News 2012

All the latest news can be found on the Current News page


28th December 2012
Flood alerts remain in force. Rivers and streams are full, and the ground is saturated. Full Moon is today (Friday) which brings with it high tides of 5m. Fleet Weather Centre has issued an advisory for heavy seas this weekend which could result in an increased tidal surge which in turn could cause localised flooding on low lying coastlines.

Severe gales are forecast from mid Friday through Saturday and intermittently until late Monday, with average wave heights of 6 metres peeking to 9 metres on Sunday before returning to normal.

Take care around the Polmear stream and Par river, be aware that with weakened cliff faces there is also the possibility of further collapses on the SW coastal path during and after the event. A rare landslide warning has been issued by the British Geological Society, soil when waterlogged soil turns to liquid:

"The British Geological Survey (BGS), along with other agencies, feeds information into the Hazard Warning Centre at the Met Office in Exeter.The South West Coastal Path, which covers most of the Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset coasts, runs through areas which are potentially at risk. The BGS has concerns about the stability of cliffs because of recent heavy rain. And amid fears for walkers, it urges extra caution near cliff edges"

Also be aware that there is a possiblity of dead marine life being washed up onto the beach with all the high winds and waves.


26th December 2012
Sadly on Christmas Eve there was an incident at the pond resulting in the death of a young swan. A retired couple who were in the area visiting family were out walking the family dog by themselves and let the dog off of its lead. The dog made a bee-line for the pond, attacked the swan and the swan was killed. It wasn't possible to reach them or intervene as they were on the far side of the pond, in the water. The couple were totally distraught and it was upsetting for everyone.

Friends of Par Beach are not anti-dogs but dog owners do need to keep their pets under control, and ideally on a lead when near wildlife. The pond and area around it is a Local Nature Reserve and is home to many swans and wildfowl, dog owners need to act responsibly to ensure tragedies such as this are prevented. Legally dog owners should have charge and control of their animals in a public place.


23rd December 2012
Part of the cliff path between Polmear and Polkerris has fallen away. The path has been closed so please stay away as it is not safe. Even though the cliff fall is at the Polkerris End, the whole path has been shut due to fears of more landslides/cliff falls - please do not take any risks.


22nd December 2012
Water levels have risen and are expected to rise further as there is more heavy rain on the way, flood alerts remain in force. Thank you to Pete O'Shea for his flood photos.
floods12
Adrian Wildish (Flood Warden) says "Flood Warden hat again, those of you who have already been down to the beach today will be aware that the Polmear stream has breached by the car park attendents hut and that water is streaming across the road, please give way so that we do not have cars trying to pass each other in the water and be aware that you will see ducks and swans swimming in the road the lake has also breached onto the road a little further round so there is plenty of water on the Access road further a round from the eastern car park. Please also note that both the Polmear stream and the Par river are flowing very rapidly at the moment, please take care in these areas and dog walkers should think about keeping their dogs on leads when close by, the Par River in particular is very turbulent at the moment."

UPDATE
From our Community Flood Group (Saturday 22nd 17:32)
The Environment Agency have raised the current Flood Alert to a Flood Warning for Par and St Blazey. This is in response to the high level of the Par River and Trefry Canal.
A Flood Warning means flooding is expected and immediate action is required. For example;
Move family, pets and valuables to a safe place.
Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if safe to do so.
Put flood protection equipment in place.
These are challenging conditions, above all be safe at all times. More info to follow from us through the night.


18th December 2012
From our Community Flood Group
The level of concern over rainfall Tuesday (18th) night and over the next couple of days is increasing. The Environment Agency has recently issued flood warnings for our local rivers.
The Met Office has issued an Amber rainfall alert for Cornwall. Heavy rainfall is expected between midnight Tuesday and 6am Wednesday morning. Then steady heavy rainfall from 6pm into the evening on Wednesday and extending into Thursday. This poses the risk of surface water and river flooding. This could continue into Saturday.
Please be alert and prepared for the possibility of flooding.

17th December 2012
Nigel Climson has kindly agreed to share his photos with us. You can read his nature blog which often includes what he sees on our patch. Here is his photo of the ring necked duck that is currently on the pond.

ring necked duck by NigelClimson


15th December 2012
Flood warnings are no longer in force, the Polmear Stream is flowing freely and everything looks normal at the beach.

We have been told that a dead swan has been found on the tide line, it has been reported to the council for removal. Please keep yourselves and your dogs away from it.

Have you noticed that at the eastern (Polmear) end, the stream has re-routed itself? Thank you Adrian for the photographs.

stream-reroute2 stream-reroute1


14th December 2012
More information from our local flood group:

Please be aware the Environment Agency has issued a new Flood Warning for Saturday morning at high tide along the south coast of Cornwall. We may see a repeat of the problems experienced this morning.

The local time of high water on the 15th December 2012 is 06:30 at Par. The forecast surge height is 0.26m, wind direction is south westerly and wind strength is Force 5 to 6.

Don't forget that stormy weather and surges means we are likely to get all sorts of debris washing up on the beach in the next few days so be aware and be careful.


14th December 2012
The forecasts were accurate. The sea topped the harbours at Falmouth, Mevagissey, Fowey and Looe. Also the heavy rain caused pooling on roads. We hope that you are all dry and safe.

On a cheerier note, have you looked at the residents of the pond lately? The black swan is back in all its glory. Thank you Pat Barker for sharing your photograph with us.

Black Swan by Pat Walker


13th December 2012
From our Community Flood Wardens

Earlier today Flood Alerts were issued for the north and south coasts of Cornwall. This has now been upgraded to a Flood Warning for the south coast.
This applies to ALL coastal communities between Lands End and Plymouth including Falmouth, Mevagissey, *****PAR, FOWEY***** and Looe.

The risk is greatest two hours either side of high tide on Friday morning which is roughly from 05:00 (Par) to 06:00 (Plymouth). Strong winds (gale 7) will be blowing the high tide on shore. A tidal surge of up to half a metre is expected. This will coincide with a heavy front of rain which could cause localised surface water flooding. Volunteers in Par and St Blazey will be on patrol in the early hours of Friday to monitor the situation.

