All the latest news can be found on the Current News page
30th December 2011
Our first event in 2012 will be on 14th January with an informal meet and mingle at Tywardreath Village Hall, do come along and say hello.
Park Leisure won the tender for the beach cafe and will start work on this in 2012, they aim to have a cafe on the ground floor and a bistro in the evenings on the first floor. Miles Dewhurst, a Director of Park Leisure 2000 says "We have designed an environmentally sympathetic building with many local community benefits, from free to use Sand Friendly Wheelchairs to an Education Suite, we feel that we can offer a true benefit to all who choose to visit the Par Beach area.”
The Access Group (which consists of representatives from Groundwork SW, FoPB, Par Community Association, Cornwall Council, Parish Council, Sensory Trust and Park Leisure as well as the Sustainable Tourism Officer, the Ranger, Paul Mason, and 2 County Councillors) have been doing fine work putting together an application for funding, initially for creating a circular path connecting the western car park , orchid meadow, Sustrans route and holiday park from the western gate across the haul road. The application to the Seaside Towns Fund has been successful and more work than originally planned may be possible, hopefully including some more seating. The work will include a permanent surface to the path, replacing the boardwalk (that is currently in urgent need of repair) with a causeway and improving the surface of the western car park. Our congratulations and thanks to the Access Group.
29th December 2011
We received the following message via Facebook and thought it worth passing this on to you all:
"I had my car broken into today whilst windsurfing between 11am and 3pm. It happened in the main car park just round the corner by the tables on the grass. If anyone happened to notice anything or anyone acting odd please could you let me know and of course be careful and vigilant if using the beach for sports or dog walking. There were phones in car but they chose to steal other things. Nothing is safe so if possible keep your car clear, it Is a bad time of year for these horrible acts done by mindless thugs. Chris Riddell."
A timely reminder to make sure your cars are locked and not tucked out of sight of passersby. If you did see anything, please do contact us and we'll pass the information along.
2nd December 2011
Lots of bits of news....
Serco collected two dead porpoises from the beach on Wednesday and the Marine Strandings Network collected a dead dolphin then too. The wind and tides have washed up an awful lot recently so do be careful down at the strandline. Don't forget our "What to do if..." web page for information on who to call in what circumstance.
We are hoping to have a get together for everyone in January at Tywardreath to ward off any post holiday season blues, details to be announced as soon as we can!
The rain and tides have been playing havoc with blocking the Polmear stream at London Rock, par for the course these days really.
1st December 2011 Part 2
Once again a sterling effort from the volunteers on Sunday (27th Nov) at the work party held at the reed bed path. We had a good sized group who got on with hacking out brambles from the reed bed path and begun weaving the "living screen" - as it fills out this will let us watch the wildlife while keeping us hidden. Next session will be at the end of January.
1st December 2011 Part 1
The quiz night on 17th December with David Stephens was again, a resounding success. Everyone had a good time and we raised £101 too! Our thanks to everyone who made the evening possible, especially to David, Carolyn and Bob and the raffle prize donators. The winners of the quiz were the Pedigree Chums, just 3 points ahead of the Golantites so it was a close run thing.
2nd November 2011 - part 3
Another hot off the email press to say that this afternoon the Environment Agency gave the All Clear to the pond and the tape and notices will be coming down immediately.
2nd November 2011 - part 2
Hot off the press (well, email)...the ranger Paul has just heard that the Environment Agency will be carrying out clearance works on Polmear Stream, starting in the next few days (but probably on Monday). They intend to follow the stream down beyond the sluice gates as far as the sea - maybe even clearing the sand bank at the beach. This work will require a large swing shovel machine as well as a tractor and a lorry to take the material away from the lower part of the stream. It may be a bit smelly for a while but it will be worth it.
2nd November 2011 - part 1
Lots of little bits of news today....
The work party to clear brambles in the west end field went well. The rain held off which is always a bonus! Thank you to everyone who came out to help. The next session will be on Sunday 27th November.
You may have read about the water spout that ripped through Polruan Harbour on Saturday night. Seven boats were sunk and we have been warned to keep an eye out on what gets washed up on Par beach - most notably - please BEWARE OF ANY FLARES washing up. If you see a flare 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 and to hand control of it over.
The Polmear stream has blocked, unblocked with diggers and blocked again repeatedly lately. A discussion is due to start between some Cornwall Council officers and the Environment Agency on the best way forward as the current method of clearing is clearly not sustainable and the money might be better spent on another method of keeping the stream open and running freely. Usual warnings apply - if the stream is blocked and stagnant, keep yourselves and your dogs out of it (due to the increased risk of Weil's disease).
The pond is once again full. The water quality is being checked regularly and the last test showed "acceptable levels" for blue/green algae. Two satisfactory samples are needed before an "all clear" is issued . While it is not believed to be a problem to any fish that remain, it could still be a problem for any dogs lapping the water, so if the tape and signs remain, then keep your dogs away from the water.
We are pleased to say that the Student Kitesurfer Association will be back for the 2nd National Slider Jam on Par Beach over the weekend of 12th and 13th November. It will be a great opportunity to go and watch the sport, let's hope they have enough (but not too much!) wind this time around.
And finally, but by no means least, our next Quiz Night with David Stephens is on Thursday 17th November. Last time we filled Gott Hall so if you want to be sure to get a table, do book in advance.
19th October 2011
The Par Sands Local Nature Reserve Management Strategy/Plan has been issued in draft form for consultation.
This pdf can be read on our website - it is a sizeable file so it will take a while to load,also, as it is 85 pages long you may not wish to print it out!
It will remain on our Documents page if you wish to look at it in the future (most recent documents are at the bottom of the page).
If you wish to comment please channel these through mikeatpolmear @ yahoo.co.uk (no spaces in the email address).
19th October 2011
Yesterday afternoon Cornwall Council taped off most of the lake and put new notices up warning of the blue green algae, it's the same warning as before; do not go in the water or let your pets drink it. The Polmear stream is still blocked and now the river is taking on the blue green haze that we see in the lake which is not good.
On a cheerier note recently Adrian has twice spotted a kingfisher in the vicinity of the Polmear stream so keep your eyes open for it.
3rd October 2011 Part 2
Tim and Janie Bullen came down to the beach to run another photography session for us on Sunday and the weather was glorious. The theme was landscapes and both Tim and Janie spent time helping us out with hints and tips on how to get better compositions. During "after session" coffee we could be found in a huddle taking macro shots of scorch marks on a picnic table, all great fun! Thank you to both of you, we're looking forward to the next session already.
3rd October 2011 Part 1
The Polmear stream was dug out recently and it was still free flowing on Sunday. Keep an eye on it though as the spring tides have since caused it to block again. Keep yourselves and dogs out of any still water.
