All the latest news can be found on the Current News page
27th December 2010
If you haven't picked it up through the grapevine, 2 bitterns were seen and photographed on the pool on 26th. I can't say just how rare an event this is, how rare the bittern is and the importance of the pool and the reedbeds in a harsh winter like this one. If you wondered what all the birdwatchers have been doing there the last couple of days, this is it.
Cameras at the ready folks or see StAustellBaywatch web site for quality pics.
13th December 2010
We’re excited to be inviting entries to our first annual photography competition, which is open to amateur photographers of all ages. Entries are welcome from now until Monday 15th August 2011. We will hold a display and prize giving at the next Friends of Par Beach AGM in September 2011 and winning entries will be published in the Cornish Guardian.
Two Categories: ‘Colours’ and ‘Texture’. So perhaps you could photograph the colourful kites on the beach, a flower in bloom or the ripples in the sand, whatever catches your eye, as long as it is taken OF or ON Par Beach and/or Par Beach local nature reserve.
Two Age Groups: ‘Under 14s’ and ‘14 and Over’
An independent judge will choose the winning images; there will be a prize for the best entry in each of the two age groups. In addition there will be a Chairman’s Choice prize, wholly decided on the whim of Mike Freemantle! We are hoping to use the best entries for a set of postcards to sell in aid of Friends of Par Beach.
Entry Fee: 50p per photo for Friends of Par Beach members, £1 per photo for non-members.
How? Send your prints on A5 or A4 paper to Mike Freemantle at 14 Polmear Village, Nr. Par, Cornwall PL24 2AT with your entry form and fee. Please mark the back of each photo with your name, age category and theme choice. Sorry but we are unable to return the prints to you.
Full T&Cs are on the entry form.
12th December 2010
The photography session went well today, in spite of the bitter cold and skating geese! Hopefully we'll get some photos sent in by participants and we'll add them to the gallery as they come in. Next session will be in Sunday 13th February, time to be decided but problem around the 2:30pm time that we started at today.
The pool is still partially froze over and with the weather set to stay cold, feel free to pop down there with some food for the birds to help them keep warm.
Meanwhile it seems someone has taken the liberty of pushing one of the bins in to the edge of the pool, not very clever it has to be said. We've notified the ranger and hopefully it will get fished out and put back where it belongs.
11th December 2010
Some photos for you, taken by Adrian at sunrise:
Polmear Stream and the sand bar that has formed blocking the flow
Ice over the Polmear Stream
The Duck Pool - iced up
8th December 2010
The Polmear stream has silted up AGAIN, with the added bonus of some it freezing over. Please keep yourself and your pets out of it until the water is flowing freely again (risk of Weil's disease) and off the ice for obvious reasons. We hope it till be cleared soon.
2nd December 2010 Part 2
Cornwall Council have put a poster up about planned changes to the seasonal parking charges, if you have any comments about them, the cut off date for responses to the council (for them to take them in to consideration) is TOMORROW 3rd December. Email them at email@example.com, or telephone, the parking consultation is based at Cambourne. Council phone number is 0300 1234 222
We are very pleased to see a short stay at 50p which excellent for the dog walkers amongst us, but note that by bringing the charges in line with other Cornwall car parks, the charges rise quite steeply.
2nd December 2010 Part I
It's so cold out there, especially when you factor in the windchill. We have a photograph of icicles in the cave (in the cliffs on the eastern end of the beach) from Adrian for us, click on it for a bigger version:
28th November 2010 - Part 2
As reported in the Cornish Guardian we are proud and pleased to announce that FoPB have been awarded a Community Research Grant by the University of Plymouth. The grant will enable the University to explore why Par Beach seems to end up with more than its fair share of plastic and natural debris. Jane Richards (of the FoPB committee) worked very hard to put together the research grant application and was at Plymouth University recently to collect the award with Mike Freemantle on our behalf. Over sixty charities and community groups applied for the funding this year and we're very lucky!
Work has started already on the project. Nick Biber is a PhD student at the School of Marine Science and Engineering who is heading up the study to establish whether there is a significant difference between the debris load on Par Beach in comparison to other beaches within and outside St Austell Bay.
Nick, assisted by Mike Freemantle, completed the first phase over a weekend of wind and rain collecting data from within St Austell Bay at Par Beach, Booley Beach (Nr Polkerris) and Porthpean Beach. Outside of the bay Pentewan Beach and Porthlune Cove (Caerhays) were chosen.
Data will be collected every two months, to coincide with neap tides, leading to a preliminary report in April and a final report in December 2011.
What will the local community gain from this project? It will attempt to identify physical factors that favour plastic deposits on certain beaches in the area, to enable more targeted beach cleaning and to help to protect both marine and terrestrial wildlife. FoPB plan to publish results and also arrange a public talk for those interested in what affects beaches in the area and Par Beach in particular.