PLEASE stay away from jetties and quays, take any flood precautions that you are supposed to take and stay safe.

Remember that we get a lot of debris washed up on the beach after stormy weather so stay vigilant on the beach for dead or beached marine mammals and hazards such as flares or barrels. We have a "What To Do If" page which should answer any questions on what to do with anything you find on the beach.


10th December 2012
Stop the presses! We have taken delivery of four benches and a team form Park Leisure (the caravan park) are going to install them for us in positions agreed with Cornwall Council. This is brilliant news and we're looking forward to bringing you photos of them all ready to be used.


7th December 2012 Part 2
Hurrah, the dead seal was finally removed from the beach by Cory yesterday. Please note that there is some dead dogfish on the beach so you might want to watch your dogs for rolling, still. We do report all strandings/dead animals that we see or hear about but if you want to report a dead animal yourself you can report it directly to Cornwall Council using their Dead Animal Removal page.


7th December 2012 Part 1
BBC TWO’S hugely popular programme, Stargazing Live, is back in the New Year and to mark its return Cornwall is hosting a stellar event designed to encourage everyone – from the complete beginner to the enthusiastic amateur – to make the most of the night sky.

The South West event will take place on Tuesday 08 January 2013 at the Eden Project, near St Austell, from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Entry to the Eden Project and the event will be free during the evening but by ticket only. You can register for tickets on the BBC Shows and Tours website at www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours from November 30 at 6pm until midnight on Tuesday 11 December.  Tickets will be allocated by random draw and will be sent out in advance of the event. No more than 6 tickets per household.

Brian Sheen, Roseland Observatory Director, is bringing together a host of family activities by local astronomy societies such as an inflatable planetarium from Plymouth University, rocket launches, handling meteorites, driving a model Mars Rover up in Shetland remotely from Eden, this and lots more will make it an amazing night. Full details on our Events Page.


2nd December 2012
Please be carefel and keep an eye on your dogs as there is currently the remains of one seal and two ccetaceans on the beach. We have asked again for their removal. The stormy weather and high tides has a lot to answer for!


26th November 2012 Part 2
All the run off has continued to fill the river, stream, lake and now the caravan park.
High tide will be in the early hours of Tuesday morning at 4:20am with a height of 4.8m and there is more heavy rain forecast overnight tonight so do be careful.

Thanks to Pete O'Shea for the photos taken this afternoon. If you're walking across the caravan park paths you will need knee height wellies. You have been warned!

flood1 flood4

flood2 flood3


26th November 2012 Part 1
The photo below is of some of the brilliant people that helped out at the work party yesterday, it's amazing the smiles you get with the lure of chocolate biscuits. Others were working further back and joined us later for a tea break.

P1000748

There was another dead dolphin washed ashore yesterday, it was tagged and waiting for removal before lunchtime.


25th November 2012
We had a great turn out today at the work party, everyone made the most of the break in the stormy weather to clear back the gorse that has been blocking paths and light to the plants below. Thank you all for your efforts, photos to come. Our next work party is on 6th January so a shift from the traditional end of month Sundays to the beginning of the month Sundays.

Please be careful around the swollen lake, river and stream, the floodwater covers up boggy ground and potholes so please don't risk wading through it. Polmear Stream is especially bad and has broken its banks.

The Quiz night with David Stephens which was on 15th November was a resounding success, thank you David. The Pilgrims pipped Pilgrims Progress to the winners post by just 2 points, with scores of 143 to 141 respectively. Golant Rules Ok brought up the rear with a respectful 112 points. More importantly, everyone had a good time and we raised a massive £198.20 for Friends of Par Beach in the process. Thank you.

quiz2

In other news, we are excited to learn that a Super Sprint Triathlon, organised as part of a series of events by Carrick Leisure, will be taking place at Par Beach on Sunday 12 May next year. It should start at around 0800 depending on tides, with a swim in the sea, a cycle ride along the haul road, followed by a run around the caravan park. This is for Novice Triathletes so if you're interested in giving it a go then this is the one for you. More details to follow as we get them but we thought we'd share this with you as we're helping out both before and on the day.


20th November 2012
More stormy seas and another marine mammal stranding on the beach (dead though). Please keep your dogs away until it has been collected and disposed of.

We have some good news to share, but we can't tell you yet.....!


15th November 2012
Par Beach Management Group Press Release

A group of organisations and businesses with an interest in the beach met with Cornwall Council to discuss how they might all work together to manage the beach. Cornwall Council has obtained funding from the Clay Country Local Action Group to create the group and have an open day early in the New Year. Groups currently involved in the Par Beach Management Group are Par Community Association, Friends of Par Beach, Tywardreath and Par Parish Council, Park Leisure Ltd, Par Bay BIG Local and Cornwall Council. Local landowners will be invited and included in the mailing list.

The group’s role was discussed and it agreed that it would provide Cornwall Council with context and direction in managing the area. It would build upon the current five year management plan and contribute and help to deliver an agreed annual management plan. Work programmes will be reviewed and the group asked for advice and guidance on any significant developments.

The group is meeting again in December to discuss whether it should extend its remit to St Andrew’s Road Reserve, water quality and the forthcoming consultation day on Saturday 12th of January 2012 at Gott Hall, Par. If anyone has any issues they would like the Par Beach Management Group to air then get in contact with your local representative.

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p.s. Quiz Night tonight (Thursday), don't forget now.


29th October 2012
We're proud to say that the new access path was officially opened on Saturday afternoon (27th) with Annie Vallender cutting the ribbon. With Jan leading the Access Group as part of her role with Groundworks, and John, Mike and Richard all from FoPB sitting on the committee at various times, Friends of Par Beach were a major player in the result. The Access Group had representatives from Groundworks, Par Community Association, Parish Council, Sensory Trust, Cornwall Council, Park Leisure on it, and Eco-Bos and the Seaside Towns Programme provided funding. The access has been greatly improved, linking the western car park to the wildflower field, the copse and back to the caravan park and also to the Clay Trails route through Par. The bright surface has made a world of difference to partially sighted visitors and residents alike. We're hoping that the access onto and off of the haul road will be adjusted soon to make it easier to get across and we will let you know when we have any news for you on that. All in all, it's good to report a real improvement that we've been part of.