The AGM business bit went smoothly on Wednesday evening. Thank you to everyone who came along and to those who made it happen - including Carolyn and Bob for doing the refreshments. We are still on the look out for someone to be Secretary so do contact us if you are happy to volunteer yourself (or someone else!). Mike was re-elected Chair and we have new blood on the committee - welcome to you Teresa.
After the business bit we had an illustrated talk on beach management from Jolyon Sharpe, accompanied by David Attwell, Senior Countryside Officer which was both interesting, entertaining and well worth staying on for. A thank you to Jolyon and David too.
24th September 2011
Don't forget the work party tomorrow form 10am, this is a council event related to the cycle trail and the west end, Jon Cripps (cycle trail officer) and Paul the Ranger will both be there. Details on our Events page as you do need to book if you want to join in (say you're from FoPB).
Paul the Ranger has been able to authorize the clearing of the sand that's blocking the running of Polmear Stream, more details when we have them.
Another "don't forget" is for the photography session on Sunday 2nd October, again see our Events page for details.
15th September 2011
The large yellow buoy that's sponsored by Sams at Polkerris has landed at Par Beach again, from all that stormy weather. We expect it to be collected soon.
The high and rough tides have blocked the Polmear Stream again. Paul the Ranger will be coming to check it out and put a plan in place but in the meantime please don't let your children/dogs/yourselves paddle or play in the water as standing water carries the increased risk of Weil's disease.
11th September 2011
At the Bat Talk on Friday we were treated to a fascinating insight into the world of bats by Sue and Chris Harlow who run a Bat Hospital at Threemilestone on the outskirts of Truro. They even brought some along for us to see close up, the show being stolen by Norman the Noctule who serenaded us during the evening. Unfortunately the weather was against us (again!) and the Bat Walk could not take place as it would be very unlikely that there would be any bats out hunting for insects. Many thanks to Sue & Chris and their little furry friends for taking the time to come and talk to us and show some of the many pictures they have.
5th September 2011
We are busy working on the next newsletter and organizing upcoming events. This Friday evening we have the Bat Talk from 7:30pm at Gott, details on our events page it stands to be a good evening. We're doing the MCS beach clean (litter pick) from 10am on Saturday 17th September.
I'll leave you with this photo that was sent in, of a 3 master out in the bay (thanks Adrian).
25th August 2011
We have raised over £500 so far towards the bench fund and hope to raise more and get some matched funding.
We have had a couple of concerned emails or rather emails this week from concerned persons so for the record - we know nothing about a dog ban on Par beach. Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round and we hope that everyone will clear up after their own dog (there are plenty of dog mess bins around the site - bright red so easy to spot) so that we don't lose the priviledge. Do please keep them away from the pond while the water quality in there is questionable at best. We will ofcourse shout out if we hear of anything. We would NOT support a dog ban.
19th August 2011
The Gents toilets are open again which is good news as are the minor repairs to the access road which has hopefully prevented some of the potholes from becoming a menace.
Less good news is a report that there is Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam growing in the meadow at the west end. Paul the ranger has been notified and it will be dealt with promptly.
16th August 2011
Sunday's Seaweed Project group was small but oh so very hard working. We achieved most of our aims by the huge efforts from Sue, Brian, Colin & Sandra - THANK YOU. Mike's trolley had a bit of a wheel issue - rebelling at its hard labour of late and unfortunately we hear that Brian took a nasty fall from his bike later on, we hope you're healing quickly Brian. Jan turned the seaweed in the bins by her herself on Saturday (another thank you!). Please do get in touch if you can help with the seaweed compost project.
In other news it seems the Par Beach toilets are not on top form (again), the Gents has a closed sign (with apology) on it for the time being. We'll keep you informed.
Paul the Ranger has said that enough ragwort has been pulled today so tomorrow's ragwort pull will be at Luxulyan Valley instead, details on our Events page.
12th August 2011
Please continue to keep away from the pond water and don't feed the birds.
We have seaweed collecting to do on Sunday morning and ragwort pulling on Tuesday and Wednesday next week if you'd like to come along and help.
4th August 2011
RIght, the pollution in the pond/lake is "due to an Algal Bloom which is quite natural at this time of year". The advice is "do NOT let your pets or children enter the water, or allow your pets to drink it. Coming in to contact with the water can cause mild irritation to the skin". It can also cause eye irritations and stomach upsets.
You may have seen news of the algae on the Norfolk Broads and at reservoirs in Hastings and Pembrokeshire recently (the BBC, Daily Mail and The Sun have also reported on it). The algae gives off a toxin as it decays ad this is hazardous to wild animals, livestock and pets - the fish deaths are an early warning, so please keep your pets, children and yourselves out of it. If you see the streams looking the same (blue/green/murky/dead fish) then stay away from them and let us and/or the authorities know.
The sea water on the beach is not affected by this and is still of excellent quality so safe to bathe in.
3rd August 2011
Here's the notice from the Council about the duck pond/lake "Suspected Pollution Incident. The sea remains a high quality bathing water and the rest of the beach is not affected".
Sadly today it looks worse out at the pond. More dead fish and the water is blue/green colour which is never a good thing for wildlife. We do not have definite information of the toxicity of Par Beach lake/pool/pond, but it would be wise to keep away from the water entirely, and keep your dogs on a lead whilst in the vicinity of the lake. We are doing our best to exchange information with the powers that be and will keep you updated.
PLEASE do NOT let your dogs, children (or indeed yourselves!) play with the dead fish.
2nd August 2011
We have heard from the Environment Agency that fish are dying in the duck pond and that they are monitoring the water quality. This is most likely due to the persistent low water levels that the pool has had all summer (the fish would not have enough water and so not enough oxygen) It is something we had already flagged as a potential problem.
The sluice gates have been cleared (see earlier News item) so that they are working again but it's possible that it's a silt bar that is stopping the flow of water from Polmear Stream in to the pool.
In the meantime, we ask you to please read the warning signs that have been put up and comply with the instructions/recommendations. We will ofcourse update you when we have more information.
31st July 2011
We had a good turn out of 30 people for the Star Gazing session last night, a big thank you to Kit Williams for doing this for us and to Sue for helping out.
Three bags of rubbish were collected by Beatta (Hungarian student) this morning at the west end of the beach, all the information will be used for her dissertation. Unfortunately we also had cause to clear away half a dozen full "dog do" bags (a litter picker stick was used for those, eurgh!). Please pick up after your dogs and use the dog bins around the site.
We're working with Paul the Ranger about the motorbike rider seen riding over the dunes, and discussions are being started with the local police too. If you see this please report to us times and descriptions so that we can follow this up.
