Old News

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

 

Christmas Greetings
22nd December 2017

The following poem was sent to us by The Conservation Volunteers (https://www.tcv.org.uk). This is by way of a thankyou from them to our Group but also reflects our thanks to you, our membership!

 A Christmas poem for our Community Groups from us to you!


Snow is falling all around

Frosty footprints on the ground

Berries crowd the silvered trees

As birds head south across the seas

 

Nature prepares for harder times

But work remains for those left behind

And Community groups keep busy

as Jack Frost goes to work

And even when it's drizzly

Cold hands hold hoes, or spades or forks

 

So in this winter season

We send our thanks for all you do, 

And as you prepare for the coming year

We send warm festive greetings to you


Beach Hut
26th November 2017

Before starting the work party on Sunday 26th November, Events Manager Phil and Chair Richard managed to put up our brand new sign on our recently painted Beach Hut, which will now form the headquarters and meeting point for many of our future events at the Beach or in the Local Nature Reserve. We are very pleased with the result and we owe a lot of thanks to Jolyon Sharpe of Cornwall Council who helped us fund and site our new HQ '.

     


November Work Party
26th November 2017

On Sunday 26th November we had one of our regular winter work parties, and this time we helped to clear and widen the access path between the western car park and the existing path which runs around the Orchid field.

This was originally laid by the Council, specifically to help with access to the beach for wheelchair users and others with mobility problems, but sadly has not been maintained due to financial issues. The path was made up of clay waste which hardens quickly and stays almost white in colour, which also makes it good for people with sight issues. A group of ten volunteers plus a small dog cleared the length of the path in two hours, an amazing effort in mostly appalling weather. Many thanks and very well done to all who came along. Tea/coffee and biscuits were as usual handled by Chair Richard, who also managed to arrange the only ten minutes of dry weather, and a glimpse of the sun, during the whole morning, for this well earned break.


Par Carnival Celebration Awards 2017
23rd November 2017

On Thursday 23rd November, Treasurer Mike and Chair Richard attended a wonderful event at the Railway Club in St Blazey in celebration of the Par Carnival this year. A lot of local organisations and clubs who helped with the Carnival received an award for their efforts, and Friends of Par Beach were one of the lucky recipients with thanks for putting on the annual Beach Art Competition, as part of Carnival week. Lots of money was raised including some large amounts for two Cancer Research groups.

Prizes were handed out by Councillors Pauline Giles and Jordan Rouse, and a pleasant evening was had by all.

                         


SAS Autumn Beach Clean.
3rd November 2017

News Article from Cllr Jordan Rowse:

“When I found out that Surfers Against Sewage were holding a national autumn beach clean I felt that, as the Chairman of the Par Beach Management Group, it was something I had to get involved with.

Each year our coastal communities brace themselves against the winter conditions that create a ‘Perfect Storm’ of plastic pollution on our beaches. The Autumn Beach Clean extends deep into this darker, colder time than any other beach clean project. When, in the absence of summer’s tourist spotlight, the health of our coastlines can slip from the nation’s mind.

Along with over 300 other Beach Clean Leaders, I joined Surfers Against Sewage and their partners; The Crown Estate, Greggs, Parley For The Oceans and Ecover to unite, inspire and empower my community to take action to help create Plastic Free Coastlines.

Par Beach is perhaps the PL24 area’s most important asset and, with it being one of the only growing dune systems in Europe, it faces many challenges, plastic pollution being one of them. By engaging the community in beach cleans it helps make our great asset more enjoyable to use, but more importantly helps protect our beach and dunes from plastic pollution, helping create a plastic free coastline.

I’d like to thank everyone who turned up to help, Friends of Par Beach for their support and The Ship Inn for generously putting on tea and coffee for our volunteers.”

     


Otter Holt and Reed Path
29th October 2017

Over twenty volunteers, mostly FoPB members plus the odd new face gathered at the Reed Path on Sunday morning to carry out two tasks.

After the recent coppicing work carried out by local Tree Surgeon Richard Heyward and his team, a large area of open space has been created in the wetland area which will promote light and new vegetation growth, as well as encourge new wildlife to use the area.

The plan was to build an Otter Holt using the large amount of logs and brushwood which was created by the work and to improve the Reed Path with the chippings that also had been created.

One group, mostly the boys, returned to their childhood wallowing about in ankle deep mud, building dens in the woods, and in no time, guided by enthusiastic member Jan Phillips, who leads our work parties, a five star property had been created for otters which are known to frequent the area.

