News 2016

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

 

Friends of Par Beach Education Fact Sheets
4th December 2016

Gill Butler, our committee member responsible for education, has been busy and produced a series of fact sheets that have recently been placed in in the documents section of our website. These will form part of our education programme with local schools and similar organisations that Gill is establishing contacts with. So far we have published six and there will be more to more will follow in due course.

Fact Sheet 1 - Plastic Pollution

Fact Sheet 2 - Feeding Ducks

Fact Sheet 3 - Seaweed

Fact Sheet 4 - Pollinators

Fact Sheet 5 - Invasive Species

Fact Sheet 6 - Sand Dunes

Click here to be directed to our Documents page and look for the Fact Sheets section, where they can be downloaded for reading or if required printed off.


'Friends' Put up Bat Boxes around Par Beach LNR
17th November 2016

Committee members Phil Gadd, Richard Parks, Mike Freemantle and Dennis Brock teamed up on 15th November to put up the bat boxes around Par Beach Local Nature Reserve (LNR) that we had commissioned the children of Tywardreath School to build for us recently. These boxes are of the 'Kent' design originated from an idea by the Kent Bat Group.

After much discussion and advice we located exactly where best to put the boxes. It is quite important to have them located correctly as bats are choosy little creatures and will only inhabit boxes that have a clear line of sight to their ' front door', face south easterly to south westerly, in a sunny location, preferably with the morning sun, and are at least four metres off the ground. Worse than the prospectus when trying to buy a house.

You would think with all the trees that are available on the Par Beach Local Nature Reserve it would be an easy job, but not a bit of it. A lot of time was spent finding the best spots, and only when or if they get used will we know if we are right, so fingers crossed. It might take a while, months, possibly even years before any bats move in, so keep a look out or even listen to see if these fascinating little creatures come and take up our offer of 'Affordable Housing'.

We would like to thank the children of Tywardreath School, too many names to mention, who constructed most of the boxes for us, and also members Keith and Sandra Butler of Polmear Parc, who donated three boxes to us after they had taken down a couple of trees in their garden



         Left to Right Dennis, Phil & Mike with two of the 'Kent' design bat boxes

 

             'Phil the Ladder' ably supported by Dennis

 

            That's two up!

 

               Now with Mike supervising....


Skipton Building Society Grant
10th November 2016

Following our appeal back in September, Friends of Par Beach are delighted to announce that we have been informed that we were successful in our application to Skipton Building Society. We have been awarded one of the 377 pots of £500 in this year's distribution of their grants and should get our money before the end of the year.

This means that we now have £500 towards the cost of a beach hut that will act as an FoPB hub on the beach and to provide an opportunity to provide information to the public in general.

We would like to give our sincere thanks all those who voted for us with Skipton Building Society as we couldn't have done it without you!


2016 AGM Review
24th September 2016

On the evening of Tuesday 20th September Friends of Par Beach held their 6th AGM. Richard Parks, our retiring Chairman following three years of gallant service as Chair, conducted the meeting. He outlined the groups work and achievements during the past year including our work with the Par Beach Management Group and a follow up to Victor the Common Seal’s visit to Par Beach. Mike Freemantle gave his Treasurer’s report outlining last year’s finances and commented that the group’s finances are in good order and saw that there was no need to raise subscription charges. Up to the date of the meeting we had 202 members which is amongst the highest since the group started. Mike went on to say that the higher the figure the more some people took notice of our views which can only be good.

After the formal part of the AGM we had our now customary drinks, ‘nibbles’ and mingling which was followed by a talk by Abby Crosby from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust on the new Beach Ranger Project that started this year. It is Lottery funded and will run for 5 years. The intention is to get young people and communities involved in enjoying and helping to conserve our coastline and all the flora and fauna that lives there. It was an inspiring talk and we look forward to working with them in the near future.

This year’s Committee members who were voted onto the Committee are as follows:

Chair: John Page (incl. IT and media)

Secretary: Richard Parks

Treasurer: Mike Freemantle

Events: Phil Gadd

Education: Gill Butler

Tamsin Howe

Jules Jonklaas


September Beach Clean & Litter Pick
18th September 2016

The September litter pick/beach clean went well this morning and about 50 people came along to help out. The best bit of news is that there was very noticeably much less litter and debris collected than on previous beach cleans/litter picks. It was thought it is probably a combination of two things; there is less litter being left and there are some, mainly dog walkers, taking a carrier bag and picking up when walking on the beach. This was inspired by the 2 Minute Beach Clean campaign that was started in North Cornwall and has now gained momentum and has gone international! As there was less bags coming back Jules and Mike were able to sort through them and put aside the cans and bottles for recylcing. Friends of Par Beach would like to thank those who spared their time to come along, A job well done!