Photos of Nick working on the project:
28th November 2010 - Part 1
Black labrador missing.
There's a lost dog poster on the car park toll hut about a missing black labrador with a red collar - please contact the owners on 01726 76014 if you've seen the dog.
24th November 2010
Thankfully we got off lightly in Polmear/Par Beach wrt the flooding. Here's a photo (thanks Mike) of the reed bed path we've been working on, it's a bit submerged;
The days before The Flood we had the Navy in the bay on manoeuvers with helicopters. The ship below is the "HMS Iron Duke", a Type 23 Duke Class named after the Duke of Wellington.
12th November 2010
The diggers have been out to clear the polmear stream again.
On the Wildlife Blog, Mark Whittaker brings us the first of his monthly updates on the movers and shakers of the birds on our patch. He has also collated a running species list for this year (up to 96 at the time of typing), you can also find that linked to from our Wildlife page and the Documents page.
8th November 2010
Adrian has reported to the Ranger that the Polmear stream has again silted up after the extremely high tide (5.5m) yesterday. Diggers will have to be called back out so in the meantime please keep yourselves and your dogs out of the standing water to avoid the possibility of contracting anything nasty (such as Weil's).
7th November 2010
We ran the action photography workshop on Par Beach at lunchtime on Sunday. This was to coincide with the Student Kitesurfing Association (SKA) National Tour - Slider Jam, that ran this weekend.
With the co-operation of SKA, we invited professional photographer Tim Bullen (with the help of Janie Bullen) to hold an Action Photography Workshop for us. This proved to be a huge success with twenty people attending, almost half new to Friends of Par Beach and included a couple from St Agnes. Tim shared some of his extensive knowledge on the subject of action photography at the top of the beach before going down to the water’s edge for the group to try out their new found skills. Tim, with the assistance of Janie Bullen, remained on hand to give further tuition and advice as required for an hour or so before retiring up the beach for a welcome hot drink and biscuits.
The fact that there was little wind resulting in no serious kite action, did not deter spirits and everyone taking part enjoyed themselves in the sunshine. Feedback from the participants was excellent and we have been asked to run more of photography sessions. Watch this space, until then see us in action (photos linked from photo below).
5th November 2010
I know we seem a bit quiet at the moment but we're very busy in the background; talking with the councils about the beach, helping the kitesurfers for this weekend's event, arranging a program of events for the first part of next year....to go out in the newsletter we're also preparing, updating the membership leaflet, then there's the daily beach checks that happen with any concerns reported back to the ranger (have you spotted the dog warden about the last few days?). As you can imagine, the whole committee is involved.
We also have a rather good bit of news to share but aren't allowed to say more until next week!
19th October 2010
Paul Mason (Ranger) has had a digger at Polmear stream to clear that out, they have also cleared the mud that was piled up (from the silt trap) out of the reed bed path entrance.
13th October 2010
Lots and lots of bees on the dunes have been seen lately. They have been identified as Ivy Bees which are harmless to people/dogs. More information is on our new Wildlife Blog and we're also looking for someone to help monitor them over the next few weeks for a bee recording project.
9th October 2010 Pt 2
Cornwall Council is asking the general public about which cuts the council should and shouldn't make.
This may be an opportunity to try to encourage them not to cut the funds that look after our beaches and local nature reserves (not just ours). There is an online survey on their website and a meeting in St Austell on Wednesday 13th October between 6 and 7pm.
Cornwall Council Hard Choices web page
9th October 2010 Pt 1
The Polmear stream has silted up with this morning's high tide. Please be advised to keep yourself and your dogs out of it until it is free flowing again as stagnant/standing water contains a risk of Weil's disease. If the stream is still silted tomorrow we will contact the Ranger, Paul, to see if it needs to be dug out.
Edited to say - The ranger (Paul) has had to pass this to the County Engineers, we will update when we have any more information.
Edited 19th Oct - digger has been out :-)
5th October 2010
Adrian reports that there has been a small rockfall/landslip by the Polmear River where the metal bridge goes across to get to the small sandy area under the cliff. The ranger has been notified and he will be visiting today to see what the damage/risk is.
UPDATE 6/10/10 Photographs from AdrianW:
Before (in July)
4th October 2010
We're getting our heads together to come up with the programme of events for next year. Do take a few minutes to complete the activities survey (it will open in a new window) if you haven't done so already, or you could just drop us a line.
2nd October 2010
For your interest, AGM vote counts. On the night the votes were counted by two non-members.
Chairman - Two nominations:
Mike Freemantle 48
Ken Barnes 13
i) That Friends of Par Beach supports the principle that Par Beach and Par Beach Local Nature Reserve remain in public ownership in perpetuity.
The original resolution as worded above was carried by 28 to 2 against, with 4 abstentions.
A suggested amendment to this failed by 12 votes for to 19 against.
ii) That Friends of Par Beach supports the proposal that the paths to and around Par Beach become Public Rights of Way.