The public toilets are fixed and open again which is good news.
28th July 2011
What a fantastic afternoon at the beach it was!
A huge thanks to Groundwork and to the Cadbury Spots and Stripes team, namely Ricky Bush, Lyndy, Nicola and Darren, who were noticeably hot and tired by the end of the games but were debating cooling off in the sea and still smiling broadly. The team wanted to say thank you for the help they received from Tom and Kate.
Lots of fun was had by youngsters and adults alike with tug of war, tower blocks, sack races and other games, nearly 200 people came down to join in.
The sun shone, the wind was calm and the tide obligingly high enough for cooling off in without a long trek out to get to the water. For the competitive souls amongst us, the afternoon was won by the Stripes team. More photos will be added soon.
27th July 2011
Gosh, it's been a bit quiet around here of late.
Tomorrow is the Cadbury Spots and Stripes games session on the beach. Free to all and it's from 2:30pm for a couple of hours, it promises to be lots of fun so do come along. More details on our Events page.
The public toilets at the beach are closed as they need repairs (according to a sign that has been put up). Serco are not responsible for sorting this out but they have contacted a Cornwall Council officer for us, who may be able to sort this out quickly.
Work has been carried out clearing the sluice gates and they are now working again which is excellent news.
Don't forget it's Star Gazing with Kit Williams on Saturday evening at the beach - so hope for clear skies please, more details on our Events page (ofcourse!).
7th July (part 2) 2011
Are you ready for the Big Butterfly Count?
Launched last year by Butterfly Conservation with 100,000 people taking part and 210,000 butterflies counted, this years Big Butterfly Count is between 16th July and 7th August 2011. All you need is to simply count the butterflies you see in a 15 minute period within those dates and then submit your results. There's a fantastic butterfly i.d. sheet for you to download from their website. This project is backed by Sir David Attenborough and Alan Titchmarsh MBE and is well worth participating in.
7th July 2011
Seaweed Project - Owen Smith, from Plymouth University, gave an interesting and enthusiastic talk yesterday evening at the newly refurbished Tywardreath Village Hall. Starting with basic information on seaweed, which by the way, is not a plant as such, he continued with enlightening the audience of the uses to which seaweed can be put – and it is not just plant food.
The history of people using seaweed to enhance plant and crop production is a long one and the the Friends of Par Beach project to turn the ‘plant’ into useful compost for gardeners appeared to be the only one in the UK currently. This community project relies upon local people getting involved, and several of the audience signed up to assist with such tasks as collecting seaweed, turning the compost and taking the temperature of the compost bins. When the results of scientific tests and analysis are completed, the resulting compost will become available.
Local people and visitors will know Par Beach receives a lot of seaweed, which, although being a natural phenomenon, is not particularly attractive. The current system of scraping the beach is considered too efficient as it does more damage than good to the beach ecology. One way of keeping the beach ‘clean’ is to clear seaweed by hand, and the resulting compost is just a bonus.
Thank you to Owen for coming along to give the talk and in fact to everyone who came and helped to make the evening a success. We'll see some of you down by the compost bins soon!
Tonight is the Parish Council meeting, do go along if you're interested about the footpaths around the beach area.
29th June 2011
We spoke with the Environment Agency again last week, and they are now doing some work on the Polmear stream. They are aware that the "flood flap"/sluice gate is jammed open at the moment and hope to sort this out as well as dredge the silt trap and clear the pipes. If this gets sorted then the duck pond stands a better chance of refilling.
We mentioned that a Bee Orchid has been found on our patch, in fact we've since spotted 7 of them! If you're a member of Friends of Par Beach you should have an email about them in your inbox. Below is a photo from Mike Freemantle:
26th June 2011
What a fantastic morning it turned in to. The fog took a while to clear, but it cleared to deep blue skies and hot sunshine. We had a good group of volunteers today who worked hard to help Bea to count her litter and help Jane to get the first two seaweed compost bins filled. We are very grateful for the hard (and hot) work that everyone put in and to help today.
We'd also like to thank Parkway Timber Company Ltd for donating the sacks of sawdust we needed to layer with the seaweed.
22nd June 2011
Footpaths - On Thursday 7th July, Mike Eastwood, Programmes Manager, Environment Dept., Cornwall Council will be attending the Tywardreath and Par Parish Council meeting to talk about the regularisation of the footpaths on Par Beach. Cllr. David Hughes had a very positive meeting with Mike Eastwood last week and it would be excellent to have a good turnout at this meeting from locals or indeed any interested people. 7pm start at the Par Running Track Pavilion, please come if you can.
We have two work parties this Sunday; collecting fresh seaweed for the seaweed composting project and helping a student with a litter/plastics project. Both start 10am at the western car park.
21st June 2011
Two new picnic benches have been installed on the picnic green area by the main car park which is rather good news. By the way, parking is now being charged at a £2.10 daily rate between about 9am and 4pm'ish.
The sluice gates (which helps regulate flow of water to/from the pool, Polmear stream and the sea) still do not seem to be working. We hope to speak to both the Environment Agency and Serco (again) on Thursday to see if anything can be done to improve the water levels of the pool. We are very concerned at the low levels which cannot be good for the wildlife that depend on it.
It has been reported that there is a Bee Orchid on our patch. Photo to come soon. Keep your eyes peeled for this special little plant and do please be careful when you're out and about on the local nature reserve so it and others don't get squished! While we're on the subject of wildlife, it is thought that we have three pairs of Cetti's Warblers this year which is fantastic news.
19th June 2011
Friends of Par Beach received an update from Eco-Bos yesterday:
Eco-Bos, as highlighted in this week’s St Austell Voice, has begun to turn its attention towards the Par docks site. There have been some preliminary site investigation works and surveys at the site and this will help inform the masterplanning process.
The image used by the Voice is one of an artist’s impression that was recently exhibited at the Royal Cornwall Show – more to give an indication of what may appear on site as opposed to a realistic representation of our current proposals. The masterplans for the site remain at a very early stage (subject to changes in response to survey data) and will appear in draft form when public consultation begins towards the end of summer and in to the autumn. As with the Eco-Bos proposals for West Carclaze and Baal, we anticipate that there will be further changes to the masterplan and any associated designs as a response to feedback from the local community.
Eco-Bos has attended recent St Blaise Town Council meetings to explain how the planning process will be undertaken. We are keen to maintain the positive relationship that we have with the Town Council and local Cornwall Councillors and will continue to respond to any questions or comments that they may have. Likewise, we intend to keep organisations such as the Friends of Par beach up to speed with the progression of our proposals and we will let you know the dates, times and venues of public consultation sessions at the first available opportunity.