Please Vote for Friends of Par Beach
2nd September 2016
Friends of Par Beach have been fortunate to have been short-listed for a £500 grant from Skipton Building Society. The final winners will be chosen by a public on-line vote.
 
We have applied for the funding to help us put a beach hut on Par Beach to act as a hub for FoPB events and to provide an opportunity to provide information to the public in general.
 
It's really easy to vote for us. Go to www.skiptongrg.co.uk/apply-for-funding/2016-shortlisted-groups/south-west/#apply-map and scroll down to click on Friends of Par Beach, which gives details of our application and, at the bottom, a button to press to vote for us.
 
Perhaps you could ask your friends and neighbours to do the same. Your support will be very much appreciated and if we are successful the award will go towards the work we carry out for the benefit of the beach and it's users.

Friends of Par Beach's August Bank Holiday Weekend's Activities.
29th August 2016

Friends of Par Beach has had a busy and successful weekend! We held our Bat Walk on the evening of Saturday 27th August and on Sunday we were part of the coalition of 'Friends', PL24 Community Association and Par Bay Sustainable Fish.

Fifty seven people came along to the Bat Walk; families with children, couples and individuals, we were delighted to see that about a third of those were holiday makers. Carol Williams gave a short talk about bats in general and those that forage for insects on Par Beach Nature Reserve. She also played recording of the different sounds that you can hear through a bat detector. Armed with bat detectors supplied by Carol we strolled towards the Orchid Meadows and then back to the pond. We were able to see and hear the odd individuals and pairs against the darkening sky as we walked along the access road but the highlight was when we finished at the pond by the reed bed. There we heard at least 4 different species of bat, Pipestrelle, Soprano Pipestrelle, Noctule and Daubentons. The latter are sometimes known as Water Bats as they almost exclusively hunt over water. Following this event we are very pleased to announce that we will be able to donate £60 to Bat Aid, the bat hospital in Threemilestone, Truro. They care for sick and injured bats that are found throughout Cornwall. If you want to follow their activities they have two Facebook pages, Cornwall Bat Aid  and Nancy Noctule, one of the patients who tells us about the daily activities of the hospital. A big thank you everyone who came along and made it possible for us to make this donation.

About 200 people came along to Par Beach's first Fish Fayre despite the dodgy weather in the morning the sun did come out later for us during the event. There were various stalls and displays and all reported a good result. Felicity Sylvester from Par Bay Sustainable Fish gave some demonstrations on cooking with seafood including how to hypnotise a lobster! A tombola in aid of  Syrian refugees was run by Janet Parks and raised £150, a great result! The PL24 Community Association’s and our own display areas created a lot of interest. Considering this event was all put together in about 8 weeks it was felt by the organisers that it was a great success. Many thanks to those that came along to help put up and run the various displays and activities and a special thanks to Fowey River Lions who came along with their two marquees, one for the cookery demontarations and the other for several displays for different organisations in the area. We would like to add a very special thanks to Gill Butler from PL24 Community Association who in her own inimitable way did a lot of the organising and kept us all organised.


Micro-Bead Campaign Update
29th August 2016

Following our news item dated 8th June there has been some excellent news (below) from Greenpeace! If you care and haven't signed the petition yet please consider doing so, a massive 3.5k people have done so already!

 

This is huge - a new cross-party government report has recommended that microbeads should be banned!

This is amazing news - but the fight isn't over yet. Whilst this report carries a lot of weight, it's still up to the government to decide whether or not they ban these tiny plastic-polluters.

Can you ask your friends to add their name to the petition? You can share this link: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/microbeads-gov-ban

You are one of over 300,000 people who've made the government sit up and take notice of this issue. In fact the report itself says that: "Microbeads are a growing area of public concern with a recent Greenpeace petition calling for a UK ban attracting more than 300,000 signatures."

The more of us who add our voices to this petition, the more pressure the government is under to take action on this issue.

Please share the petition with your friends: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/microbeads-gov-ban

Many companies use natural alternatives to microbeads in their products but for those that don't, it's clear that decisive action is needed to halt the flow of these plastic polluters. That's why it's vital that the government announce a ban on any plastic in any product that goes down the drain.

Please share this link with your friends - you can post it on Facebook, tweet it or pop it in an email: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/microbeads-gov-ban


Par Beach Public Toilets
16th July 2016

The toilets that are now under the control of Par & Tywardreath Parish Council located at the beach middle car park opposite the pond are now open following a period of refurbishment. They are open from 6am to 9pm and there is a charge of 20p to help cover cleaning and maintenance costs.