This resolution was carried unanimously.
1st October 2010
Our FoPB Chairman has issued two statements on behalf of the committee:
The first is a "New Year" statement to say hello to all members as 1st October is the start of the FoPB year.
The second is a rebuttal of accusations made in a recent email to all members from the ex-Chair.
We would be grateful if you would take the time to read them both, preferably the Statement first.
From Mike Freemantle (Chairman) and the FoPB Committee
1st October 2010
Cornwall Council have written an "Eco-town Vision Statement". Essentially this is just what the council would like or expect EcoBos to include in their development of the eco-communities.
CC are asking everyone to have a read of it between 13th September - 25th October 2010, then take part in a survey, send comments in and/or send in photos. A final draft will then be completed using the feedback they have received. Please visit the consultation page on Cornwall Council's website. The link to the statement is at the top, the link to the survey is right down the bottom.
30th September 2010
Adrian Wildish has kindly shared some research in to the Shipwreck off Little Hell with us, well worth a read. Thanks Adrian.
25th September 2010
Good news - we've had confirmation that FoPB has had three projects shortlisted for Community Research Awards from the University of Plymouth. Each could be worth up to £10,000 of work done for us. The projects that are being considered are:
1. Marine litter accumulating on Par Beach
2. Beach Cafe
3. Viable solutions for the seaweed that is scraped off the beach
We will now work with the academics interested in these topics to produce full proposals. Successful proposals will be chosen on 18th October and awarded on 8th November 2010.
24th September 2010
The AGM was a highly charged meeting.
Very briefly: Kenny, and Jim stood down from the committee (although Kenny was nominated for chair again) and Colin lost out in the re-election when we had more volunteers to be on the committee than we did places. We'd like to thank each for their contributions over the past year.
The new committee that was voted in can be found here.
We're pleased to report that the two resolutions were passed, I'll add the exact wording when I have it but essentially one says that we support the beach area (beach, local nature reserve, caravan park) remaining in public ownership (i.e. should the situation arise, we would NOT support the sale of part or all of it, to any private person or business). The other resolution is about supporting the paths becoming public rights of way.
17th September 2010
Don't forget the AGM on Tuesday! Not only will we be voting folk on to the committee but we'll be asking members to be vote on a couple of resolutions; one about supporting the beach/local nature reserve/caravan site remaining in public ownership and one about supporting getting the paths made Public Rights of Way. Please come and show your support - we want you to hear all about the hard work we have been up to and about the bits we're currently working on. Everyone is welcome but you can only vote if you're a paid up member. You can download the FoPB constitution from the downloads page if you're interested in that and read about the start of FoPB on here, which may help you to understand what we're about.
Before that, this Saturday there's the beach clean in aid of MCS Beachwatch (if it helps you come along, courtesy of the Cornwall Council Community Grant money from Cllr David Hughes we now have flasks and mugs for tea/coffee making!) then we have Starry Nights 2 coming up in October, plus the start of the monthly winter conservation activities kicking off then as well. We're also hoping to run a Quiz Night early next year and then there's the FoPB Ceilidh.....so it won't all be about birds and plants!
5th September 2010
This isn't new news but just a quick reminder that if you've a little time to monitor car park usage for us, it would be very helpful. We are aiming to get as much information as we can on car park usage at the beach (any of the car parks) so that we can try and influence charging policies in the future.
We have a form for you to complete and you can do this for us as often as you want. Please return your form(s) to any committee member, or to Mike The Treasurer at 14 Polmear Village.
I'll leave you with some August Bank Holiday photos from Jim...
23rd August 2010
Calling all FoPB members who have photographs that were taken on or of Par Beach and the local nature reserve.
At the AGM on 21st September we want to display a selection of the best photographs that you have taken. Please send your prints (A5 or A4) to Mike the treasurer with your name, adult or junior category and your contact details. If you would like us to return the print, please include a stamped, addressed envelope. The winners will be chosen by the public at the AGM and the photos printed in the next newsletter and put on the website. Let's be seeing those photos!
We will be launching a photography competition open to all at the AGM which will run through to next summer.
22nd August 2010
Big excitement on the beach on Saturday when local Adrian Wildish found a washed up old French parachute flare in the middle of the beach. A report to Keith at the car park toll hut gave rise to chain of events leading to the Bomb Disposal unit from Devonport Dockyard coming over. They took it away to dispose of it because it would have left a 10ft crater on the beach had they blown it up there.
The bomb disposal unit advise that all flares/pyrotechnics should be left in situ. Please call 999 and request the coastguard, who will act on the information given. The area needs to be marked in some way and if possible for someone responsible to stay nearby to keep people away from it and to hand control of it over.
Photo by Adrian Wildish
16th August 2010
Caroline Wildish has kindly sent in two updates.