2012 10 27 005
Thank you to everyone who came to help with bramble bashing at our work party on Sunday, and to Teresa for doing the refreshments as well. Photos of both events should be on here soon. Our next event is the ever popular Quiz Night with David Stevens on 15th November.

We've had a lovely article written about Par Beach in this months Cornwall Today (Cornwall's lifestyle magazine by Devon and Cornwall media), do read a copy if you can, there are a few copies left at Par Post Office.


18th October 2012
We are pleased to welcome Jules Jonklaas back on to the FoPB committee and look forward to having her knowledge and experience helping our cause once again.


17th October 2012
No major problems on the beach this morning with the southerly gales and high tide, the main car park was flooded in two places but this is normal after exceptionally high tides. The water has since drained but has left some bad potholes in the car park, so as mentioned on Monday, do be careful and avoid driving or stepping in them. Polmear stream is still very high and it did breach slightly where the path alongside it is at its lowest points. The silt trap is very high at the moment and it was noticed that the EA flaps still let some water through to back up the stream further but not enough to worry about. Exit from Polmear stream is flowing freely. Par River does not look like it has had any problems. One dolphin or porpoise washed up by London Rock and that has been reported to Marine Strandings network. The next few high tides will probably be higher than usual however not as high as this mornings.


15th October 2012
Do please be careful in the main beach car park and avoid driving through the puddles as much as you can - some of them are quite deep after all the rain on top of the annual wear and tear.


9th October 2012
The Parish Council are opening the new access path at the western end on Saturday 27th October at 2pm, Councillor Hughes will be doing the honours. We hope to see you there in support of the work everyone has put in to get this completed.


2nd October 2012
Dear Members,
I would just like to say how proud and pleased I am to be voted in as the next Chairman of Friends of Par Beach. My aim is to carry on the great work that has been done already. Sadly we are losing Mike Freemantle and also Jan Phillips from the committee, but it is my intention to keep both of them involved as much as possible, as we cannot afford to lose their enthusiasm, expertise and contacts.

In the three years since we’ve been in existence, we are now considered a major stakeholder in the future management of Par Beach, and we expect to be part of the Par Beach Partnership structure being put together by Cornwall Council.

We have several successes already behind us, being involved in the Access Group that drove forward and established funding for the new path through the Orchid Meadow and beyond, the upgraded car park surfaces, and the improving of the access to the only seat with a sea-view on the entire beach. We now have enough funding for some new seats, and we have had very positive meetings with the Council and Cormac about their location and design.
We were involved in two interesting scientific projects, one involving the amounts and types of plastic that we accrue on the beach, and also a seaweed project, where experiments were conducted to look at the potential of harvesting the seaweed for commercial and private use. Reports on both projects are available if required. We have an ongoing and valuable liaison with the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus, whereby a group of students are looking at the way we operate, with a view to helping us move forward especially with the younger generation, who we are keen to include. There will be a further group of students from the University working with us, considering issues of sustainability and development.
We will continue to have our regular events such as flower/bird/bat/beach walks, litter picks, work parties and of course the ever popular quiz nights. If anyone has suggestions for events they would like us to put on, please contact us.
We have a vibrant Facebook page. Please keep the contacts coming, but do not expect us to take sides in what we consider to be personal opinions on various subjects.
We have a good relationship with Park Leisure, and recently asked them if they would consider bike racks when the new cafe is built and we received a very positive answer on this initiative.

So lots achieved already but plenty more to keep us busy, so why not come and join us and get involved. We would welcome you into the fold with open arms. Oh, and please don’t forget that we would like you to renew your membership if you haven’t joined/re-joined since 1st July).

Best Regards
Richard Parks (Chairman)


28th September 2012
The AGM on Wednesday evening went well, it was followed by a talk from the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus students, a display by Victoria County History and much tea and chatter. Richard Parks has taken on the mantle of Chairman so that Mike can spend more time out playing. Jan Phillips has also stepped down from the committe to concentrate on her other commitments but luckily for us Jan will continue to run the winter work parties for us and Mike will also remain involved as a volunteer.

Our first winter work party will be the last Sunday in October (28th), more details to follow but it will be habitat management. We are organzing a litter pick and another bat walk, and don't forget the quiz night on Thursday 15th November.

There has been some spraying done over the dunes. A trial is being carried out on the effectiveness of spraying the alien roses (rosa rugosa) on the foredunes with Roundup to see if it will prevent them colonising those rows of dunes that are forming (and so preventing the native wildflowers from growing there) which is what has happened on the main dunes. It is an an acceptable herbicide for ecological work. If successful, FoPB volunteers may be planting marram grass on the sprayed areas to help stabilise the areas and to encourage the right habitat conditions for dune grassland species that attract our butterflies and insects. In addition to the work on the foredunes that we've mentioned already, the other area that was sprayed were the edges of the footpath between where the footpath from the toilet car park enters the beach and the wheelchair access ramp (mostly regrowth from plants pruned last year, without hips), this will help keep the path accessible. A few larger plants with hips were sprayed, the technical officer has reassured that even if there was any residue left on the hips it would fall well below any danger level. They have tested blackberries after spraying and found them to be harmless. If you're intending to pick any hips, and are still concerned, you might prefer to collect hips from bushes to the west or east of this area. While the guys were spraying Paul (the ranger) was in attendance and spoke to a number of people who were concerned mostly about their dogs. He says he explained that their dogs were safe and that they would have to drink undiluted herbicide for it to have any detrimental effect.

Beach seating - we have progress! On Monday we had an agreement for one bench to be sited at the Polmear stream end, two to be sited at the western end with sea views and possibly in the future one more to go by the all abilities access ramp in the middle. ofcourse more benches means more money that we need to raise to pay for them. We are discussing designs, and asking again about personally sponsored benches but the ball is finally rolling.