At this stage Eco-Bos anticipates that an outline application for Par will be submitted to Cornwall Council towards the end of the year. Further detail for the site will be worked up in due course and will require further planning processes to achieve the necessary consents. In the meantime should you have any questions relating to the above please do get in touch.
16th June 2011
A few small updates;
Paul Mason (the ranger) has had a call from the Environment Agency regarding the water levels in the pond. They have cleared around the sluice gates in the hope that some water may find its way into the pond, which is as much as they can do at present. Attempting to divert water from the stream to the pond may well have detrimental effects on the reed beds down stream so all we can do at present is to pray for more rain to get the water levels back up.
The gorse on the dunes at the west end is still very brown and dry, so this is just to warn people that smoking and/or barbecues = fire hazards (i.e. please be extra careful and vigilant). In the Cornish Guardian it was reported that the fire brigade have been down there once already as a small area of gorse was set on fire recently and we notice another small patch has burned on the eastern area near the cliffs.
You may have spotted a 5ft yellow buoy on the beach, this belongs to Sams on the Beach at Polkerris and washed up on Par beach after coming loose. Sam's were hoping to take it back to Polkerris last night.
We have had a report that a lone motorcyclist has been seen going in and out of the dunes during the evening, the bike looks like it is homemade and with no registration (so no insurance, tax etc). Besides the unsafe/illegal nature of the bike, this kind of activity is not allowed on Par beach - it will destroy the dunes and put people and wildlife at risk. We have no qualms about providing photographic evidence to the authorities, and if you spot someone riding motorbikes over the dunes or beach, please do report it to the police.
Mike (our chairman) is back home from his epic bike ride, he is looking really well and doesn't appear to be walking like John Wayne (which was a bit of a surprise!). Mike will be sending in a report about his journey soon so we can look forward to reading that. The 2nd photo below is of his bike's odomoeter showing that he has ridden 1,103.3 miles on the journey. Mike is already talking about ideas for the Next Big Trip, the phrase 'glutton for punishment' springs to mind...
9th June 2011
A huge congratulations to Mike and the other Tired Cyclists and their support team as yesterday evening they arrived at John O'Groats having cycled all the way from Penzance. Rumour has it that they're not cycling home. Well done.
5th June 2011
A big thank you to Matt Ward for leading the bird walk for us and to everyone who made it happen. We had a good group of people join in and it was an interesting and leisurely couple of hours spent. John Page reports:
"Eleven people and two very well behaved dogs turned up for our Bird Walk with Matt Ward this morning. Matt was on hand to identify and tell us about some of the birds that can be seen around the Par Beach area. Apart for the usual suspects on and by the pond we were able to observe chiffchaffs, chaffinches, song thrushes, blackbirds, reed buntings, goldfinches, swallows, kestrels, greenfinches, dunnocks and a heron was seen down by Par River. It was all very informative and was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Matt who stepped in to be there for us and of course there was tea/coffee and biscuits waiting for us at the end of the walk, always a welcome feature of our 'get togethers' on the beach. The intention is to hold more 'Bird Walks' in the autumn and New Year, watch our website for news of forthcoming 'events'."
A couple of other things (well, three):
* Cornwall Council has put new parking signs up - photo to come, but it looks like they're not instigating the parking charges advertised late last year as the sign states parking is £2.10 (sign also includes some rules for car park behaviour).
* The water level in the duck pond/lake is VERY low. It might be a good idea if people didn't walk on the dried up banks by the rushes and reeds as wildfowl and birds are probably nesting in there. So just be a bit thoughtful and try to give them some space!
* Mike and the other Tired Cyclists have completed 863 miles as I type. They are currently on the A9 near Loch Moy, having been over the Cairngorms and heading towards Inverness (live tracking map here). This is an amazing effort by the all and don't forget the more you sponsor Mike The Chairman for, the more money we'll have for beach benches.
4th June 2011
Friends of Par Beach and Four Turnings Garage, Fowey announce a Young People's Wild Flower Poster Competition. This runs from now until 10th September 2011. We aim to encourage and entice young people who are up to 14 years old to visit Par beach to discover and photograph some of the amazing wild flowers that live there. The competition is to take photographs and then to display them on a hand made attractive poster.
We provide a reference sheet of species to help you find the plants, and you photograph six different ones from the list between June and September.
Four Turnings Garage has kindly donated a prize, some of the flowers are in bloom already so you've not a moment to lose. See the competition page for more information.
2nd June 2011
The RSPB is running "Make Your Nature Count" between 4th and 12th June. It is a one hour survey of your garden or park on any day between those dates. They would like you to note not only the birds you see but also animals such as badgers, bats or frogs. More details are on the Make Your Nature Count website.
2nd June 2011
A quick photo from Adrian for you - one of the beach taken from The Mount. Do send in your photos for us to include on here, or indeed enter our photo competition.
31st May 2011
Today the Ranger, Paul Mason worked with the BTCV group clearing the footpath from the small car park by toilets car park, to the beach. Both of the paths leading from these car parks have now been improved so have a look if you're passing. The main car park has been flattened out a bit again too.
On Sunday, Beatta (our Hungarian university student working on plastics/litter) carried out her first litter pick with the help of Adrian and a volunteer. Two black bin bags were filled from a 100m stretch of beach at the western end. All the finds were recorded and she'll be back again on Sunday 26th June to do it all again. Do pop down to help if you can, it won't take long.
Mike and the other Tired Cyclists are over halfway up to John O'Groats now with 647 miles done and 431 left to go at the time of typing. The live map shows everyone north of Newcastle Upon Tyne heading towards Northumberland National Park.
27th May 2011
We're pleased to announce that Par Beach has gained MCS (Marine Conservation Society) Recommended Status, something that only 65% of the beaches in the South West can boast. This gets Par Beach in to the Good Beach Guide. You can read more about the Good Beach Guide on their website.
On a different subject, the Events page has had an update today, so please go peek.
Mike and the other Tired Cyclists are 398 miles down with 680 miles to go and don't seem to be far from Stoke on Trent and Alton Towers. Tomorrow they're faced with over 5000 feet of uphill pedal action (rather them than me) so let's hope the wind direction is helpful and the rain holds off.
22nd May 2011
Mike is currently at Street, nr Okehampton on the long ride up to John O'Groats. Live map update is here, You can catch up with their blog to read who fell of where and other news. Do please sponsor Mike if you can and show your support for both the massive effort that this is taking, and for the ultimate benefit of Friends of Par Beach being able to buy benches for Par Beach.
16th May 2011
On May 19th I shall be setting off on a cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats, taking a ‘leisurely’ 3 weeks to complete the 1100 mile route that I have chosen.