Second Beach Hut Survey
5th July 2016

Following the first Beach Hut Survey that Friends of Par Beach ran on behalf of Cornwall Council in September 2015, the results from the returned questionnaires were collated by Cornwall Council and a draft plan has been drawn up. Cornwall Council have come back to us and asked if we would run a second Survey to gather the public's thoughts on the draft plan that is attached to the questionnaire.

Please click on the following links for either a MS Word version that you can fill in and return by e-mail to info@ parbeach.com (remove the space after @) or a pdf version you can print and fill in, then post to:

John Page (FoPB)
Croxley
Wood Lane
Tywardreath
Par
PL24 2PS

If you live nearby you are welcome to drop it off.

Beach Hut Survey Word version

Beach Hut Survey pdf version


Friends of Par Beach add our name to the Ban the Microbead Movement
8th June 2016

This week Friends of Par Beach along with many other similar organisations in Cornwall were happy to have their names added to an open letter to Mary Creagh (Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee), the 14 other members of the committee, Environment Secretary Liz Truss, and our 6 Cornish MPs. This letter is asking for recommendation for a ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetics as soon as possible and has also been circulated to the media. We have heard that BBC Radio Cornwall has already picked up the story. Click here to see the letter.

This campaign in being led by Claire Wallerstein of Rame Peninsular Beach Care who has been working tirelessly with the campaign dealing with the marine plastics problem. She was the person behind the well documented 1.1km long bottle top chain unveiled last year. Friends of Par Beach are currently in possession of about 150 metres of this chain that is on loan from Claire. Another large length of it on display currently at Truro Cathedral for about a week at the time of writing. If you plan on going to see it check with the cathedral.

Friends of Par Beach through our new Committee member and Education Co-ordinator, Gill Butler, are working on an education package and display to highlight marine plastics. The display recently had it's first outing with our gazebo at a local fete and created a lot of interest.

Follow these links to find out more about the Bottle Top Chain and other information on marine plastics issues and if you want to know more there is a huge amount of information and videos on the internet.

FoPB Fact Sheet on marine plastics

http://www.ramepbc.org/campaigns/the-great-bottle-top-chain (can you spot the two FoPB members in the photos at the top of the page?

https://vimeo.com/124756263 A recently re-edited film showing the launch of the Bottle top Chain that is dedicated to our member Dave Smethurst who put so much passion and energy into stringing the chain who sadly passed away earlier this year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0oDeXuCwkU A new short film from Rame Peninsula Beach Care


Friends of Par Beach at Grow St Blazey Fete and our Newest Committee Member
22nd May 2016

Friends of Par Beach will be at the Grow St Blazey Fete with our gazebo on Monday 30th May. We will be there to show people about what we do and have achieved since we started in 2009. We will also premièring our developing Problems with Plastics display and some new fact sheets that Gill Butler, our newest committee member, is working on. Please cllick here to see the poster.

Gill, as I am sure some you who live locally will know, works tirelessly in her work in the community wearing various 'hats'. She is working in the role of Education Co-ordinator on our committee and has already produced some good information on a couple of subjects close to our hearts, there will be more to come. She is also following up with schools that have been in touch with us and we hope to be working with them more closely. This is an exciting role and Friends of Par Beach are moving into an area that will help us to educate members and the public more about the issues that we as a group have feelings about.

Friends of Par Beach wish to congratulate Gill on her recent Cornwall Council Civic Award, an award that is very well deserved.


Par Beach Public Toilets
8th April 2016

Doug Scrafton our Cornwall Councillor has announced theat the public conveniences at Par Beach have now been taken over by Tywardreath and Par Parish Council. They are to be refurbished, and then a charge for use will be made (to cover the maintenance costs etc).

Refurbishment work is expected to begin on about 18 April. We have been promised that this will be done in as non-intrusive a way as is reasonably possible. But there is bound to be some inconvenience at the convenience! So please be patient.


Cornwall Wildlife Trust - Your Shore Conference 2016
27th February 2016

Four Committee members of Friends of Par Beach, Richard Parks, Phil Gadd, Gill Butler and John Page, attended the annual Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Your Shore Project Conference at the Victoria Hotel, Newquay on Sat 27th Feb. It is held each year and all marine groups are invited along. We were able to put up our display featuring our new table display cover and show some of the work we have achieved over the last twelve months.

It was a great opportunity to network with other groups and people to share news and information. We were treated to some very interesting and inspiring talks and each of us attended workshops of various aspects on the running of groups such as ours.

John was asked early on in the proceedings to give a few minutes tribute for Dave Smethurst and to dedicate the conference to his memory. Dave was intending to attend the conference. As most of you will know Dave spent a lot of time up until his illness prevented him, picking up washed up marine debris from Par Beach and raising awareness of the marine litter problem. He was one of our stalwart members, supporting us in our activities whenever he could. He was well know thoughout the marine awareness community in Cornwall. There is a tribute to him in an earlier news item. 

