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National Trust – Roseland and Veryan Bay – August Newsletter

August is the busiest time on our beaches and we are lucky to have some of the most beautiful in the country. We have some unique habitats alongside these, the dunes at Pendower are part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Protected for the presence of hairy bird’s foot trefoil and a unique dune system on the Roseland. The soft cliffs at Towan are home to a very rare bee – the long horned mining bee. Only a handful of colonies remain along the south Cornwall coast and they rely on pea plants for food such as vetch and everlasting pea. We have planted some of these plants but would like to do more in the future to ensure the species isn’t lost from the area. At Porthcurnick on a very low tide you can see remains of an ancient forest when the sand is washed away and old stumps are revealed. Here you can also sometimes find old bits of scaffolding from when war time defences were erected across the cove to protect the village.

A big part of the ranger teams job is keeping the beaches looking lovely and safe for all to enjoy. We carry out regular beach cleans and safety inspections at all our beaches. On occasion we may have to remove access due to safety concerns. This happened at Porthbeor on the Roseland after the 2014 storms. The amount of damage caused the cliff to be too unstable to reinstate access. The National Trust looks after a staggering 1130km of coastline and has vast experience managing these environments through change.

Thankfully, the amount of litter washing up on our beaches is starting to reduce. We used to run a beach clean working holiday but stopped a few years ago as there wasn’t enough rubbish to keep them busy. Also, people are getting better at doing their own mini cleans each time they go to the beach which is great to see. One ongoing issue is antisocial behaviour and blatant disrespect of our beautiful places. However many signs you put up and however you try to educate people there will always be some who arrive at a stunning, clean beach and leave it looking like a rubbish dump. This will always baffle me! But we will always be here to pick up the pieces of broken glass and rusty nails from burnt out wood and return it to it’s former glory. The most random find was a portaloo, and the best a £5 note and a £10 note on separate occasions! Sometimes beach cleaning pays!!

If you’d like to get involved we run monthly beach cleans at three of our beaches. Hemmick the first Saturday of the month 10-11am. Porthcurnick the first Monday of the month 10-11am and Pendower first Monday of the month 2-3pm. All welcome, gloves, bags and litter pickers provided.

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