The second highest priority from visitors to our stand on Par Beach Community Day was to add more seating on the dunes and beach. This turns out to be a very expensive exercise and Friends of Par Beach need to raise money that can be ring-fenced in our accounts and used to attract matched funding from other sources. We need your help, both by sponsoring me yourself and to ask friends and neighbours to do so as well so that we can kick-start some work that will really be of benefit to the community.
Mike "The Chair" Freemantle
(Find the sponsorship form on our Downloads page (last in the list) and follow Mike's progress on their Tired Cyclists website).
12th May 2011
The winds and tides have churned up so much debris on to the beach that after informing the Ranger Paul Mason about it, he visited the beach and it has now been declared a pollution incident. Tomorrow the beach will be scraped clear of debris and it will all be taken offsite for safe disposal.
Please do NOT touch the netting, barrels or anything else that has washed up, we have had a report of a burning sensation on skin from touching the netting.
Please also look out for any jellyfish, we think once more that these are compass jellyfish, these have a powerful sting even when washed up:
- 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
- On a cheerier note the next newsletter is almost finished and the events page is due for an update too.
8th May 2011
A big thank you to those who braved the blustery winds to construct the seaweed compost bins at the west end (further west than the western car park). It will be interesting to see how the composting project works out in the coming months. I wasn't early enough to catch photos of all the volunteers but can't help posting this one of Brian, posing with his power tools!
5th May 2011
The Plymouth University litter project is still ongoing with monthly checks and counts by Nick and volunteers. We now have a Hungarian student working on litter washed up on beaches in contact with us too. She is studying Marine Geography and was 'sent' to us by the MCS Beachwatch people.
She came down recently and met with Adrian W and showed him just what to look for and where - specifically she was able to go straight to a place which had lots of plastic pellets amongst the sand. They are very difficult to see and hard to pick up (unless you've little fingers). The majority of them are on the banks of Par River and could have been washed down from upstream or even brought in on the tide.
The pellets are plastic in its raw form and companies buy the pellets to turn them in to plastic products. They are easily washed away in to rivers and other water courses and if eaten by the bird population (and even fish and wild animals), it kills them when the pellets stick in their gizzards. The pellets are nicknamed "Mermaid Tears" and can be found on all beaches now (there's even a lot at Polkerris near the scout hut). As you can imagine, they do NOT biodegrade and are difficult to extract. Surfers Against Sewage did a campaign to get plastics companies to try and reduce the output of the pellets - after all it is their raw material and represents a waste to the companies as well. You can read more on the mermaid tears on the SAS website.
In other news, did you notice it has been a wee bit windy?! Thanks to Adrian for the photo of the shifting sands.
4th May 2011
The temporary (1yr lease) cafe van is open. It's just to the side of the old cafe building (face the old cafe, it's immediately to the left of it tucked back from the access road) and serves a range of refreshments including pasties, sausage rolls, sandwiches, cream teas, hot and cold drinks, fresh fruit and sweets.
28th April 2011 (Part 2)
We now need your help with one of the projects we have running with the University of Plymouth (possible because we won the community grants for them).
The seaweed project is investigating possibilities of what best to do with it (not all, just some) and we hope to start a composting experiment on Sunday 8th May. We need two things. Firstly we need willing and able folk to come help put together 5 one metre square compost bins from pallets, fence posts and chicken wire (this will be at the west end), and then help put some seaweed in the first one. Secondly we need people to take a turn in turning the seaweed to help the compost along. If you think you may be able to help with either/both or have some questions please do get in touch by email or by calling Jan P (01726) 810026.
28th April 2011 (Part 1)
Park Leisure (the caravan park) have the 12 month lease for the temporary refreshments at the beach this year (since the cafe is out of action). They have put a burger van there and although it wasn't open for Easter as hoped, it will be open this weekend!
19th April 2011
Want to know more about the Great Easter Newt Hunt? Pop over to ARG UK website or see a bit more info on our Events page.
17th April 2011
If anyone thought that Friends of Par Beach running a beach clean (in aid of Clean Cornwall week) was a waste of time just a fortnight after the council scraped the beach using a bulldozer then they're in for a surprise...
Not a bad haul considering! Very little glass this time but lots of plastics and dog mess is still a huge problem in the dunes. A huge thank you to everyone who gave up the precious time today, and in such beautiful weather too. We were joined by a group doing their Community Payback and it was good to have them working amongst us and thanks also to Caroline Wildish who always sorts the necessaries out.
In other news, though not quite Par Beach related, Tywardreath Village Hall reopens on Wednesday (20th) after it's refurb, from 11am to 4pm so do pop along to see it. A few TVH diary dates are on our links page.
13th April 2011 (Part 3)
You may have seen the Police helicopter, dogs and officers at and around Par Beach yesterday afternoon. Sadly they're looking for a local man who has been reported missing.
Toby Cullen aged 45 years who resides in St Blazey Gate, Par has not been seen since the evening of Sunday 10th April after visiting the Ship Inn pub and then (possibly) the Welcome Home Inn.
Police are becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare. He is described as a white man, approximately 5’ 8” in height, average build, with dark brown hair, thinning on top and was last seen wearing a grey jumper, jeans and possibly has a black Nike backpack with him.
Police ask that if anyone sees Toby or anyone matching his description to please call them on 08452 777444 quoting police reference 155 120411.
EDITED 8th May 2011 to say that sadly Toby was found this morning. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.
13th April 2011 (Part 2)
The camera session with Tim and Janie Bullen on Sunday was fantastic. The sun shone and everyone was given ideas of how best to get down to nature. There was advice about clothing (not loud in colour or noise!), taking your cameras down to ground level and lots of help with which settings to try and what various buttons actually do. A big thank you to Tim and Janie. If we're lucky, they may run another session later in the year. Some photos from the session will be on the website soon.
Don't forget 11am this coming Sunday for the Beach Clean.
Behind the scenes there's lots of work going in to organizing more events and also plans are afoot wrt the seaweed project. More news later on.
13th April 2011 (Part 1)
We have been asked to assist with the plastics survey which is being undertaken by Plymouth University for the benefit of Par Beach.
The work does not need any skills except to read figures off a GPS. Ideally the helper would drive the student around beaches involved, which are Par, Booley (a short walk from Polkerris), Porthpean, Pentewan and Caerhays. There is a mileage allowance for using your car.
If you would like to help, but not use your car, or can only manage a half day, then offers will still be appreciated. If you know of someone who has an interest in Par Beach, but is not a member, this is not a condition of being able to help.