Firstly some jellyfish have washed up on to the beach. Please DO NOT TOUCH. The ranger has been notified.
They look like Compass jellyfish which DO STING. Identification is not yet confirmed.
- Never touch jellyfish with bare hands
- Always use a stick or wear arm length rubber gloves if you need to turn them over for identification
- Beware of the stinging tentacles and keep your face and any exposed skin well clear
- Seek medical attention in the case of a severe sting
Secondly, this is a (another) photo taken by Caroline, from Par Beach of the Russian Udaloy Class Anti Submarine Destroyer 'Severomorsk' which was operating in our waters after a weekend visit to Plymouth Naval Base in the middle of July.
5th August 2010
FoPB joined the opening of the new Co-operative supermarket in St. Blazey (Middleway), to celebrate the £2,000 grant we received to help with start up costs. Another thank you to the Co-operative Membership Community Fund. We were joined by press photographers so hopefully we'll get some more press coverage.
Don't forget the Wildflower walk this Sunday.
27th July 2010
Bits from our committee meeting;
The AGM will be on Tuesday 21st Sept at Gott Hall.
The county ecologists have highlighted the white poplar and brambles at the west end as immediate priorities to be dealt with. We have no news on the management strategy (long term planning).
Ragwort has been cleared from the east side of the beach to prevent seeding on to farmland at Trill. The ranger is going to check on how prolific it has become at the west end with the view of a bit of clearing possibly being done but eradication is not wanted at that end of the beach as ragwort is the main food the Cinnibar moth caterpillar eats.
FoPB committee representatives are meeting a sub group of the Parish Council to discuss the cafe, on Thursday (29th).
Cars being driven onto the beach are in increasing problem. When brought to her attention Councillor Wildish quickly arranged for a boulder to placed at the west end to help prevent this, but cars have since been spotted so we are following this up. PLEASE do NOT drive on to the beach, it will have devastating consequences for the wildlife and could easily cause an accident. If you see anyone doing so, please report them to the police, or pass their details to us.
25th July 2010
Beach cricket today was a battle between The Ship Inn and The Welcome. The Welcome won 28 to 20.
Meanwhile, Par Beach and FoPB have been mentioned in a blog by Hurley Books, Mevagissey, it's always good to hear about people rediscovering their local patch, we hope to see you again soon!
18th July 2010
BIG NEWS...Friends of Par Beach have been awarded £2,000 from the Co-operative Community Fund to help with start up funding. It means that we can buy some tools and educational equipment, afford next years insurance and support events and membership services. The funding is specific to the requests that we made so no, we can't lend you any!
We applied last year so we have been hoping for so long, and to finally receive a letter stating that we had been awarded the full £2,000 was just brilliant.
A massive thank you to the Co-op.
16th July 2010 (part 2)
Sadly I must report another swan death this afternoon.
This time the swan (a female) was one of a pair and mother to two cygnets, in fact it was one Jim Johnston photographed earlier this year. FoPB have been informed that a van was witnessed hitting the swan, but the van didn't stop!
The police were informed immediately and have been to the scene, as have the RSPCA who confirmed that the cygnets were with the cob (the male).
PLEASE TAKE CARE TO DRIVE SLOWLY ALONG THE ACCESS ROAD.
16th July 2010 (part 1)
Please take some time to visit Carlyon Bay Watch which was set up to preserve Carlyon Bay from the development that shut off the beach from the public and saw the building of illegal "temporary sea defences". If you were thinking that the battle has been won with the opening of the footpath and a small area of Ampersands sea defences being removed, be aware that a new planning application is expected to be made by the end of the year and that Ampersand is using this to stall clearing the site.
5th July 2010
Further to our meeting with EcoBos and conversations with the Parish Council, the Parish Council are writing to us to confirm that a joint beach cafe 'thinktank' is being formed between themselves and us (FoPB) to discuss what we would like to see there. The results of which will then be submitted to EcoBos and County Council. The Parish Council are looking at temporary measures for the summer.
Also, the Parish Council are looking to recruit volunteer flood wardens, please contact JohnShaw34@hotmail.com
Remember that FoPB/EcoBos met on 5th June? A summary in the form of questions and answers is now online.
Finally, there are rumours of beach cricket, see the events page.
26th June 2010
We are delighted to announce that Councillor David Hughes has awarded FoPB some money from the "Community Chest" for purchasing some large flasks, mugs and clearing tools to help with our outdoor conversation activities. A big thank you to David for his help and to FoPB's Jane Richards for getting the application together in the first place.
26th June 2010
The western footpath has had a facelift. Jim has sent us photos and says this access is now the best one for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
We also have news of orchids which are flowering now, look closely when you're out walking;
15th June 2010
The website has had a couple of sections added. Under the new Beach Management section we have a wildlife identification page with links to relevant information.