Not sure which part of their childhood the girls returned to, but by the end of the event they had reduced the huge pile of chippings to nothing, and laid it out along a two hundreed yard stretch of the reed path to discourage weeds and make the path easier to navigate. They also used some of the chippings to create a comfortable area of bedding within the Otter Holt itself.

It was declared 'Our best work party ever' by Jan Phillips, who had organised the whole project, with the support of our ranger, Jenny Heskett, and courtesy of some funding given to us via the Tesco Blue Tokens scheme where we came in first place for our two month collection period. So many thanks also to all those kind souls who put their tokens in our box on their shopping trips.

Refreshments as usual were handled by Chair, Richard Parks, and Photography was mainly done by Treasurer, Mike Freemantle, when he was not up to the tops of his wellies in mud, and sometimes when he was!!.

We would like to thank everyone who came along to help, young and old, new members and old members including what seemed like the entire family of young Reubyn Howes, who had celebrated his fifth birthday the day before and who, as usual, had brought along his trusty digger and trailor to help with the manual stuff.

A great day out was had by all and the weather was perfect.

Pictures to follow.


Autumn Quiz Night Report
24th October 2017

Fifty Two people making up ten tables contested this years autumn quiz night at the Scout Hut on Tuesday 24th October 2017.

The event was hosted by our new quiz mistress, Jules Jonklaas, who did a sterling job in preparing a testing set of questions and presenting them on the evening. Jules was ably assisted by Tamsyn Howes who kept the scores on the doors, or flip pad to be more precise! As ever, our treasurer, Mike Freemantle, was heavily involved, arranging the pasties for the evening, collecting the money at the door as well as running the 'heads and tails' event and the raffle. Also our thanks go to Penny Gibbs and her friend Denise who kept us all fed and watered for the evening.


Cornwall Community Celebration Award 2017
19th October 2017

Three members of Friends of Par Beach, John Page, Jan Phillips and Harry Bosworth, attended the Cornwall Community Celebration Awards 2017 organised by Cornwall Council and Cormac at Eden Project on the evening of Thursday, 19th October.

The event is a celebration of volunteer groups, who work thoughout the county, giving their free time for the benifit of the community. Friend of Par Beach were one of around twenty five groups present. There are various catagories covering different aspects of community group work and Friends of Par Beach ones are shown on the certificate below.

 


'Friends' 8th Annual General Meeting
10th October 2017

Friends recently held their 8th AGM on Friday 6th October, where has the time gone?

Held as usual at The Gott Hall in Par the event attracted a reasonable 28 people, and reports were given by outgoing Chair John Page and Treasurer Mike Freemantle.

John outlined the many and various events and activities that we have attended or organised including a very successful Bat Walk, the continually popular quiz evenings and two new projects which are nearing completion.

Our new beach hut will become our headquarters for events on the beach, and the coppicing project which is part of the Local Nature Reserve Management Plan, has now started despite the ongoing adverse weather conditions.

John Page has decided to stand down as Chair and from the committe to pursue a future in Local Politics, and we wish him well in that initiative.

Richard Parks returns to The Chair after a year as Secretary, Mike Freemantle remains as Treasurer and Jules Jonklaas returns as Secretary role after taking a short break in that role.

Phil Gadd, Gill Butler, Tamsyn Howes and Cathy Trodd remain as Committee members, but we are losing Dennis Brock, and would like to thank him for his efforts over the last year. We are actively seeking at least two more committee members, so if anyone is interested in joining our small band of enthusiasts, then please get in touch.

The AGM then had a break for refreshments and mingling, and this was followed by a very absorbing presentation by Karen and David who run kayaking nature trips on the Fowey river under the name of Encounter Cornwall. Have a look at www.encountercornwall.com

Altogether it was a successful and friendly evening, and the food prepared by Sandra Freemantle was much enjoyed, so thanks to Sandra for her efforts on our behalf.


Friends of Par Beach Bat Walk
26th August 2017

Friends of Par Beach had another very successful bat walk on Saturday evening. A fantastic turnout of sixty five people including ten children came along. Carol Williams, one of the country’s leading bat experts, gave a short background talk about bats in the UK, in Cornwall and also what we may see and hear on the walk around the Local Nature Reserve. After answering many questions she handed out some bat detectors to the children and as dusk was falling we had a wander along the access road towards the Orchid Field. On the way and at the field we started to see some Pipestrelles making an appearance against the darkening sky. We then went back to the pond and ended up at the reed bed end where we were treated to hearing and seeing lots of bats feeding on the insects there. Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle along with Daubentons were seen and heard on the detectors and Carol thought she may have heard the sound of a Nathusius’ Pipistrelle, a rare bat but slowly increasing in numbers.

