UPDATE: The staircase to access Bedruthan Steps beach is now open. However with the Atlantic still throwing some lively winter weather our way do take care! The tide times are posted in the car park and at the top of the steps, so allow plenty of time at low tide to explore the beach and get back to the steps before the tide comes in. There are over 130 steps to get up and down and can be slippery in the wet so access with care.
We had hoped, as usual, to be able to open the staircase that gives access to Bedruthan Steps beach in time for February half term. However, with the storms still raging and more big tides due, we will not be opening the stairs to the public just yet! Apologies for any convenience.
The Carnewas cafe and National Trust shop will be open for business, so please do pop in and shelter from the weather for a warming drink and a browse in the shop.
Mike – Head Ranger
Today, after months of planning, the wreck of the Sanu, has been broken up and removed from the Gannel Estuary in Newquay, where she has lain aground since 2002. The work to remove the wreck has involved liaison with the Duchy of Cornwall, Newquay Town Council, The Marine Management Organisation, The Environment Agency, the Coastguard, external environmental consultants and the appointed demolition contractors.
The history – The Sanu is a former Admiralty supply boat built in 1942 in Looe, Cornwall and comes with an interesting nautical and literary history. She was, for a while, owned by Cornish Author Denys Val-Baker and featured in two of his books including ‘To Sea with Sanu’ and ‘The Petrified Mariner’. She was in transit along the North Cornish Coast bound for restoration in Bristol in April 2002 when problems meant that she was forced to take refuge in the Gannel Estuary. Without power she was driven far up the estuary on a high spring tide and grounded. The area where she lies is in the ownership of the Duchy of Cornwall but was formerly leased to the Trust. Over the years after she arrived in the Gannel she changed hands many times but by 2011 the latest owners could not be traced and the Trust went through a legal process to take ownership. We tried to sell her in 2011 but a buyer could not be found.
Removal of the vessel – Whilst we recognised that the boat has had an interesting history and that a number of local people have come to value her feeling that she added character to the estuary, there were other issues. She has been the focus of antisocial behaviour and Devon and Cornwall Police have expressed concerns about her continued presence in the estuary. The condition of the boat has deteriorated so much that there was little doubt that she would break up becoming an ever increasing hazard to those who use the estuary. It is for these reasons that the Trust reluctantly took the decision to remove her.
The coastguard confirmed that it would have been far too dangerous to try to float and remove the vessel by sea. The only other option was to break her in situ.
Importantly, we have had marine archaeologists in attendance before and during the demolition to record the wreck. Several pieces have been salvaged for study at Bournemouth University. In addition to this some parts of the boat were removed in June and have been reused in a Channel 4 TV programme ‘Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home’. In co-operating with the film company the Trust was keen to ensure a reuse for at least parts of the boat and to encourage an interest in reuse and recycling of materials more generally.
Our Walk on the Wild Side event took place over last weekend. It was one of many walking activities running this autumn as part of the Trust’s Great British Walk campaign. Our offering was a Ranger-led two day coast path hike between Newquay and Padstow with an overnight stop at our Park Head bunkhouse. We were pretty much fully booked with 13 intrepid walkers joining us for the challenge. The weather couldn’t have been kinder with blue skies and gentle winds. It also emerged that there was much to celebrate. Not only was a member of the party, Andrew Easterbrook, celebrating his 50th birthday with his family, but the youngest walker Hannah aged 8 was walking with her mum to raise funds towards a much needed Green Space sensory garden at Double Trees School in St. Austell. There is limited green space available for the children attending the school, which is now working with The Sensory Trust to find ways to create more for the children to enjoy. Hannah’s brother Felix, who has special educational needs, attends Double Trees and will directly benefit from the new garden.
With packed lunches loaded, sunscreen on (Yes, in October!) we set off from Fistral in Newquay with about 11 miles to cover, with the ‘carrot’ of a cream tea waiting for us back at the bunkhouse. A relaxing evening was spent resting aching feet and enjoying chef-Sarah’s delicious bolognese followed by jam roly-poly and custard – Awwesome! Day 2, and we awoke to some thick mist, but this soon burnt off and the weather was even better than the day before. It was a long second day, clocking up 14 miles, but all agreed that the coastal scenery on this stretch was amazing. After 8 hours walking we dropped down from Stepper Point to Padstow Harbour under a late afternoon sun, with Hannah leading the way. Our late afternoon arrival was a bonus for some, as several walkers discovered the pasty shops selling off their wares cheap!