Also we now have a management resources page which will slowly fill with links to give everyone (who wants it) a fuller idea of the issues surrounding the beach and nature reserve management. The views of these articles are those of the authors/organisations and not of the FoPB committee unless we have stated so.
And just because....here's a photograph sent to us by Hazel Freemantle taken by her yesterday evening after hearing a commotion on the island.
7th June 2010
Three of the FoPB committee met with John Hodkin and Chris from Eco-Bos on Friday 4th June. We went with a long list of questions from both FoPB members and the committee and we went through every one of them! Thanks to John and Chris who stayed late on a Friday to accommodate us.
A summary is now up but in the meantime you may wish to know that they are very receptive to ideas from the community (previous public consultations have already influenced ideas) and are adamant that they're committed to building a working community by listening to what locals want, think and need. Orascom are keen to show their commitment to the community by helping out now and we hope to have a project to talk about soon.
Full public access to sea, Spit Beach, sea wall etc., marina/dock for fishermen and leisure craft (not just full of million pound yachts), lots more green space than the plans at the last public exhibition, sewerage provision a definite priority, drainage also a priority, public consultation every step of the way so as the engineers and designers come up with ideas, we'll all get an input.
Please contact us with concerns, questions and suggestions and we'll take them to Eco-Bos when we next meet.
We are hoping for the Par Docks tour for members soon. We'll keep you posted.
28th May 2010
FoPB Committee statement.
"There has been concern expresssed about the control of Rosa Rugosa on the dunes, and FoPB would like to make it clear that it is not our decision - the conservation bodies concerned will liaise with Cornwall Council and decide what should be done with the Rosa. The Council, if and when a decision is made, will submit their intentions to the Parish Council to keep it in the loop"
28th April 2010
Last nights bird talk by Mark Whittaker was a resounding success (thanks Mark). Listening to his bird calls and watching him imitate their behaviour had us in fits of laughter. Now if only I could remember which gulls have yellow legs and which have pink.....and the name of the bird that whistles "i've a hole in my bucket"...
Oooh, Mark replied to the above so we've no excuses now;
Hole in my bucket = Chiffchaff
Grey back Pink Legs = Herring Gull
Grey Back Yellow Legs = Common Gull
Black Back Yellow Legs = Lesser Black Backed
Black Back Pink Legs = Greater Black Backed
26th May 2010
The western car park has had a patch of land around it tidied and gorse pruned by the Duchy College students in accordance to the rangers requirements.
In this instance it was done to enable people a view of the beach and sea while sitting in their cars. This is especially valuable for those of limited mobility and something that was raised as important to members at the Meet and Mingle.
It may look a bit harsh at the moment but it will soon fill out again. Plant management is necessary - to help encourage plant health and diversity which in turn will support a greater range of wildlife....and views and access for us beach users!
25th May 2010
Vandalism of the board ramp from the dunes to the beach has been repaired. Photos (thanks Jim) are below.
18th May 2010
The bay was busy with Naval vessels at the weekend. Caroline Wildish sent this photo of HMS Ocean which I gather accounted for all the helicopter activity.
14th May 2010
Sadly we were today informed (thanks Jane W) that a dead swan is trapped in a thorny bush on our patch. Due to its awkward position it is currently impossible to see if it is ringed or not. The council should be removing it 1st thing in the morning, hopefully 7am and they'll check to see if it is ringed and make the report to BTO/DEFRA.
1st May 2010
Jim has taken these photos to show the resurfaced main car park.
28th April 2010
We have heard from LibDems and UKIP. All election pledges from our local candidates can be read on Election Pledges page.
27th April 2010
A Serco litter picker spotted on the beach and dunes by Jim. A previously rare breed we hope for more sightings this year!
25th April 2010
Kenny (Chairman) has asked each of the local election candidates to tell us their stance on beach issues. Lib Dems have said they would, but no other responses yet.
Mark Whittaker, a keen local birder (and a falconer by trade) has agreed to give a talk about the birds we see at and around the beach throughout the year. It will hopefully be in the last week of May and light refreshments will be available.
Finally, we (the committee) are meeting with Eco-Bos (Eco-town) in June and we would like you to let us know your concerns, questions and ideas for us to put forward. While we can't promise to cover everything, we will try. Please use the contact form which will send FoPB an email.
21st April 2010
Just back from Starry Nights, Brian Sheen and his team did us proud (thank you to all of you).
A very last minute change meant that we met at Gott Hall rather than the beach picnic spot. Thanks to Par Post Office, BBC Radio Corwall, St Austell Bay Radio and Pirate FM for helping us notify everyone. Everyone still got a chance to go outside as gradually the cloud cover started to clear - the telescopes and binoculars were put to good use.
Thanks also to Carolyn and Bob Rosser for organising refreshments and to Melanie Thomas whose kind offer to help clear up was gratefully received.
13th April 2010
Jan has scanned in the 1997 Par Beach management plan so that you can all download it to read at your leisure. We are working with the Ranger to help being this plan up to date. We also have the botany group meeting minutes to download now.
