Back On the Cliff

I’ve been away for a few weeks, hence the weekly and sometimes more than weekly posts. I’ve been touring the south west with a performance in development with Dreadnought South West who I posted about here and here in 2013. If you are interested in the theatre development I’ve been involved with you can read about the process here.                          I’ve managed intermittent journeys back to the cliff over the last few weeks which is a riot of yellow at the moment with the gorse at its best. 20150419_141749 A hand rail has been installed at Freathy, which is fantastic particularly for the way back up. The steps were dug out a couple of years back when there was subsidence after the very wet winter. Apparently this had been the path years before and the steps were just overgrown with brambles. Not many of the cliff paths have handrails so believe me if you visit the beach you will be very happy with the aid of the hand rail to pull you back up. 20150412_170621

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Cabin envy 26

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Swedish summer house photo by Anna Bon Schewen

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Bottle Top Challenge continued

On Saturday we decided to head to St Germans for a pub lunch with friends, I had not checked Facebook beforehand, if I had I would have seen what was happening on Whitsand bay that day. I am still kicking myself that we swapped our usual walk to the beach with a lunch inland. This is what happened while we were gone and I have taken photos from the Tregantle Beach, Treasures, Trinkets and Trash Facebook page and I am sharing what Rame Peninsula Beach Care had to say…..it’s a call to arms basically.

I have written about the Bottle Top Challenge before and here it was in it’s finished state, 65,000 bottle tops collected off Cornish beaches in a few months highlighting the amount of plastic and trash in our seas that is killing marine wildlife.

Here is a call out from Rame Peninsula Beach Care

‘As you probably know, the timing of the event was because the government currently has a consultation open into the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (in which the UK must put forward proposals on how it plans to achieve good marine environmental status by 2020). One of the target areas is marine litter – but the only proposal put forward is to introduce education about marine litter in eco-schools. Education is obviously important, but this doesn’t go far enough!!
There are lots of other areas that urgently need tackling.
You have a chance to make a difference – please send in a response to the consultation (closing date April 24) by emailing: MSFDteam@defra.gsi.gov.uk or in writing to

Marine Strategy Framework Directive Implementation team
Area 8B Millbank
c/o Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London
SW1P 3JR

Tell them about what you saw yesterday, how the marine litter issue makes you feel, and how improved education in some schools, although important, is not going to stop the toxic tide that has allowed us to collect over 1 km (65,000) bottle tops from some beaches in just a few months!

If you need any ideas on areas to mention, these are some important ones we believe could make a real difference:
1) The need for plastics packaging producers to accept greater responsibility for their disposable products. We need a bottle deposit scheme for plastic bottles. Systems like this have reduced plastic bottle litter by up to 90% in countries where they are in place. We currently discard 15 million plastic bottles in the UK each day, of which over half are landfilled or littered.
2) A small surcharge on disposable plastic packaging. A 1p tax on bottles alone could raise £1 million a week. This could be spent (for example) on (a) a major nationwide online and media awareness campaign, (b) environmental warning labels on disposable plastic packaging and (c) a redesign of disposable plastic packaging to ensure it is 100% recycling.
3) An extension of the forthcoming charge on plastic shopping bags to all businesses rather than just stores with over 250 employees, as in the other countries of the UK.
4) Providing better disposal and recycling facilities for fishermen,
5) Banning all plastic micro-beads in cosmetics and taking stronger action on plastic sewage-related debris
6) Classifying balloon releases as littering, and therefore a criminal offence.’

If you want to see suggested text by Surfers Against Sewage for letters then head to the Rame Peninsula Beach Care Facebook page here  Also below is an amazing film by Paramore productions showing the bottle top chain being laid out and then walked down the cliff to the beach.

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Start of the season

The Easter holidays are traditionally the start of the tourist season, wall to wall cars heading south on the M5 and disgruntled travellers at the services yet once you get there and, even better, if the sun comes out then it’s all worth while.

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At the chalet we started the holiday weekend with a barbeque, and when everything was ready for us to sit down for our first outdoor meal, the sun came out. At the end of the afternoon as day trippers were leaving for the slow journey back on the ferry we headed out to soak up the last of the sun over Whitsand Bay.

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Sometimes those moments are the best bit of the day.

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Visit Cornwall’s Top Dog Friendly Walks

For the second year Visit Cornwall has Cawsand to Whitsand Bay as one of its top five dog friendly walks in Cornwall, recommended by the South West Coast Path.

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At 5.2 miles it combines stunning views of both West Devon and East Cornwall from Rame Head, plus a couple of miles of sandy beach along Whitsand Bay, an all year round dog friendly beach. Plenty of pubs in Kingsand and Cawsand to give you a hearty lunch before you set off and a reviving cuppa and homemade cake at the Cliff Top Cafe at the end.

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Poldark county

So last weekend saw the start of the new series of Poldark; I remember growing up during the original series and getting carried away by the romance and geography of Cornwall. Last Sunday during the first episode we saw Poldark galloping along the cliffs of Cornwall showing off all its ocean beauty and apparently, since then the traffic onto Cornish websites has been busy, the word is that the series will do wonders for the tourist trade.  There are countless articles about the locations used, one being Coast magazine. Lovely photographs, but I was confused by the image of Porthgwarra as it doesn’t look anything like the one I used to visit each year. Here is a picture of the Porthgwarra I know, at high tide there is no sand just a slipway for boats and through the cliffs there’s a tunnel which was dug by tin miners from St Just to give a horse-and-cart access to the beach to collect seaweed to use as a fertiliser.

For five years we used to holiday at Porth Curno and it was about a 45 minute walk along the South West coastpath to Porthgwarra and a big favourite with us. From the tiny shop at the top of the slipway you can buy pasties and a mug of tea to take onto the beach to watch the seals who come into the cove. Blissful.

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Boiler beach

On a dry Sunday, with a very low tide, we set off to walk along Whitsand Bay heading East towards Rame Head, it felt like a long time since we had visited that end. One of the beaches is known locally as boiler beach because of the ships boiler that nestles amoungst the rocks. .

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Although the tide was out there was water on the sand that gave the impression of a mirrored image and we had to navigate our way along. You don’t see the boiler straight away it almost blends in with the surrounding rocks.

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the question is what ship did this boiler come from? There is an argument that it comes from The Chancellor or the Emma Christ. Maybe we will never know, storms over the last couple of years and the displacement of sand has revealed other wreaks along the bay and it makes for interesting comments, some get covered again as the sand returns but this boiler always remains. If someone does know please feel free to leave a comment. Ta.

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