17th September 2012
Town to Tide on Saturday was a great success, the weather was kind and the atmosphere positively carnival like. FoPB are proud to have been associated with the project.

Beach Parking. The Cornwall Council (Off Street Parking Places) (Amendment No.2) Order 2012. All responses that were received to the parking consultation (scroll down to 26th July on this page for more about that) have been "duly considered"; the new Order was made on the 5th September 2012 and came into force on 12th September 2012.
Cornwall Council says that "following the revision of charges in March 2012 we have received numerous complaints relating to the charges at Par Beach, particularly the 1 hour charge, we have therefore tried to address these issues with the new charges, with the reduction of the 1 hour charge the day session has unfortunately had to increase to compensate for this. For regular users of the car park a season ticket is available, which can be purchased in instalments, the cost of this ticket equates to approximately £3/week if purchased at the start of the charging season. Par Beach car park still remains as one of, if not, the cheapest beach car parks that Cornwall Council operates." You can contact Cornwall Council parking dept. through their email parking@cornwall.gov.uk should you wish to reply.

15th March - 31st October, all week
(9am - 5pm) Up to 1 hour - £0.60, Session (i.e. all day) - £3.50
(5pm - 9am) is free

1st November - 14th March, all week
Free parking, max stay 24hrs


12th September 2012
On Saturday (15th) there is the Town to Tide event. Friends of Par Beach has given our support to this fantastic project and there will be something that appeals to everyone. Town to Tide is a theatrical adventure, an imaginative tale of the history of St Blazey and Par told during a journey from Polgrean Place leaving at 3.30pm, then through the Co-Op field (3:40pm), the Bunny field (4:10pm), St Andrews Road duck pond (4:25pm), Snowlands entrance (4:35pm), Par running track field north(4:45pm), Par running track south (5pm), the wooded path to Par Beach (5:30pm) and the beach towards the western end (5:45pm), times are approximate.  The action will take place along the way and the audience will follow the stories and meet up with local celebrities such as the Four Lords, Curly Rickard, Harry Studley and Walter Bailey. This has been devised, developed and created by the local community working with Rogue Theatre and Anna Maria Murphy. Join in at the start or along the way, it is all free, Just Don't Miss It!

Here's the route;
Pasted Graphic


11th September 2012
Clean Cornwall week starts on Saturday, so as they say, please "Do your bit, don't drop it".
Speaking of litter, with all those stormy seas we have had lots of seaweed, flotsam and jetsam washing up on the beach (did you know that flotsam is floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is purposefully cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore.). There has been a check and Cory have been requested to clear up the litter. We now have new contact details which enables us once again to escalate litter issues ourselves. Remember though that seaweed on the beach is a fabulous home to all manner of creatures, adding to the diversity of wildlife we have on our shores.

Now we know that we haven't managed to organize a beach litter pick in time for the MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend (which is also this weekend) as we have previously done annually, but we hope to have one running in early October. Keep your eyes out for the details to be announced.

You may have seen on the news that there have been Portugese Man of War washing up on our shores in western Cornwall and Pembrokeshire. Please be extra vigilant on the beach and in the sea. Interestingly it isn't actually a jellyfish, but a floating colony of tiny marine organisms living together and behaving as one animal. There's useful information from the Marine Conservation Society including photos. Even washed up they can still sting so please do NOT touch them, if you are stung you will need to get medical attention immediately.
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(photo from BBC)


27th August 2012
On Friday 24th August about 40 people, adults and families with young children and some very well behaved dogs, were treated to a fascinating insight into the world of the bats that live near and come to feed at the Par Beach Local Nature Reserve by bat expert Carol Williams from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Bat Group. Carol gave us an introduction and insight into the lives of the bats that can be found in Cornwall followed by a walk around the Nature Reserve looking for and listening out for bats using bat detectors.

The showers mostly held off and bats were located feeding over the pond; using bat echo detectors they could be heard looking for and locating flying insects and were followed in torch beams when the children were fast enough! Everyone enjoyed the evening and many requested that a further event is held in the future which will endeavour to organize. The event raised money for Bat Aid the bat rescue hospital in Threemilestone on the outskirts of Truro who do a fantastic job in rescuing and looking after sick and injured bats from all over Cornwall and that £50 was collected to help them in their excellent work. Many thanks to Carol who gave up her time to come along to do this for us.
IMG_6197-bats-small


9th August 2012 (Part 1)
On Sunday 5th August we held our Seashore Discoveries session with Matt Slater from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust as part of their 'Your Shore Project'. About 50 children and parents came along to be treated to a fascinating few hours of discovering what can be seen on our beach.
2012 08 05 Seashore Discoveries 021-s
In Polmear Stream we saw young flat fish and mullet along with some dragonflies and a common toad that was spotted by one of the children. Along the base of the cliffs Matt explained the competition between the various creatures (limpets, barnacles, mussels and other shellfish) living on the rocks, a small starfish was seen clinging to a rock under the water along with some jellyfish. The sands produced a variety of organisms to be seen, lobworms, razor clams, and other creatures including a sea cucumber.

The session ended with a beach art competition with five teams of children producing some fine examples of art using sand, seaweed, shells etc. There were two joint winners who received a small prize from Matt.
2012 08 05 Seashore Discoveries 034-s 2012 08 05 Seashore Discoveries 03-s
Many thanks to Matt Slater for running this for us and we hope to run similar events of this nature in the future.


9th August 2012 (Part 2)
Yesterday evening a used marine distress smoke candle was found by London Rock in the Polmear Stream. As it had already been used it was able to be disposed of in the normal fashion, however it isn't a bad thing just to remind people to be wary and to observe the correct precautions especially if you find anything like this on the beach. We do have "What you should do if..." page which gives you advice on the correct actions to take in circumstances like these.

The danger of this particular candle was that it was a bit larger than a can of coke and very brightly coloured making it very attractive to small children (and inquisitive adults). If it had been activated by a child it would have produced large volumes of bright thick orange smoke and would have burnt their hand as it is designed to be dropped into the water as soon as it is set off.