Serco are highlighting dog fouling in the local area this month, so hopefully there'll be more patrols and more clearing up. So many people do clear up after their dogs that it is a shame that the minority ruin it for us all.
12th April 2010
Cornwall Council has issued a new South West Coast Path safety code to help visitors to enjoy it without taking unnecessary risks. You can download it from the CC website or read the safety code on FoPB website.
11th April 2010
The litter pick had a great response, we had over twenty volunteers and the sun shone for us. What a shame that the ice cream van only showed up just as we were packing up!
Photos to follow and John Wood from the Cornish Guardian came by to take shots of our volunteers in action as well. Thanks to Caroline and Adrian Wildish for organising everything for us. The heap of litter collected will be collected by Serco.
We envisage our next litter pick to be in September.
The main car park is still a work in progress, half of it seems to have been leveled already and it has made a huge difference.
7th April 2010
There be machines at the car park!.....It would seem that the main car park is having pot holes filled. While traditionally this doesn't seem to last too long, at least it is a start. Thanks once more to Jim for the photos.
29th March 2010
Serco have started their pre-Easter cleanup of the beach. Jim took some photos...
27th March 2010
Orascom, Imerys and Eden are holding an exhibition of the (more detailed) Phase I eco-town plans, that's West Carclaze/Baal. Preliminary ideas for Par Docks will also be displayed.
This will now go round the villages and will be held in Alexander Hall (by Somerfield, St Blazey) on Thursday 1st April. Up to date plans are available on the Eco-Bos website. Do go along and have a look.
26th March 2010
FoPB's Jan Phillips has taken the time to write out an explanation of footpaths, public rights of way, definitive maps and statements. All of this is relevant to us all wrt access to the beach and formalising those routes. See Footpaths and Public Rights of Way, What are they?
21st March 2010
Rights of way map with the 'Meet & Mingle' initial debrief now available.
20th March 2010 pt 1
The Activities and Eventssurvey is still open but I thought I'd tell you how we're doing. I've counted the Meet & Mingle entries along with those from the website, facebook and email links. Here are the top ten out of the thirty ideas we gave you (excluding volunteering)....
1. Talk - Par Beach wildlife
2. Visit - Par docks, industrial archeology & eco-town
3. Talk - Marine life in St Austell Bay
4. Talk - Local history
5. Practical conservation
6. Night with the stars - Outdoor event with astronomer
7. Beginners bird walk
Joint 8. Litter Picks, Talk - local mining
Joint 10. Ceilidh fundraiser, Fungi Foray
20th March 2010 pt 2
Orascom, Imerys and Eden are holding an exhibition of the (more detailed) Phase I eco-town plans, that's West Carclaze/Baal. Preliminary ideas for Par Docks will also be displayed.
This will be held in a vacant shop space in Aylmer Sq, White River Place and opens 6pm on Thursday 25th March running through Friday and Saturday. Feedback will be used to produce a strategy document and initial planning applications so it's worth making the time to visit if you're able and have your say.
19th March 2010
FoPB committee members attended the Parish Council Environmental Committee meeting last night as footpaths were on the agenda.
I'm pleased to report that we were all much in agreement over the footpaths - I'll put a diagram on the website when I can. A big thank you to everyone who managed to come to the Meet and Mingle and tell us which paths they considered the most important. Letters to Cornwall Council should be going out next week.
16th March 2010
St Andrews Pond has had pike removed from it by the Environment Agency.
More details from the BBC news website.
15th March 2010
The Cornwall Mammal Group and Friends of Luxulyan Valley are running an Otter Spotting Training day in April. You will need to book your place in advance.
14th March 2010
Chairman Kenny has started to setChairman's Challenges. At the moment this is a name the image competition with the current grand prize being an FoPB car sticker! He already has the second challenge sorted so have a go and see how you fair.
10th March 2010 part 1
We have been given a copy of the Indenture between Arthur Basset and Tywardreath Parish Council of Arthur's sale of Par Beach to the Parish in 1914. It was scanned on to the computer tonight and we hope to have a copy on the website soon.
Update to say you can see it online here and download all eight parts of it from here.
10th March 2010 part 2
If you're wondering how the Meet and Mingle went on the 24th, it went really well so thank you to all who came and made it so.
We also need to thank Caroline Wildish for the loan of her display boards which was very kind of her and much appreciated, as has been her help and advice.
We had a meeting tonight at which the committee members each gave summaries of their 'bit' of the mingle evening which we will hopefully write up properly and put up here soon. We have a map drawn up of the pathways voted as Most Wanted as Designated Footpaths by yourselves, we have a long list of events to organise (two new ones to be announced really soon!) and lots of other bits and bobs.