The survey can take place over 2 consecutive days out of the following. Offers of help on any day(s) will be gratefully received. I would like to sort out dates before Easter. Please let Mike know at email@example.com
The two neap tide cycles in MAY will be 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th, and 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th.
6th April 2011
A beautiful warm and sunny day today with lots of people parked up by the duck pond for their lunch. It's good to see people out and about but PLEASE park in the designated areas and not on the grass!
We're not sure quite what has been going on yet, but it seems that the beach has been scraped of all the seaweed, insects and even rubbish.....
and the resulting mix dumped in large heaps..... Hmmm.
2nd April 2011
There is a gas cylinder on the beach between London Rock and the Polmear stream. Do please give it a wide berth as it is unclear whether it contains anything. The authorities have been notified but we don't expect it to be removed until Monday morning. A couple of cones and some (unrelated!) warning tape has been put around the cylinder as an unsubtle hint.
Edited to add that the Police and Coastguard attended the site and safely removed the cylinder.
30th March 2011 (part 2)
The environment agency has published water quality readings for Par Beach. Links to their website are below and they will open a new window;
Par Beach 2010
Par Beach 2009
In fact you can read the data for 1988 right through to last year 2010.
30th March 2011 (part 1)
We have an update from Par Sands Holiday Park (document opens in a new window) about the work and improvements they're doing on site.
You may be interested to know that the council has awarded Par Sands a 12 month lease to run a temporary catering unit by the old cafe. This means we'll be able to get a cup of tea at the beach this year, even though the cafe itself is still very much up in the air.
25th March 2011 (Part 4)
Contrary to current rumours, the Par Beach Cafe has NOT been sold!
Cornwall Council are currently advertising for expressions of interest in running a temporary mobile facility this summer. Cllr David Hughes said that although this is not a permanent solution it will allow people to get cups of tea and other refreshments there this summer. Cornwall Council said it will be calling for expressions of interest in running a permanent café later this year. In the meantime Miles Dewhurst from Park Leisure 2000 Ltd (Par Sands Holiday Park) offered to paint the existing café to tidy it up for the summer, this has been done and the cafe building is no longer such an eyesore but a nice, clean white.
We can also report that two sets of large potholes have been filled and the car park toll hut also has been cleaned up.
25th March 2011 (Part 3)
You can read the press release about the Par Beach Community Day. It talks about the main issues that people felt were important and what steps are being taken to address them. Topics cover the cafe, all ability access to the beach and dog fouling to name but a few. It's early days but this is an important start.
25th March 2011 (Part 2)
The Environment Agency has made available information on many UK beaches. On their website you can find Par Beach's bathing profile. The information will be updated in May 2012 and makes for a quick but interesting read. Essentially water quality is mainly adversely effected during/after heavy rainfall due to the runoff of water from the land within the catchment basin, work is being carried out to identify exactly where from so changes can be made if possible to reduce the problem.
25th March 2011 (Part 1)
Lots of updates to make today.
The Spring Dance with Caracana was really good fun and the music from Caracana amazing. Everyone enjoyed the food offered which included Pearn's pasties and homemade falafel, not to mention the snacks, salads and cakes. Everyone worked hard to set up the event, especially John, Jan and Jules from the committee.
Thanks especially to our generous raffle prize donators:
Marsh Villa Gardens, Par
Richards Fruit & Veg, Par
Charles Harris Butcher, Tywardreath
Duchy Smoked Fish Company, Par
Patnicks Preserves, Par
Eillis Wharton Wines, Par
4th March 2011
A Hawaian Goose (Nene) suffering from Angels Wing (which can caused by being fed with inappropriate food such as lots of bread), was captured by the RSPCA today and taken away. There are some good photographs of the goose on St Austell Baywatch blog.
It will remain with the RSPCA for a week in case someone comes forward to claim it, then it will then wing(!) its way to Wingz at Treesmill for a life of tlc. Wingz will open for the season on 1st April from 10am to 5pm.
1st March 2011
There's been a fair bit of Armed Forces air activity recently, Caroline Wildish sent in a photograph take from the beach, of a Merlin EH101 that's stationed at Culdrose. It is painted in Afghanistan Terrain Camouflage.
Just to offset all that metal, we have another from Caroline, of a Pied Wagtail:
28th February 2011 (Part 3) (It's all go, today!)
Cornwall Council have put out to tender a temporary mobile cafe for Par Beach, just until the original cafe is being sorted out.
Chairman of Friends of Par Beach, Mike Freemantle says:
"As it is too late for a new building to be completed for this season it is good that Cornwall Council is responding to pleas from local people for a refreshment facility on Par Beach. Friends of Par Beach is in collaboration with the School of Architecture, Design & Environment at Plymouth University to design a cafe, which it is hoped may include community space, information and wildlife interpretation, toilets, showers, a viewing area and storage. This is an exciting project that we hope will be developed to the planning application stage towards the end of this year."
28th February 2011 (Part 2)
Work Party Activity on Sunday (yesterday).
Fifteen stalwarts cleared lots of brambles and dead undergrowth from what are known as the orchid meadows on Sunday. These are the meadows on each side of the track to the slip at the western end of the beach. They have been in need of management for some time to open up the area for the Southern Marsh Orchids that are known to be there, but have mostly remained unseen for several years.
The occasional heavy shower did not detract from the work, until that is the tea and coffee arrived. The tea break in the gazebo was perfectly timed to coincide with another shower!
Inspection after working for a couple of hours or so with spade, loppers and long-handled slashers proved that a lot had been achieved. Come and see the display of flowers from May to July.
The last Practical Habitat Conservation (work party) morning for the winter will be on Sunday 27th March.
28th February 2011 (Part 1)
Wassailers won, Girls Allowed Out came second and Intelligencia were third. What was it? The first Friends of Par Beach Quiz Night, held at Gott Hall last Thursday (24th February). Photos of the event are in the event gallery.
Over 30 people filled 8 tables at the quiz and spent a couple of hours or so scratching heads answering a multitude of questions from Quizmaster David Stevens. There were 8 rounds which included geography, history, entertainment & some local questions for those with long memories of Par.
A short interval enjoying Pearns of Par Pasties was soon over, and the “Heads & Tails” game was great fun, especially for the winner of the bottle of whisky.
We also had a raffle, which was kindly sponsored by Tesco & by other donors of extra prizes.
As well as being great fun and a good social occasion, Friends of Par Beach raised around £100 to help its work for the benefit of Par Beach, not to mention recruiting a few new members.
26th February 2011
The remnants of a dead seal at the east end of Par Beach has been found, just below the High Tide mark, which suggests that by Monday it will be above the high tide mark. It is not very nice and is well rotted. We have contacted the strandings network. Please stay well away!