All in all it was a great day and we have come back with lots of new thoughts and ideas to take things forward for our group.

We were made to go outside in the cold wind for the 'team photo' before we could have lunch. Can you spot the FoPB representatives?

 

Matt Slater, Marine Awareness Officer from CWT introducing the Conference (left) & John dedicating the Conference to the memory of Dave Smethurst (right)

 

Friends of Par Beach Display

Photographs courtesy Dan Murphy, Cornwall Wildlife Trust


Dave Smethurst, aka Par Beach Flotsam & Jetsam
10th February 2016

Friends of Par Beach are very saddened to learn of the passing of one of our stalwart members, Dave Smethurst, last Saturday (6th Feb 2016) following a long and courageous battle with cancer or Mr C as he called it. Many of you will remember him and seeing him on the beach, daily and sometimes twice a day, collecting the washed up debris and taking it home to catalogue all the pieces to send in reports to the Marine Conservation Society with the results. His research proved quite invaluable in providing evidence to our government on the marine plastics problem.

His humour and dignity during his illness was an inspiration to all around him, he was rarely down even when feeling quite ill and in pain, always optimistic and looking forward to better days. He supported Friends of Par Beach on our litter picks when he could, more recently, even when quite ill, handing out litter pickers. He was passionate about marine issues especially the plastics that are increasingly appearing in our oceans. One example was spending many hours on Par Beach and other local ones collecting plastic bottle tops, receiving them from other people and then stringing them into chains in his garage, a very time consuming job. I know because I spent many afternoons helping him. The chains along with others were finally put together by Rame Peninsula Beach Care as part of their campaign on the plastics issue. Last May it was taken to the beach at Rame and measured, it was over 1200 metres long!!

I could go on for ages writing about the achievements and things Dave was involved in as part of his passion to make our seas a better place for the wildlife that lives in it and of course us humans. He recently gained a degree in marine biology to help him understand some of these issues.

On a very personal note Dave had become someone who I am very proud to call a friend, as he had become over the last few years, he was funny, humble, optimistic, generous and knowledgeable on all things marine. Just someone who was good to be with and a great fishing partner! Below are some photos taken in happier times.

Friends of Par Beach would like to offer our sincere condolences and best wishes to Pam, his wife, and his family who will surely miss him very much as we all will.

John Page
Friends of Par Beach


On-Line Memberships
23rd January 2016

Friends of Par Beach have some very exciting news!!!

We have made it possible to join our group online via our website. It is simple and more importantly very inexpensive! By joining the group you will gain free entry to most events, a newsletter, invitations to join us at the attendance of events organised by other groups such as the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and you will be supporting us in the work we do behind the scenes. We will be able to contact you directly with member offers and messages, you will also be notified of any additions to the news or events pages as well. The committee works very hard to keep this group going and to be the success we think it is.

Full details on how to join or even renew membership can be seen via the membership tab

If you have any questions on the subject please use the Contact Us page marking the subject membership.

Friends of Par Beach would like to thank Pete Ellis, one of our members, for managing our website and installing the ability to join and renew memberships via our website. We hope this will make life a little easier for you.


Water Fowl Welfare
23rd January 2016

A member of our Facebook Page (an expert on birds, raptors and wildlife in general) posted a message the other day that we feel is well worth repeating here.............

"Please Please do watch (the video, link below) as it's very important you feed the swans and ducks the correct food items. Bread fed in excess amounts can cause "Angel Wing" in which the last joint of the wing is twisted with the wing feathers pointing out laterally, instead of lying against the body. Bread in the water causes access algae to grow and if bread is then left and later eaten it can give them Avian Botulism which is deadly. Also another thing which is very common at Par is the issue of Swans crossing the road. This can be greatly limited by feeding them the pond side of the road. Not only does swans crossing the road slow up traffic, but no one wants to see anything injured. I'm sorry if this comes across as a rant (as it's not), it's more me thinking about the welfare of the birds."

It is worth noting that if you feed wildfowl seed and chopped uncooked vegetables you will not attract the attention of the gulls who can push out the water fowl with their agressive behavoir; seeds and vegetables are not part of their diet.

Click here to see a video made by the Canal & River Trust warning that the nation’s much loved tradition of feeding the ducks bread could be damaging their health and habitats.


 

Cornwall Council Park Leisure Par Sands Friends of Par Beach are supported by
PL24 Community Association, Tesco,
Par Sands Coastal Holiday Park,
Cornwall Council Community Grant
Tesco PL24 Community Association