Some of those attending were shown the bat boxes near the pond that we put up at the beginning of the year. It hasn’t been confirmed yet but at least one of them may be being used as a summer roost already.

Everyone said how much they enjoyed the evening and Carol said that she will be happy to run another at the same time next year. Keep an eye on our website www.parbeach.com for info on that and other events.

The photo shows the assembled gathering outside our new Beach Hub (more info on that in a separate announcement) with Carol Williams on the very far right.

We will be donating £41 from the receipts for the evening to the Cornwall Bat Group to help with the running of the Bat Aid Hospital In Truro. Carol also received donations for the Bat Group and are awaiting to hear how much she collected.


Great News on the Bags of Help for Friends of Par Beach
25th August 2017

Friends of Par Beach would like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who voted for them in Tesco during May and June. As a result, we came first in the voting so have won the grant we asked for of £3500 which is for habitat management work in the alder carr at the pond.

Alder carr, which also contains willow, is a wet woodland habitat which colonises marsh and in past times would have been carefully managed to produce coppice products for housebuilding, hurdles and so on, in a similar way to hazel in drier places. Our pond edges are getting too filled in with saplings and so we will be coppicing a proportion of the alder and willow to start of a 7 or 15 year cycle of coppice which provides a more complex structure that benefits all wetland wildlife.

Details of the work are now in the planning stage and you should see something happening in the next few months. We will also be removing some sycamore from the edge of the marsh and constructing 1 or 2 artificial otter holts which will act as safe laying up places for otters passing through (and yes, there is evidence that they do!).

A proportion of the money is also set aside for upgrading our tool stock and educational activity about wetland wildlife and any left-over will contribute to the removal of other invasive species in the other habitats in the reserve.

We have a year to spend the grant but the coppicing is due to start taking place in September during which time the bird watching path will not be open for access.

We are enormously grateful to Tesco for initiating this scheme and to Groundwork South who promote it on their behalf.


Re-Launch of Par Beach Seaweed Survey
4th August 2017

We are re-launching the survey that was asked for by Jolyon Sharpe, Countryside Officer for Cornwall Council, to consult with the local community and beach users for their thoughts on the seaweed that sometimes washes up with the tides on Par Beach. Not enough returns were received from our previous launch for Cornwall Council to form a valid community/beach users view on the subject of seaweed on the beach.

If you want let the the Council know your thoughts you can download the questionnaire here to fill and and return by one of the methods given on the form. There will also be hard copies at locations given below where you can obtain, fill them in and leave at the location to be collected at a later date

Word version with this you can fill in using you computer. When completed, save it to your computer and e-mail it to the address on the form.

pdf version that you can download to print to fill in by hand. When completed you can either scan it and attach to an e-mail to the address shown, post it to the address on the form or drop it off at one of the drop off points.

Hard copies of the form can be obtained from the following sites.

Tywardreath Village Stores
Par Library
Par Sands Holiday Park Reception

If you have any questions please contact Friends of Par Beach using the Contact Us Page with 'Seaweed Survey' in the subject.


Family Beach Art Competition - Sunday 9th July
10th July 2017

Friends of Par Beach volunteers enjoyed the most successful Sand Art Competition since the event was added to Par Carnival Week when nearly 60 people filled the area over the footbridge at the Eastern end of the the beach.

Competition was enthusiastic as 12 family groups created 21 works of art that gave the judges, Jules Jonklaas, Gill Buter and Cathy Trodd, some serious thinking to do as the participants waited expectantly to hear who were the winners.

A group of 8 (youngest member aged 4), a combination of several families, was awarded the 1st prize for entries that included an octopus, an angler fish, a volcano, a cup cake and ‘Charlie’s Castle’.

Second prize went to the Rowe family for their entry ‘Hedwig’ inspired by the Harry Potter books and third prize went to the Pearce family with a map of Cornwall.

Every child received a small bag of sweets and the whole morning was great fun, it being clear that it was the joining in that was more important than the winning.

Par Carnival event week continues at Par Canal on Wednesday with with a BBQ at 5.00 pm and Duck Race at 6.00 pm followed by Carnival Quiz at The Royal Inn at 8.30 pm.

On Thursday Gott Hall hosts an Art Exhibition from 2.00-4.00 pm, with Carnival Bingo at 7.30 pm.

Children’s Fun Sports are at St. Blazey Cricket Club on Friday at 6.00 pm

The Big Event is on Saturday with the Carnival Procession leaving Par Beach Car Park at 6.30 pm for it’s usual Tour de Par.