1st August 2012
Do remember it's Seashore Discoveries on Sunday, so put it in your diary to come and join in.
Below is a photo of the wildflowers that can be seen at the beach at the moment, sent in by B. Schneider (thank you!).

IMG_1356


29th July 2012
We pleased to announce that Friends of Par Beach won £650 to go towards beach seating from The Big Local lottery grants. This brings our current total to over £1,300. Well done to everyone who contributed to the success yesterday.

Further to the new footpaths, the path by the Polmear stream has been widened and a small path has been added up to the bin. This prepares the way for a seat on the dunes there and also makes the path accessible to wheelchairs and mobillity scooters.


26th July 2012
A reminder about the Big Local Lottery Fund grants event THIS SATURDAY from 11am at St Mary's Methodist Church in Par. We have been shortlisted, but to win the £1,000 grant for beach seating, we will need your votes on Saturday so please come along to support us.

Beach car park charges. Cornwall Council are running a consultation (Ref. PARKPOL 01/02) on an amendment to the current parking order. This consultation will run until August 17th and the results will be published on/by September 30th 2012. Cornwall Council propose a change in the charging hours from 8am-5pm to 9am-5pm (after local pressure), at the same time they will also cut the one hour stay from £1 to 60p, BUT the whole day charge would increase by 40% from £2.50 to £3.50.

You can have your say on these changes either via Cornwall Council's online consultation finder – www.cornwall.gov.uk/TrafficConsult (direct link to the beach parking consultation is here, or you can search for all consulations on their EngageSpace website), by sending a letter to Parking Policy, Cornwall Council, Basset Centre, Basset Road, Camborne, TR14 8SL., or by email parking@cornwall.gov.uk. To participate online you will need to log in/register on their website. You can say whether you agree, disagree or are unsure and then add in your own words any comments you have. Please spread the word about this consultation and get our community involved. If you have any queries please about this consultation please contact the parking policy team via parking@cornwall.gov.uk or 0300 1234 222.


20th July 2012
Not news per se, but we think this is interesting and wanted to share. Cuckoos are dove sized birds that are a darker blue/grey than doves and have stripey undersides. They are on the Red List which means their population decline is a real concern. They arrive in the UK in late March/April and depart July/August with youngsters leaving a bit later. Last year you may have heard on the BBC about the BTO's Cuckoo Project which tracked five tagged cuckoos (one was called Chris after Chris Packham) from Norfolk on their summer migration down to the Congo and back. This year the project has been expanded to include cuckoos from Wales and Scotland. It is a fantastic project and you can keep tabs on what the birds are up to on the BTO cuckoo tracking page.


18th July 2012
We applied to the Big Lottery Fund for a grant towards beach seating and have recently heard that we're on the shortlist which is excellent news!

There will be short presentations from each of us on the shortlist and the results will be announced at lunchtime. This is all on Saturday 28th July at Par St Mary Methodist Church and it would be fantastic if you would come along and support our bid for a seating grant. Kick off is 10am, voting from 12:30pm, results and lunch 1pm to 2pm. More details are on
Eden's webpage inviting residents of Par, Tywardreath and St Blaise along.


16th July 2012
Have any of you noticed.....the shelter has been (mostly) dismantled, even with all the cracks in the roof and failing concrete it has been hard work for the contractors today. The wet weather has made the path work at the western end tricky, hopefully with the rain easing off Cormac can get cracking on with it all. This is the upgrading of the circular footpath from the western car park across the "orchid field" to the haul road creating a permanent surface to the path, replacing the boardwalk (that was in urgent need of repair) with a causeway and improving the surface of the western car park.

This is all part of the work that has been arranged through the Access Group (which consists of representatives from Groundwork SW, Friends of Par Beach, 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) . Lots of work was put in to applying for grants and matched funding by this group to improve inclusive access at the beach, they had to sort out what was wanted/needed and narrowing it down to what could be done at this time with the finances available. Our congratulations and thanks to the Access Group.

We are still working on increasing the seating at Par Beach and of course once the cafe is built then there will be shelter and seating with sea views there.


12th July 2012
The ranger has reported the death of a swan, which is very sad, we also have reports of the loss of a cygnet. PLEASE can everyone refrain from feeding the wildfowl while in the car parks, all that happens is that the wildfowl cross the road for snacks which increases their chances of being run over.

The work at the western end access routes is going well. The old boardwalk has been removed, paths are going down. While the works are inconvenient to some of you, it will all be worth it.

accesspathwork-aw1 . accesspathwork-aw3


7th July 2012
Work has started at the western end to create all ability access paths, this is a scheme that we have been a part of along with other community and national groups. The work is expected to take two to three weeks and the project also includes the demolition of the concrete shelter opposite the caravan park office. We are still working with the council to get more seating at the beach and have just applied for extra funding to add to our pot, (which stands at £724).


30th June 2012
Please look out for jellyfish on the beach, these are compass jellyfish and they 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 (if you have difficulty breathing, chest pains or a large or sensitive area of the body has been stung)
  • If someone has been stung by a jellyfish, remove any remaining tentacles with tweezers or a clean stick (wear gloves if they are available). The affected area should be soaked in vinegar for between 15 to 30 minutes to prevent further toxins from being released. If vinegar is not available, rinse the area with alcohol or seawater (not fresh cold or hot water). Do NOT rub the area OR apply ice. You should also ignore any advice that you may have heard about using urine because it is unlikely to help and in most cases it may make the situation worse. Apply shaving cream to the affected area and use a razor blade or credit card to remove any nematocysts (small poisonous sacs) that are stuck to the skin. Aftercare - after a jellyfish sting, any pain and swelling can be treated with painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.


compassjellyfish-small1

Tomorrow is the Wildflower Walk with Ian Bennallick, so we hope you'll come along and join in whether it's for a little while or you bring a picnic. Meet 10am in the main beach car park.


15th June 2012
The high winds and swell have washed up a dead porpoise on to the beach. Marine Strandings Network were informed and they will tag it, then hopefully Cory will remove it, as requested. There is a lot of debris on the beach, so do please be careful, also at the western end of the access road there is a tree partially down near the clay trail statue.