22nd February 2011
There was a lot of broken glass in the centre of the west end car park this morning - evidence of a party last night. We've reported it and that should have been cleared by now. We've also reported the large pot holes that have appeared in the access road; near the main road, by the car park hut and at nr the west end car park.
DON'T FORGET IT'S THE GRAND QUIZ THIS THURSDAY. You don't have to reserve a table, but it would help us to know table numbers so that we can order enough pasties! Sunday is the next work party activity, more bramble bashing at the west end field.
18th February 2011
Another moorhen has lost its life crossing the road by the pool today.
It may seem trivial but PLEASE would you NOT feed the ducks/swans/other feathered visitors, from your cars in the car parks opposite the pool. This encourages them all to cross the road to look for treats and the roadkill count increases every year because of it. We're not saying don't feed them(!) just please cross the road so they don't have to.
It would be helpful to understand why people do feed them out of/by the cars, then maybe we could try and get some changes made to help resolve any issues. Is it about mobility perhaps? Lack of benches? Lack of time? Large numbers of geese/swans are scary? Please, tell us.
We're hoping to put together some food advice; some suggestions for alternative food that could be offered to the wildfowl to eat if you're willing and able to do so (perhaps a bit more nutritious for them instead of just bread!).
15th February 2011 (Part 2)
Just a quick note about the barrels that washed up on the beach. We can confirm that if you do find barrels and you think they may have something in them (please do not touch), then the correct course of action is to telephone the Coastguard on 999. Don't forget, we have a whole page dedicated to "What You Should Do If...", which can be found both under About The Beach and under Contact Us.
15th February 2011 (Part 1)
Three new bird photos are on the wildlife blog.
Also a date for your diary - Park Leisure (the caravan park) are holding a consultation exercise at the clubhouse by the swimming pool about their planned changes to the site (children's activity playground, putting green etc). This will be on Thursday 17th February from 3pm to 7pm so do go along and have a look and a chat.
14th February 2011 (Part 2)
In the spirit of romance (well alright, it has nothing to do with romance or Valentines Day!), here's an update on the Plymouth University architecture students Par Beach Cafe projects:
Mike Freemantle and Jane Richards, joined by Councillor David Hughes, were privileged to hear 13 presentations at The School of Architecture, Design and Environment at Plymouth University on 10th February. The amount of work that had been achieved in just 5 weeks by year one students was amazing. All concentrated on using environmentally sustainable materials and there was a wide variety on offer. A panel, including the above, judged each entry in order of merit and the tutors will take the project forward.
It will be necessary to obtain funding of £6000 to £8000 to pay a post graduate student to undertake the next stage which is to prepare plans and a scale model of the winning designs and to lodge a planning application with Cornwall Council.
It was an amazing day and gives us much encouragement to progress the project. At the Par Beach Community Day on 5th February, by far the most important topic for feedback was the cafe, with most people's opinion being that it needs to be demolished now and for a new cafe and community information centre to replace it soon.
14th February 2011 (Part 1)
Just to mention that Par Sands Coastal Holiday Park (or the 'caravan park' as it tends to be referred to locally) were notified on Feb 4th that they have received planning permission from Cornwall Council to extend their season to run from March 7th to January 7th each year (i.e. closed between January and March instead of Halloween and Easter). This brings it in line with the Eden Way part of the site at the west end.
13th February 2011
With regards to the barrel on the beach, the Fire Service came and took it away, however Adrian tell us that today another barrel washed up (see photo below). Someone has thoughtfully moved it next to a bin, away from the beach. While this seems like a good idea, as we do not know whether the contents are hazardous or not, the best thing to do is to leave well alone. We have contacted the authorities and we will endeavour to keep you updated.
11th February 2011
Adrian W has reported that a black unmarked barrel has washed up at the east end of the beach. The authorities have been informed. In the meantime please keep yourself away from it as it potentially hazardous. We'll keep you posted.
Remember it's a photo session on Sunday, 14:15 by the pool (near the caravan park office). Bring your point and shoot compact or a dSLR, it matters not.
Have you decided on your Quiz Teams yet? It's the Friends of Par Beach Quiz Night on Thursday 24th February at Gott Hall, hosted by David Stevens. Do come along, it stands to be good fun.
6th February 2011
Mike, Jane, Jules and John from the Friends of Par Beach Committee all spent time manning a table at the Par Beach Community Day at Gott Hall yesterday. There was a steady flow of visitors and lots of input which is really good news.
Jan has happened upon an a photography competition (good practise for entering ours!), details below:
‘Whatever the Weather’ – win a National Trust annual family pass in Climate SouthWest’s photo competition! Climate SouthWest are running a photo competition on the theme of ‘extreme weather’, with a fantastic first prize of an annual family pass for one year’s free admission to National Trust places! They are looking for your photos that illustrate the effect that extreme weather has on the South West, under 4 categories: ‘Hot; ‘Cold’; ‘Wet’; and ‘Dry’. As well as the prize for the overall winner, there will be also be prizes for the best photo in each category, and for the best photo taken by an Under-16. The deadline for entries is Sunday 13th March and the winners will be announced during Climate Week 2011 (21st – 27th March). Full competition details and the entry form can be downloaded from their events page, here.
31st January 2011
The work party at the 'orchid fields' at the west end of the beach yesterday went really well and it was good to be joined by the ranger Paul. The two meadows concerned, are close to the slipway into the Par River and have a wonderful display of Southern March Orchids from late May to July. In the past few years the scrub has taken over some areas and it is necessary to clear these, of brambles in particular, in order to allow the orchids to bloom and be seen by those walking past. Most of the group was involved in this activity, but another group trimmed back trees that had grown over another orchid area. It was such a beautiful day with the 2 or 3 hours work passing very quickly and it was good to see the pile of brambles at the end. We will continue to bramble bash there for the next two work party sessions (Sunday 27th Feb and Sunday 27th March).
THIS THURSDAY (3rd) is the St Blazey Feast Parade, we understand that the Parade will start at Polgrean and finish at the Football Club at 18.30 (ish). There will be free food and fireworks at around 18.45. Do come along to support this event and Friends of Par Beach hope to see you there.
Don't forget that THIS SATURDAY (5th) is the Par Beach Community Day at Gott Hall. We will be there along with other groups at this Cornwall Council organized event to find out what everyone wants to see or not to see happen at the beach/local nature reserve. It is important that everyone who can, comes down to share their thoughts and ideas.
Jill Trewhella has sent in more photos including this of a water rail and another below showing the icy pool, both were taken yesterday lunchtime.
22nd January 2011
A great photo of a heron and a bittern at the pool. Taken by Simon Tagney on Thursday (22/01/11). Thanks for letting us share it Simon.
