Wreckers in Porth Mear

If you have taken a stroll down the Porth Mear valley over the last few months, you won’t have had to be too eagle-eyed to have noticed something different about it.


An unusual lizard now lives in the valley

The lush valley often feels a world away from the crashing seas and craggy headland of the neighbouring Park Head. Offering valuable shelter from the weather rolling in across the sea, in winter it is dominated by stands of common reed. Later on in spring, it can be flushed with bluebells before the bracken steals the show into summer.

This summer, poking its bow up out of a sea of bracken is a shipwreck populated by lizards, owls and a whole host of other local wildlife.


Wrecked in the bracken

But this wreck hasn’t been lured ashore by Poldark-esque locals waving lanterns on a stormy night. This wreck has been created by a Somerset based chainsaw artist called Matt Crabb, pieced together from windfall beech and ‘washed ashore’ by the North Cornwall ranger team.

The sculpture has been commissioned as part of the Coast Festival which we celebrated in 2015. This was the 50th anniversary of the Neptune project, a fundraising campaign established in 1965 to raise funds to protect and secure our special coast line in the UK.

The shipwreck can be seen at any time of year as the vegetation grows then dies back around it. To reach the sculpture, there’s a lovely 4.5 mile circular walk that you can do from either the Park Head or Carnewas car parks. The walk takes in Park Head with views over the beach at Bedruthan Steps before descending down into the Porth Mear Valley itself. You can download the route here as one of our downloadable walks. Why not take a stroll and see what you can discover? Here’s a hint; the sculpture is just south of point 6 on the downloadable map.

Watch this space for a time lapse video of the work that went into the sculpture’s installation. The most challenging part of construction was possibly getting the timber into the valley which was impossible to access with a  vehicle!


Matt Crabb (Somerset based chainsaw artist) at the beginning of a long day constructing the sculpture. The hardest part of a job on the coast can often be transporting the materials to the site.

We hope you enjoy discovering the sculpture on a walk in North Cornwall.

Tom Sparkes North Cornwall Ranger

One thought on “Wreckers in Porth Mear

  1. Hi,

    Knowing that valley as well as I do, long may it continue to be impossible to access with a vehicle! It is a special place and has a special place in my heart. Full of birds and other wildlife, you clearly manage the area very well.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell and naturestimeline

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