10th March 2010 part 3
The Events, Activities and Volunteers survey has brought in over 40 responses so far, the more the merrier so I'll leave it running for the moment. Off the back of that we will be contacting those who have given their email addresses and offered to help, which in turn means we'll get more done and organised, brilliant.
4th March 2010
Unfortunately Gordon and Sue Jago have resigned from the FoPB Committee. It was good to see Gordon at the Meet & Mingle on the 24th Feb however and we wish them both well. Sue says;
"Unfortunately our circumstances mean that we are unable to participate and contribute as we had first hoped.
We realise that we are holding 2 valuable committee places that could be given to others who could be more involved, and we would therefore sadly like to withdraw from the committee.
Our committment to the wellbeing of Par Beach remains and we look forward to joining in events and assisting with activities as general members in the future.
With our very best wishes for the future of the comittee and FoPB.
Gordon and Sue Jago"
20th February 2010
In the immediate future (in the next week or two) the Environment Agency plan to clear the channel from the sluice gate (opposite the car park toll hut) seaward. It is likely to look brutal for a while but is a necessary evil.
13th February 2010
So we have the meeting at Gott Hall on the 24th coming up, when you can listen to Paul the Ranger talking about Par Beach and have your say in the future of FoPB and what we will be working towards.
Jan is also running the second of this year's conservation activities on Sunday 28th February. Do come along to join in or watch as we continue to clear the path towards the reed bed.
Rumour has it that our membership cards should arrive soon for us to fill out and pass on to our members.
Rumours also abound of folk hearing the Cetti's Warbler, if you spot one, please let us know!
23rd January 2010
We have been kindly notified via Facebook by Ann of a small rockfall at the east side - from the cliffs. We'll let the necessary people know so it can at the very least be monitored, but do be careful near the cliffs in case there are more unstable bits after all the extremes of weather.
Also, I've yet another blog for you with news of wildlife out and about including the Par Beach area, by Angie. Look it up at http://angie-alecto.blogspot.com/
Keep your eyes out for a Mistle Thrush that has been seen regularly lurking near The Ship Inn lately, on the verge opposite the pub.
7th January 2010
Another interesting blog at http://fatwagtailphotography.blogspot.com/ by Mark Whittaker who is a Falconer & Owl Welfare Officer at Screech.
5th January 2010
We have a couple of photographs from the Big Seaweed Search in December now online and a date for the 1st conservation activity of 2010 is set for Sun 31st January.
10th December 2009
We have a tentative date for our first Friends of Par Beach indoor event!
Please keep the evening of Wednesday 27th January 2010 free as we plan to have a Meet and Mingle and a speaker. More details will be posted here when we have them but in the meantime if any of you are interested, willing and able to help organise this (and other) events, then please get in touch with us as soon as you can - even if you can't help until the New Year.
10th December 2009
We received an email (via Facebook to a committee member) from a recent visitor to Par Beach commenting on various issues including the level of seaweed and rubbish that was on the beach on 5th December. The very shape and position of the bay and the nature of the wind and tides means that we do seem to get everything piling up especially after rough and windy weather.
Our local ranger Paul has now put in place "Post Storm Inspections", so hopefully in the future any problems will be cleared away much faster. Jim Johnstown has confirmed that Serco have been down there litter picking as requested, but we're still waiting to see if the council will clear any of the seaweed away and/or whether any farmers could use the seaweed instead. We do need to remember though that seaweed is an important habitat for many creatures so it is not a bad thing but the litter problem definitely needs to be kept on top of.
We will organise further litter picks occasionally next year but the good news is that Serco have recently had their contract altered to include the clearing of the litter on the beach (and not just the dunes and access road). Let's hope that there will be a noticeable improvement. We would encourage all of you to report litter problems to Cornwall Council and/or Serco, other pollution to the Environmental Agency and all marine life strandings to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Strandings Network. All the contact information for these groups can be found on our Links Page. Please also let us know what the problem is/was and how you've got on.
Finally, a comment was made about the sand/mud near the Par River when the tide was out during this Summer. We're unable to do much retrospectively but we have forwarded the information given to the Environmental Agency in the hope that the concerns are logged (even if the E.A. are unable to investigate this time). Once again we'd like to encourage everyone to contact the Council/Serco/EA when you notice a problem and keep us informed too. The more people who show that they care by reporting these things, the more chance we have of there being improvements. So a genuine thank you to T.L. for taking the time to tell us about your concerns and we hope that you will visit Par Beach again.
4th December 2009
I happened upon a blog (a diary on the web), all about wildlife spotted around St. Austell Bay. I have of course put a link on the Links Page but thought it deserved an independent mention too. I would like to thank "The Watcher" for being happy to share his blog with us and for being interested in Friends of Par Beach. Brilliant stuff, do visit his site St Austell Baywatch often as it is regularly updated.