We have still had no contact from Cory about beach cleaning which is very frustrating for us. No litter picker has been employed as in previous years (under Serco) for the summer season, so the skip that was in the main car park has been removed.

We are still involved with the parking situation and we are still trying to sort out the permissions for adding benches, neither issue has been forgotten.

We have been working with some University of Exeter Cornwall Campus student visitors this week. Funded under the European Social Fund, the students were working with Friends of Par Beach looking at social enterprise, environment and sustainability issues in relation to the beach.They were a seriously dedicated group of students and are so enthused about Par Beach and its environment and are keen to continue working with Friends of Par Beach.
It has been fantastic meeting everyone and the amount of work and thought put in to their presentation on Thursday evening was amazing. We will need to read their final report thoroughly once we have it but already feel that their recommendations and offers of assistance could do wonders for Friends of Par Beach. This is sending them a huge thanks.


8th June 2012
Coastal flooding had been predicted by the EA for yesterday evening, and the high tide was just that - very high. The secondary dunes (in front of the main dunes) were breached in at least one place, which does happen occasionally. Polmear stream backed up quite a way at high tide, breaking the banks at two points at least, and small floods occurred on the path by the stream. By 0730 this morning we're pleased to say that everything was back to normal. Polmear stream is still flowing although it is a lot narrower at London Rock, and at the point at which it flows into the sea, but we think the stream is still strong enough to erode the bank and get back to normal.


6th June 2012
It's that time of year again and Simon Tagney has sent us some lovely photos (thank you Simon) of the bee orchids that are in flower within the local nature reserve at the western end, so do keep your eyes peeled and if you see one, don't pick it or tread on it!

ST-orchid-2012-2

Sadly we've had reports of vandalism in the main car park - someone was seen trying to remove a timber bollard of all things. If you do see such anti-social behaviour please do report it to the authorities.


23rd May 2012
We have cygnets! They are at the Polmear end of the site. We haven't seen any others this year so it may be that these swans were the only successful breeders this year.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has launched a new website which is really smart and informative. They will be featured in the Chelsea Flower Show programme on BBC2 this evening which starts at 8pm.


19th May 2012
Parking is free at the beach (and across Cornwall) today because of the olympic flame travelling through our county.

More on parking; it seems that Cornwall Council will not agree to any concessions to anyone this year, next year they will
consider changing the start time to 9am to allow for dog walking but this is a big maybe, this may mean charges rise or the hours are shifted to an hour later. If Friends of Par Beach want to run events at the beach e.g. beach clean ups or a flower walk, we are expected to find a sponsor who is willing to pay the parking charges for those who run it and those who attend. This lack of concessions is far reaching as even the local volunteer flood wardens who have to attend during dreadful weather and fully kitted out in foul weather gear will have to pay for parking for their efforts.

Moving on. One of the sluice/valve gates at Polmear has been lifted in the air. There seems to be new bolts and nuts on that one and the hinges on the other have been greased. We haven't heard from the E.A. about whether they will continue to work on them so we will just keep an eye on progress.

On the access road, some of the potholes have been filled in - we mentioned that these needed doing in February but are pleased they have finally been done.

With regards to doing more Beach Cleans (usually we would've held another by now), Cory has still not answered our requests for information about collecting the debris we clear from the beach. We need to get this sorted out before we all go down there and with our litter pickers and gloves.

And finally, dog mess. That one again, I know but PLEASE clear up after your dog. If your dog goes and you cannot find the pile, clear up another pile you see along your walk instead. It is within everyone's interest to keep the area free from dog mess. There's a conversation about it on our Facebook Group, please do come and join in with ideas on how to encourage people to clear up after their dogs but with a nod to the small print of "please keep your posts civil and constructive"!

Have a good weekend everyone.



14th May 2012
Parking: Firstly, parking enforcement patrols have been spotted out and about at 07:45 and 08:45 lately so please remember to BUY A TICKET from 8am to 5pm!

As mentioned previously we have been in email correspondence with Cornwall Council over the past couple of weeks following the chaotic introduction of new parking rules over the Easter weekend which was recently completed. We've also met with the Parking Dept., alongside Caroline Wildish (Chair of our Parish Council).

  • Many people had questions to ask as the scheme was rolled out ‘cart before the horse’ style. The following may help…….
  • Payment is required when leaving a vehicle anywhere on the site beyond the big sign by the hut.
  • Only visitors to the Park Leisure offices are allowed to park in the bays there identified.
  • The area by the café is, we are led to believe, part of the charging area.
  • Hopefully people will cease to park on the grass verges, as they are now chargeable at the same rate as the car parks.
  • Even if there is no machine in sight a ticket must be obtained from one of the machines.
  • For those who visit the beach on a daily basis, which probably only applies to dog walkers/bird watchers, a seasonal permit may be purchased at a cost of £100, which covers the charging season from 15th March to 30th October and works out at 23p per day.
  • If you are internet savvy you can register and buy your parking ticket before you leave home through the RingGo website, you can pay by text (it costs 40p more to do this though), use the RingGo app on your android/iphone if you have one or pay with TypeTalk which is worth noting for the hard of hearing amongst us.


We objected to the RingGo system of paying if the machines are out of order as it penalised people who are not carrying both a mobile phone and a payment card.
We objected to there being just two machines and were told that the budget would only cover that number.
We have asked that a period of education rather than ticketing be followed, and this was agreed.
All in all, Cornwall Council’s handling of the new regime has been pitiful.

We are pleased to say that Keith (our previous car park attendant) has been in touch with us. He has thanked everyone for the good wishes and although his arthritis is severe now, you may see him out with his wife and their newly adopted Greyhound. He says he used to love meeting and helping people on their arrival at the beach and believes like all of us, that it's a pity that the personal service has gone from parking there. He sends his good wishes to everyone and says he "misses most of you" and hopes to see you over the coming months. Keith - we hope to see you too.