Overall we passed or walked on about 16 beaches -and some of Cornwall’s most stunning – 5 headlands, past numerous iron age cliff castles and bronze age barrows, a lighthouse, and one estuary with glorious views all along from the cliff tops. Extra sights included a toga wearing stag party at Newquay and a wedding at Watergate Bay!
It was a very enjoyable walk in the company of a fab group of people, who were such fun and great to chat to. Congratulations and thanks for attending the event to: Andrew, Jackie, Holly, Rosie, Joanna, Colin, Angesselle, Hannah, Delia, William, Liz, Nicky and Penny!
Looking forward to planning next years!
To find out more about the Great British Walk visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatbritishwalk
Mike – Head Ranger
Our full time volunteers have been working hard getting to grips with the use of letter templates and an electric router to hand craft a range of new way marking posts for our coastal property at Carnewas. The posts start life as a milled piece of 4×4 inch square green oak 6 feet long. The appropriate information is drawn onto each face and routed out. With a final sanding down to smooth off the hardwood timber and a lick of paint where needed the job is done. These have now all been installed on site this week. I think the team are justifiably proud of their efforts!
Mike Simmonds, Head Ranger, Tintagel to Holywell
Yesterday we spent the day at Carnewas forging ahead with our Coast Path improvement projects. One of these is rebuilding a section of Cornish hedge. I had 3 tonnes of stone delivered for this purpose a while back, and we turned up to find that the entire pile of rocks had been turned into dozens of sculptures! – Stone towers, mini ‘Stonehenges’, faces – allsorts. It was certainly attracting the attention of the many walkers and visitors who saw it. I wonder who got the ball rolling and made the first one?……
Mike Simmonds, Head Ranger, Tintagel to Holywell
Dive into Polzeath Marine Discovery Day!
Love Polzeath? Prepare to be amazed at the Polzeath Marine Discovery Day on Thursday 30th May, 11:00 until 16:00. What better way to entertain the family during half-term than with a FREE, FUN and FASINATING day out to the beautiful Polzeath beach!
Polzeath Marine Discovery Day is a day to celebrate and explore! Join our marine experts who will be holding stalls on the beach. Rebekah Scott, seasonal ranger for the Group, says ‘this is a wonderful opportunity to discover the mystery of its amazing marine life that makes Polzeath so special! The public can visit the ‘Seaweed Supermarket,’ rescue a dolphin, and scavenge along the strandline to win prizes!’ Join the National Trust at their beach marquee for a variety of craft activities, including to enter the grand sand sculpture competition – see below for some ideas from previous competitions for inspiration!
Experts from organisations such as Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Marine Biological Association, National Trust, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Shark Trust, RSPB, Cornwall Seal Group and Beach Care will be present at the event with displays, stalls and activities to engage the public in our wonderful sea. Rebekah continues ‘along with the fantastic stalls we have on offer, our brilliant Marine Centre will be open to the public where people can get creative at the Salty Animation Station, make your Wish on a Wave, check out the Tank and place your bid in the Silent Auction!’.
The event has been organised by Polzeath Marine Conservation Group (PMCG) who actively support Polzeath Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (PVMCA). The PVMCA includes the ‘inter-tidal areas’ between the headland points of Pentire and Trebetherick, and the splash zone from Baby Bay to Pentire Point. At low tide, the exposed rocks on either side of Polzeath beach combine to form one of North Cornwall’s largest inter-tidal areas. This ‘oasis’ of rock provides a habitat that supports a wealth of important and delicate marine wildlife. Learn how you can help protect this important marine environment and discover what makes it so unique. The public can end the day by joining us on our Big Rock Pool Ramble, be guided across the rock pools at low tide and uncover mysterious and amazing creatures from starfish to sea slugs.
The whole family can have fun and get creative. No age limit, no need to book, just join us at the beach and at Polzeath Marine Centre! If the weather is not on our side then we shall all be at the Tubestation. If you want to go on the Big Rock Pool Ramble do wear suitable clothing and footwear that are secure and you don’t mind getting wet (no crocks or flip-flps!).
Find out more:
Phone: 07779 896650
Facebook: Polzeath Marine Conservation Group and Centre