27th November 2009
Jan is looking at finding a way to communicate with all the bird watchers out there and collate the bird data you collect. She is also trying to get a little group of you together for the purpose (bird watching/data collecting). Is anyone interested? If so, what sort of activities would you like to be part of?
Please email us if you would like to be involved.
17th November 2009
A huge thank you to Mr and Mrs Gilbert and Rhona Masters, whose generous donation this week has meant that we have been able to order the printing of 2,500 FoPB membership leaflets for distribution.
We are also indebted to Headland Printers Ltd of Penzance, who gave us a generous discount on printing costs to help FoPB along the way.
13th November 2009
The developers of the new eco-town have announced plans for Baal Pit and Carclaze, also stating that the Par Harbour site is expected to be developed as part of the first wave of work. Planning permission is expected to be filed by the end of 2010.
There is a meeting at John Keay house on Wednesday 18th November from 18:30hrs to discuss the plans.
10th November 2009
The gorse cutting was a resounding success. A hard working group of volunteers cut back and cleared well over half the area that needed to be done. The rest will be finished by students from Duchy College either today or tomorrow, with the huge heap of gorse being taken away tomorrow (11th Nov) along some digging away of some sand either side of the ramp (to prevent the damp sand rotting the boardwalk ramp). Photos are in the Events Gallery.
Thank you to everyone who helped out and well done!
2nd November 2009
Sincere apologies for the downtime of the website, a large but planned change about went horribly wrong even though a small scale experiment beforehand worked! It will take a few days for this to get properly sorted out so in the meantime, forgive me!
28th October 2009
We’ve had a response to our plea for information about the ‘bunker’ at the western end of the beach, it seems it was used as an area to collect household refuse.
Also, the council has been doing some work to improve the ramp access to the beach, making good the wood and widening the concrete area around the shelter. I’ll add a photo to show you once I’ve taken one. Continuing the work, there has been a request for help with a work party, see Events for details.
13th October 2009
If anyone would like to contribute items for the newsletter or website about specific birds, plants, marine life, history etc., please get in touch.
13th October 2009
The Planning Group (off shoot of the FoPB committee) is hoping to meet the local ranger Paul Mason soon and has written an update:
The group will be focusing on wildlife and conservation, recreation and access issues and we hope to promote some practical conservation days in the winter for you to help with habitat management, though we have to get more members so that we can pay for the insurance we need first. We think to start with, our main behind the scenes job is going to be information gathering. There is a surprising amount of data already coming to light from a variety of different sources.
I can report that the first positive action has been to bring together a small group of FoPB members who have a particular interest in plants. They met on the 8th October for the first time to talk about the kinds of things they might do. If you’re interested in joining the Plants Group, email us through the contact form.
Next we would like to do the same with local bird watchers and ask that you get in touch if this is something that you would like to be a part of - please rope in your friends and neighbours even if they’re not FoPB members yet. We do need an up to date picture of beach related bird life so please spread the word. There is a lot more to it than just Canada Geese, Mallards, Mute Swans and Gulls! Jan Phillips
20th September 2009
Yesterday’s Beach Litter Pick organised by Caroline Wildish in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch Litterpick, was a great success. Over 25 people turned up to do their bit. Much less glass was found than expected but fishing wires, rope and plastics were still found to be major problems.
A big thank you to Caroline for organising it all and to all of you who managed to spend some time collecting and sorting the litter. Some more photos taken on the day can be found on our Events Gallery page.
14th September 2009
Announcing a Make Birds Count - a bird survey training day.
A special event for surveyors and those considering becoming surveyors - find out how important surveys are for monitoring birds and how the data is used.
Get to grips with different techniques.
Expert training from RSPB and BTO
Presentations and practical field work.
An opportunity for beginners to find out what bird surveys involve.
Location - Duchy College, Stoke Climsland (nr. Callington).
When? Saturday 21st November 2009, 09:30 to 16:00
Cost? Free - but booking is essential
How? Book by email the RSPB or telephone 01392 453 763
10th September 2009
Richard Croome has confirmed that he is ready to start a local botany group with Phil Hunt. We’re hoping to use and abuse their skills in helping us to map the plants across the main dunes and foredunes. More information on how to contact Richard and Phil, and how to volunteer your services will be posted here as soon as we have it.
Richard has already pointed out two Polygonum species on the foredunes that are flagged in the the Red Data Books as rare in this country.
7th September 2009
The meeting on 13th August was a great success in that a Committee was formed and we signed up around 50 members. Committee members have been getting to know each other and progress has been made identifying responsibilities and making plans.
A beach litter pick is happening on Saturday 19th September. It has been organised by Caroline Wildish in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch Litterpick . We are all invited to join in and it is an opportunity to show our commitment. We shall have an information point and hope to enrol more members.
Bring gloves and your friends, and let's clean up our beach at the end of another busy season (despite the weather).
When? 10.00 Saturday 19th September
Where? Meet in main car park - that's the one with all the potholes
See you there