Finally, as the Olympic Flame moves through Cornwall next weekend, PARKING WILL BE FREE AT ALL CAR PARKS ACROSS CORNWALL ON SATURDAY 19th MAY.


3rd May 2012
The main car park has now had its annual Spring Pothole Filling session so it should be a little less harsh on your cars for a while.

Our Bird walk with Matt Ward was a great success on Saturday 28th March, 16 people attended and had an amble around the Local Nature Reserve (LNR) at Par Beach. We took in many different habitats including looking across the reedbeds to the east, a walk along the path parallel with the haul road down to the wooded area and ending up walking along the river that run past Par Docks and onto the beach, finally ending up by the pond. All the usual suspects were seen or heard. Many thanks to Matt for taking the time to help us out on the walk.
 
Full list of birds seen and heard follows:
Cormorant
Grey heron
Mute swan
Canada goose
Mallard
Common buzzard (over fields before start of walk)
Kestrel (over fields before start of walk)
Moorhen
Coot
Black headed gull
Herring gull
Great black-backed gull
Wood pigeon
Sand martin
House martin
Barn swallow
Rock pipit
Pied wagtail
White wagtail
Wren (heard)
Dunnock
Robin
Blackbird (including watching a very large 'baby' blackbird being fed by its parents),
Blackcap (heard)
Reed warbler (heard)
Chiffchaff
Great tit
Long-tailed tit
Jackdaw
Rook
Carrion crow
Starling
Chaffinch
Linnet
Goldfinch
Greenfinch


27th April 2012
The cycle trail boardwalk has been repaired and is now reopen (thanks Paul).

There is a long discussion on the FoPB facebook group about the parking charges/machines; about the hours being from 8am now which "catches local dog walkers", about there being "only two machines to cover parking over quite a large area", about the "cavernous pot holes" that the council "should at least repair" before they instigated this season's charges. We are reading everything, we've already fired off some questions to the council about the sites chosen for the meters (amongst other points) and will get back to you.

In other news, the Polmear Stream blockage/sand bar has been dug through although it was a bit of a last minute effort getting the stream running freely before the heavy rains caused flooding back at Polmear because of the sand bar prevented the run-off flowing away.

See you at the Bird walk tomorrow afternoon? In the meantime if you look above Trill Farm and towards the Ship Inn, you may see a group (a wake) of buzzards soaring on the thermals, displaying and protecting their territory. Ordinarily we see three or four buzzards in the area, but yesterday there were six and the local buzzards did not seem very happy about their visitors. St Austell Baywatch reported two juvenile Black tailed Godwits coming out in summer plumage at the pond last week.


23rd Aptil 2012
The parking charges are now in place for the season so do please use the ticket machines to avoid getting a fine.

Charging period is 15th March to 31st October, from 8am to 5pm, daily with no exceptions. Blue badge users must also pay unless they have a valid tax disc marked nil & disabled or the vehicle parked is a specially adapted vehicle.

The charges are up to one hour is £1, day session £2.50, so at least there's a cheaper short stay option.

parbeachparking
Photo by: St Austell Baywatch


21st April 2012
Bird walk next saturday - don't forget now!

The parking meters are in, so keep an eye on the signage for the start of this season's parking charges. You will need a ticket WHEREVER you park on site so no, parking on a verge will not help, you'll just get a ticket and a fine for your trouble.

A section of the bridge that goes over the boggy ground on the clay trail (the end near the docks) collapsed overnight. We're notifying those that need to know but in the meantime we've roped it off as best as we could (thanks Adrian), ironically with rope that washed up on the beach. Please keep away from it and don't try and climb through.

Wooden bridge 2-byAW


16th April 2012
You may have noticed that the parking charges haven't kicked in yet. Make the most of the free parking as it is expected to be running fully as Pay and Display by the end of May, if not before. The Pay and Display will cover every spot across the site including the west end car park. We've heard that Keith, the parking attendant of many years is unwell so we wish him all the best and hope he is better soon.

We are still talking to all those concerned about getting prevention measures in place so that we don't have the problems with blue algae as we did last year when water levels stayed so low. On the subject of water, please remember to stay out of the Polmear Stream when it is blocked and not running freely.

With Cory taking over Cornwall's waste contracts from Serco this year, we have asked Cory for confirmation on the services that they will be providing (emptying bins, litter picker) but have yet to receive a reply.

On Sunday 28th April we have the
Spring Bird Walk with Matt Ward. This was popular last time so do grab your binoculars and come along and join us. Yesterday there were some of the first swallows swooping over the dunes and on Saturday two black swans were on the pond, the latter may be visiting from their usual haunt thought to possibly be the lake at Pine Lodge Gardens.


21st March 2012
We would like to announce that we've been awarded £680 through a Grimple's Green Grant (many thanks to Jan for making the application).

GreenInsuranceCompany

The money awarded is for specific things and is split between:
Expanding our tools and safety equipment so that we are more able to offer all our volunteers a good quality range of equipment to use.
Contributing to a Friends of Par Beach noticeboard to be installed at the entrance to the beach car park (we already have the permission to do this).
Part funding match for our Beach Seating Fund (which will remain ring fenced).
Contributing towards speakers fees so that we can arrange some more talks.

We really pleased with this award and we hope you'll see the money being put to good use, soon.


19th March 2012
Sadly a Grey Seal was washed up on the beach on Friday, it has already been tagged and dealt with by the strandings network.


15th March 2012
We are really pleased to share with you that Par Post Office has sponsored a new issue of decals (window stickers) for us. They will help Friends of Par Beach raise its profile in the area, and remind people of the work that we do to promote and improve Par Beach and the Local Nature Reserve. A big thank you to Phil at the Post Office for your generosity and support, it is greatly appreciated.

Seating fund. We're still in talks with Cornwall Council about what and where we will be allowed to put in place. The seating fund is ring fenced and we're doing our utmost to get an extra seat or two in place soon.


24th February 2012

Some wildlife updates today.

