NATIONAL TRUST – ROSELAND AND VERYAN BAY
A newsletter from the local Rangers
The Roseland has some amazing beaches where not only do we get close to the sea but also enjoy access to the shore where hundreds of species of plants and animals are adapted to life in the intertidal and strand zones. But the sea continually washes all kinds of litter onto the shore so Rangers and volunteers need to carry on cleaning the National Trust beaches for wildlife and for people.
Porthcurnick and Pendower community volunteers say that plastic is the most common rubbish material collected at the National Trust’s monthly beach cleans. Plastic bottles, lids, bags, cigarette lighters, rope, fishing line and nets are regularly found, and particularly difficult to collect are the tiny balls of polystyrene, broken down from larger chunks.
The Marine Conservation Society reports that 2,500 items of rubbish occur for every kilometre of UK beach; their research also shows that plastic litter on beaches has increased 140% since 1994. Plastic never bio-degrades, it just breaks down into small pieces but does not disappear. Micro plastic particles have been found inside mussels, oysters and scallops. Seals and dolphins eat pieces of plastic mistaking them for real food, and sea birds confuse plastic pellets with fish eggs and will often feed them to their chicks. The MCS is urging us all to reduce our plastic footprint!
Clean shores are essential for biodiversity. Low tide fell to chart datum last month, which is as low as it gets. Beds of eel grass were exposed, the bright green leaves a home for the splendid little seahorse – actually a fish. Close to the eel grass we found maerl, the ‘Twiglet’ shaped pieces of a coral-like red seaweed which provide an ecologically complex and important habitat for marine invertebrates. The presence of eel grass and maerl beds contributes to the Special Area of Conservation status for part of the Fal.
A big beach picnic with a cool coast bake off
As part of its Coastal Festival 2015, the National Trust is hosting picnic events at beaches across the UK on Saturday 4th July. In celebration of the Roseland’s shores your local Rangers invite you to join us on that day for a picnic at Towan Beach.
Beach picnics are special occasions leaving happy memories of great times by the sea with friends and family, so bring a picnic along to Towan Beach between 12 noon and 3 pm, for an afternoon of fun with a coastal theme!
Wow us with your baking skills and enter a cake in our Coast Bake Off. Please make a cake or bake that is inspired by the coast – by design, by taste, or by ingredients. From mermaid munchies to rock-pool rock cakes or a starfish sponge, the choice is yours – we can’t wait to taste them. Judging begins at 2pm so please bring your cake entry to us before then. Prize giving is at 2.45pm. All cakes or bakes will then be sliced and sold for donations to the National Trust.
Your cake will become an edible donation! All funds raised will go towards a local NT project.
If Beach Art is your thing, then get creative on the day and fashion a sculpture or sandcastle out of sand and other things you find on the beach. Again, judging begins at 2pm. There will be face painting for the kids, and all the family can join the treasure hunt to answer the questions posed by our Fishy Quiz. You might like to try floating a seaweed to create your own special seaweed art to take home.
Please bring your own picnic. The Thirstea Tea Company will be on site as usual, selling tea, coffee, cakes, ice creams and more.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/swcoast for more information on Coastal Festival 2015.