20th January 2011 Part 2
There was a Par Beach stakeholders meeting in December to which we were invited along to. This was hosted by Cornwall Council and representatives from many local and national groups were there. Mike Freemantle has this to say:
"Jane (Richards) and I attended this meeting, which was an exploratory meeting of interested parties which included:-
Friends of Par Beach
Cornwall Council (reps from Property Services, Environmental Planning, Car Parks, North Cornwall Beaches, Planning Dept. etc)
Par Community Association
Par Beach Ranger (Paul Mason)
Three groups were formed and each had the same task, which was to identify Immediate, Medium Term and Long Term strategies/projects and condense into 4 key words. Despite the make-up of groups not being balanced in terms of interest, each group came up with quite similar results.
The meeting moved things forward towards a management strategy and the next stage will be a presentation of the meeting’s findings at a Par Beach Community Day at Gott Hall on Saturday 5th February."
A list of things put in to the melting pot at the meeting is in a Stakeholders Meeting document, this can be found on our website Documents page as well from that direct link. Please bear in mind that they are just thoughts from the people that were at the meeting and nothing more should be read in to it!
There is a meeting tomorrow at the Eden Project to sort out how the Par Beach Community Day will be set out. It will be hosted by Cornwall Council at Gott Hall with representatives of the stakeholders there wherever possible and this will be YOUR opportunity to tell the council what you do and don't want to see at Par Beach and the Local Nature Reserve. We'll add more details here when we have them but please make a note of the date in your diary as it's very important that everyone comes along to support the beach.
20th January 2011 Part 1
Time for a couple of photos I think. First up is from a selection sent in by Jill Trewhella recently (thanks Jill), of a coot with more than its fair share of i.d. rings.
Next is a yesterday's sunset, taken by Adrian Wildish;
Mike has set a new Chairman's Challenge involving you taking a photograph so do have a go, and don't forget our 2010-2011 Annual Photography Competition.
19th January 2011
CALL OUT FOR St BLAZEY HELPERS
St Blazey residents are wanted to help make a GIANT RAM WILLOW LANTERN in the Burrows centre this week.
The ram is part of the Feast week lantern parade on 3rd February and also of a communuity event that will take place partly on the beach later in the year which the Friends of Par Beach are supporting.
Times are Friday 21st from 2.30pm to 6.30pm for adults only to make the willow frame and then from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 22nd for all ages to cover it in paper and mount carry it down for storage elsewhere.
No previous expertise needed and all children are to be accompanied.
18th January 2011
Plymouth University Architecture students vs Par Beach Cafe
Last week you may have noticed over 100 people suddenly descend on Par Beach and loiter by the cafe building (and later the Scout Hall). You may remember that we applied for some help to come up with possible designs for a new cafe/centre under a Plymouth University Grant scheme (our proposal for investigations in to the seaweed and litter washed up on the beach won one of the grant awards), well the architecture faculty's interest was piqued and they have set the students a five week project to come up with designs they think are suitable to replace the current cafe building with.
Back to last week.....Mike, Jules and Jane met with the students and answered lots of questions about the old cafe, the beach and area in general. We've no idea how whacky the designs will be but are hopeful that they will all include a sustainable building with a cafe, toilets and a meeting area!
This means, we'll be seeing approx. 24 different designs, complete with small models, in a few weeks time at the University. Friends of Par Beach will be attending a prize giving for the best ideas. We'll keep you posted.
17th January 2011
Jules (Friends of Par Beach Secretary) thought you might be interested in something that happened on Saturday 15th Jan in the afternoon.
"I was walking my dogs through the dunes at Par Beach on our way back to my car when I met a woman (I only know her first name - Rosemary ) who told me she was waiting for her dog who had stuck her nose down a rabbit hole. I asked her what dog it was, and she said a Jack Russell. This set off alarm bells as I know they go down these rabbit holes at the drop of a hat. I told the woman of my concerns and she said that the hole wasn't big enough for the dog (Daisy) to get down, and did not seem at all perturbed by the situation.
I continued on my way and then noticed my two dogs (Rhubarb, a Sprocker and Rocket, a Springer) sniffing at a particular hole. They never bother about rabbits usually so I knew something was up. I looked down the hole but couldn't see anything, then heard a dog yapping - the sound coming from down the hole. I called to Rosemary and told her I could hear a dog barking under ground and I thought it must be hers. I put my dogs back in the car and told Rosemary to either call the RSPCA or the Fire Brigade, but she didn't have a mobile and neither did I. She eventually found someone who let her use a mobile.
When I got back to the spot where the dog could still be heard yapping, a Park Leisure employee, Mackie, had arrived on the scene with a small shovel and started to dig for her. We could all still hear the dog yapping underground, but the sound seemed to move around. Mackie dug away at the entrance to the hole where she had obviously gone down, and Rosemary rang the Coastguard who gave her a number for the RSPCA, who were rung. We were all a bit worried as it would soon be getting dark. Eventually Daisy appeared - she must have found her way out through another entrance - and came near to me where she proceeded straight away to dive down another hole! I managed to grab hold of one of her back legs before she disappeared altogether, then got hold of the other one and dragged her out backwards from the hole. I had to hold on to her tightly as she was determined to go back down the hole, despite her previous ordeal! Rosemary's grandson then came and put her lead on and she was safely reunited with a very relieved Rosemary.
I would just like to warn people who own small dogs, but terriers and Jack Russells particularly, to keep their dogs on a lead while they are walking though the dunes, or even along the beach at the edge of the dunes, to prevent something like this happening again, with perhaps tragic results, and not the happy outcome that we experienced this time."
11th January 2011 Part 2
Adrian has just been down to the beach and spotted a dead dolphin on the tide line down at the east end, there seems to be some sort of a yellow tag close to where its tail should have been. Please keep yourselves and your family and/or dogs away from it - we have reported it.
11th January 2011 Part 1
Photo by Mark Whittaker
"There have been more sightings of the bittern since before xmas and there now appears to be a pair!
My expert informers tell me that there has been a bittern on the lake in winter for about 4 years, but it has never been seen so often. If you have binoculars and are going to Par Beach do take them with you. I have had 3 sightings since Boxing Day and don't spend a great deal of time there.
Well done to Mark Whittaker who took this photo and kindly agreed that we can use it.
If you see a bird that seems to be flying like a heron, but it's brown, then you have seen one of the bitterns. You'll need to be hawk-eyed (or just lucky!) and using powerful binoculars to spot one in the reeds and are more likely to experience that if you have seen it land.
Lastly, apologies to member Gill Bolton, who told me of a sighting in summer and I was sceptical."