Please be extra careful where you walk and drive after dark at the moment as there are lots of toads ambling about looking for some action - it's their mating season and we'd rather that they don't get squashed while on their quest to produce the next generation! Photo is from Adrian, thanks Adrian.

toad1small

We have some new feathered friends on the lake. A pair of Little Grebe have arrived. Watch for a small bird diving and not spending a lot of time between dives, you'll need your binoculars for to spot them and also to see the Ring-necked duck. The Ring-necked duck looks similar to a male Tufted duck but it has a grey side rather than white, and the white rings are, strangely, on the bill and not on the neck.

We also have a male Shoveler duck that has been joining in the melee of bird feeding, this photo is from Mike:

Shoveller-male-MF2

There seems to be an increase of bird feeding on the road and the car park, which puts the birds at risk when they cross the road. Unfortunately, we have failed to convince the Council the importance of putting up a simple guidance notice. Friends of Par Beach will continue to do its best to get something done.


21st February 2012
Please make a note in your diaries that the end of month work Sunday party has shifted back a week to Sunday 4th March, sorry about that. There will be bridge building and coppicing, all details on the Events page.

We had a message on our Facebook page from Sue, to mention that she noticed a pipe coming out of the bank in to the Polmear Stream with water coming out it that was white. The discharge pipe being about 50 yards from the metal gate, before the bridge.
That pipe is supposed to take the excess water from the car park and discharge into the river. It doesn't often work that well because the area dug out in the car park that connects to the pipe has silted up and there is quite a big area in the main car park that is actually below the level of the pipe. The white water is probably from the car park surface as it has been surfaced using clay waste and the water is quite white after it has rained.

Recently two people were seen taking lots and lots of mussels from the rocks away in a flat bed truck. This has been reported to the authorities. If anyone else spots activity like this, please do make a note of the registration so that further action can be taken.

Sadly more fly tipping has been happening at the western end, Serco have since removed it all but we need to keep our eyes out and report anything that we see.

On a happier note, John sent in another fantastic photograph (click on it to see a bigger version)...

2012 02 Jan 025_2

11th February 2012
FoPB member Eve Ross found a poorly Little Owl on the dunes on 6th February. Unfortunately the bird did not survive more than a few hours, but Cornwall Wildlife Trust have logged the sighting and say that it is the first sighting of a Little Owl in Cornwall since 1986. Well done Eve.


7th February 2012
Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the presentation of a years study in to plastic debris washing up on to Par Beach and other local beaches. It will be an interesting evening, so do come along to Par Scout Hut (Moorland Road) for that, there'll be a warm drink a cocktail pasty to warm your bones with once you're there!


28th January 2012
Cephalopod Recruitment from English-Channel Spawning Habitats (CRESH) is currently collecting sightings of cuttlefish and their eggs through the newly launched 'CuttleWatch' scheme to help build a picture of which areas are of particular importance for this species. The project includes the Marine Institute at University of Plymouth and the Marine Biological Association. If you would like to report any sightings or records please contact them by email at: CRESH@mba.ac.uk, by phone at 01752 255026 or by text 07806938789. If the cuttlefish you see are tagged - there's a cash reward! We have for you to download the scheme's information poster with what to look for and another showing what the tag looks like.

This weekend is the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. Lots of information on their website but in summary all you need is a pen, some scrap paper (or, a printout of their bird ID sheet), and an hour to spend watching the birds in your garden, or local park, on either Saturday 28, or Sunday 29 January 2012.


25th January 2012
We had a great turnout of 19 helpers for the Big Litter Pick (January 15th) so a big thank you to every one of you, the amount of rope and netting collected was astounding, as was the amount of carpet underlay.

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We have noticed, as have others, that dog mess across the dunes is particularly bad at the moment. Please, please clear up after your dog and if you can manage it, it would help if you could pick up another pile nearby to help reduce the build up. We really do NOT want to see a backlash against dogs on the beach (many of us are dog owners ourselves) especially as so many beaches are closed to dogs now. If anyone has ideas on how we can encourage the poop avoiders to Scoop that Poop, please do let us know.

Another reminder that feeding the wildfowl while in the car park opposite the lake is not a good thing, please would you cross the road to feed them at the lake side. Another moorhen lost its life earlier this week after dashing across the road for some bread and being hit by a car.

On a cheerier note, we have the work party this Sunday from 10:30am (meet by the picnic tables in the picnic area by the car park). We hope to see you there.


19th January 2012
In St Austell Bay, anchored off Mevagissey is a large ship that arrived there on Boxing Day. She is the Elbella, weighs 23,500 tons and is registered in Valetta, Malta. She is a dry cargo carrier and we don't know how long she'll be moored there.

Back on dry land the next work party will be Sunday 29th Jan from 10:30am. Details on our Events page.


12th January 2012 Part 3
We hope to bring you some good news very soon but are waiting for the official nod re: publicity........

In the meantime, we'll see you on Saturday evening for a chat? We'll be at Tywardreath Village Hall, doors open 7:30pm

12th January 2012 Part 2

Paul Mason (ranger) has been liaising with the Environment Agency about the Polmear Stream and got them to do some remedial work on it, plus remove some of the reeds from the bank and clear the sand bar. He also got them to agree to do monthly checks on the state of the stream and do any work as necessary to ensure that it remains free flowing, however we understand that any future blockages by tidal sandbars is still a contentious issue. As far as we can tell some more work was done by the EA in December and the stream remains free flowing. A Kingfisher at work was spotted at the stream recently, so keep your eyes peeled.


12th January 2012 Part 1
The western end car park has been resurfaced with clay waste recently which has made the car park better to use. The access road is starting to get potholed again and we've raised this with the hope it can be fixed.

During December, people were making piles of the large pieces of debris that was being washed up on the beach, this was removed by Serco when they collected dead fish from the beach. We've a Big Litterpick this Sunday and hope to clear any large debris off the beach as well as the usual sack collections. Do come if you can even if it's just for a little while. Kick off from the main car park is 10:30am.


Cornwall Council Park Leisure Par Sands Friends of Par Beach are supported by
Par Bay Big Local, Trenython Manor,
Par Sands Coastal Holiday Park,
Cornwall Council Community Grant
Trenython Manor Par Bay Big Local