious wildlife out there, some of which are really struggling with this mild, wet and windy winter.
If you see any issues anywhere, please let us know in case we don’t already know about them.
Sarah Stevens, Ranger, Tintagel to Holywell
No access to Strangles beach:
After we took another battering on Tuesday night, there is no longer access to Strangles beach. The wooden staircase has gone, along with the bottom few steps. The path is not closed, and looks safe to the public rescue equipment, but please do take care if you venture down there in case of land slips and crumbling cliffs. We would not advise attempting to climb down to the beach. We will be replacing the steps, but it will take us a while sourcing the timber and getting it down there.
Jenny Herbert, Ranger, Boscastle to Morwenstow