On Sunday there will be a Children’s Treasure Hunt on Par Beach at 10.30 am, a Car Treasure Hunt from Par Inn at 2.00 pm and Songs of Praise at St Mary’s Methodist Church at 6.00 pm.

 

Some of the ompetitors taking part

General View of some of the compeditors taking part

 

 

'Charlie's Castle', part of the winning entry

 

                          2nd Place the Rowe family with 'Hedwig'                    3rd Place, the Pearce family with 'Map of Cornwall'


Update on our Beach Hut/Hub
15th June 2017

We are getting nearer!! The base for our beach hut/hub is now in place and the hut itself is now on order from Just Fir near Par Harbour. We are hoping that it will be in place by mid July and after some fitting out should be in service in time for the summer season.


Beach Clean with a Difference
16th May 2017

On a sunny but blustery morning of Sunday 14th May about 20 people came along to help us collect plastics from the shoreline and the beach area. Rob Thompson and Natallia Paliakova from Fathoms Free came along to help sort the plastics from the general rubbish and to take it away. We filled two bags, a bag of general plastics and another of pieces of plastic netting, rope, cord and other plastic filamentous material. The general plastics will be stored by Fathoms Free and then be sent to FatYak, a UK South West-based Kayak manufacturer who are experimenting in turning the plastics into body boards and kayaks as part of their joint project with Fathoms Free, Paddle for Plastics; at the end of the page from the link you can see a picture of the prototypes. The other material will be stored to be sent in bulk with all the plastic netting and rope that Fathoms Free have retrieved from the seabed to a facility in Denmark that can deal with this kind of material for recycling.

The amount collected was not as great as one would hope but that in turn is good. It seems that we at Par Beach are not seeing the amount of plastics that we used to. That is not to say that the marine plastics issue is getting better, it is not, there some beaches in Cornwall seeing large amounts of plastics washing up! There is a huge amount of work to be done to lessen its impact on the environment. On our own beach more and more people are being observed carrying their own mini beach cleans during visits with their dogs or just out for a walk, This will go some way to explain why we are seeing less rubbish on the beach. A big round of applause to those that help to make the beach a better place for us all by keeping it clean of rubbish, we all thank you….

'Friends' and Fathoms Free's beach HQ

 

Phil with Rob and Natallia from Fathoms Free sorting out the plastics into the two bags ably supervised by Gill


Vote for Friends of Par Beach at Tesco
11th May 2017

Vote for Friends of Par Beach at Tesco

Friends of Par Beach is delighted to announce that we are one of the Community Groups selected to participate in the Tesco Bags of Help initiative at the St Austell (Holmbush) store and the Tregonissey Tesco Express from now until the end of June. There is no minimum spend, but you may need to remind the cashier that you want the voting disc.

Please help us spread the word - tell your friends, neighbours, relatives. The more people who know that we can gain funding from Tesco the better.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £1000-£4,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects.

Three groups have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and Friends of Par Beach is asking for your support when shopping at the Tesco stores mentioned above.

Friends of Par Beach, in its ongoing support of Par Sands Local Nature Reserve, will spend the money to coppice part of the wetland area. This has been part of the Management Plan for many years and is long overdue. As otters are known to pass through the area, the wood will be used to build an otter holt, in the hope that they might stay.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for May and June. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between."

Click here to see our poster to print or share.......


Friends of Par Beach Hub
10th April 2017

After many months of planning a start was made by four members of the committee of Friends of Par Beach by clearing the base of Hut No. 77 ready for a brand new beach hut/FoPB Hub, opposite Milo’s Restaurant.

By the summer the hub will be open and give information about Par Beach and Par Sands Local Nature Reserve. It may come as a surprise to many local residents that there is a Local Nature Reserve on the site, but the designation has been in place since 1985.


Dogs are NOT Banned from Par Beach
9th April 2017

There is a internet based news service, Cornwall Live, that has just published a list of beaches where dogs are banned. Par Beach has been included and is totaly innacurate. Par Beach is and will continue to be one of the few beaches in Cornwall where dogs are allowed all year.

Friends of Par Beach have contacted Cornwall Live to correct this statement. It seems the list has more than one innacurate entry.


Seaweed Survey
25th March 2017

Friends of Par Beach have been asked by Jolyon Sharpe, Countryside Officer for Cornwall Council to consult with the local community and beach users for their thoughts on the seaweed that sometimes washes up with the tides on Par Beach. FoPB has been given a questionnaire to put out on their behalf

If you want let the the Council know your thoughts you can download the questionnaire here to fill and and return by one of the methods given on the form. There will also be hard copies at locations given below where you can obtain, fill them in and leave at the location to be collected at a later date

Word version with this you can fill in using you computer.

pdf version that you can download to print to fill in by hand.

Hard copies of the form can be obtained from the following sites from Monday 27th March

Tywardreath Village Stores
Par Library
Par Sands Holiday Park Reception

If you have any questions please contact Friends of Par Beach using the Contact Us Page with 'Seaweed Survey' in the subject.

 


Sunday March 5th Beach Clean
6th March 2017

On Sunday more than 30 hardy litter pickers, adults and children, chanced the weather to help Friends of Par Beach have a tidy of Par Beach and the Local Nature Reserve.

Despite a heavy duty hail and rain shower they managed to leave more than 30 bags for Biffa to collect.

The beach itself was not unduly littered, but hot-spots of the various car parks were pretty bad, which is disappointing as there are plenty of bins close-by.

The usual Friends of Par Beach gazebo was not in evidence as, due to the very strong gusts of wind it was deemed unsafe and the organisers managed to operate out of the backs of cars.

All in all, given the conditions, it was a successful event and thanks go to the 31 stalwarts who turned out. A special thanks to to a rather soggy Claire Louise Hunt, pictured below left who has long supported FoPB in her work as St Austell Tesco's Community Champion. Also pictured is Cllr Doug Scrafton (right) our local County and Parish Councillor another great supporter of Friends of Par Beach!

 

       


Bramble Clearing on the Dunes
23rd January 2017

Last year on one of our regular winter work parties we cleared two areas of gorse which has become so rampant on the Nature Reserve.  The purpose of this action was to create some sheltered spaces for insects and particularly butterflies to thrive.
On Sunday 22nd January we targetted the brambles which had inevitably grown in the cleared areas, and which had thrived in the new light which we created for them.

We were pleased to welcome a record seventeen people, and unusually nearly all were members, who enthusiastically attacked the brambles and their roots, a great deal of good work was done to help create a balanced environment at the western end of our favourite beach and local nature reseve.

As ever the event was a social occasion with stories and banter being exchanged during the half time tea break, usually the highlight of the day.

Our thanks to everyone who came along and also to Jan Phillips who led the group in her own knowledgeable manner.

Look out on social media and also on our posters for the next event which will be in February. Details already posted are shown here.

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 


Great Team Effort Helps to Clean up Par Beach
9th January 2017

A combination of different factors all came together today when an amazing, second best ever, 110 volunteers answered our 'Call to Arms' and joined Friends of Par Beach to help clear the large volume of rubbish that had appeared over the holiday period.

This started over Christmas and New Year, when owing to the mainly clear and dry weather, many more than normal visitors and locals alike came to walk their dogs, walk off the Christmas pudding, or just to get some fresh air. Boxing Day had to be seen to be believed with literally hundreds of people and it seemed, just as many dogs enjoying the benefits of our wonderful beach.. It seems that many people used their own initiative and moved large pieces of Flotsam and Jetsam above the strand line and created several piles of rubbish, which was excellent.

Mike Freemantle, our Treasurer after one of his many walks along the shoreline, suggested that we should hold an Emergency Litter Pick to carry on the good work started by these thoughtful visitors. So at short notice we put the plan into action and went through the normal procedures of advertising the event in as many places as possible, in particular on social media.

The result was today's turnout, one of our best ever, including several children, many well behaved dogs, and interestingly at least half a dozen people brought along their own wheelbarrows, having taken notice of our advice about quite a lot of large objects to be cleared. Large objects were removed off the beach and many sifted through the seaweed on the strandlines to remove all non-natural debris, mostly plastics, the scourge of the marine environment.

It was impossible to count the amount of litter collected as we asked for the bags to placed near any of the rubbish bins along the road side of the dunes, so they were spread out. We do know however that there was an awful lot, but the beach looked much better afterwards as a result of the great community spirit. The team effort was completed by Biffa, the Council Refuse Contractors arriving almost as we finished to take everything away, and we thank them for their efficiency.

To everyone who came along, we thank you all, and please look out for details on our events page for our next regular Litter Pick/Beach Clean to be held in March along with other events as they are arranged.

To see some photos taken on the day click here

 


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 Councillors Vote to Ban Balloon & Chinese Lantern Releases
24th November 2015

Resullt!! Cornwall Council Councillors have, this afternoon, voted to support the motion for a balloon and sky lantern release ban on land in their ownership & control. This is a major step forward in protecting our wildlife and environment. many thanks to all who have helped support this campaign - now we need to carry on working with Marine Conservation Society Surfers Against Sewage Balloons Blow to try and influence more areas to make the same decision.

 



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