Sunday, 21 August 2011

Protect Porthtowan Dunes Council Asked

A member of the Camborne and Redruth constituency branch of MK has written to Cornwall Council’s Environment portfolio holder, Cllr. Julian German, to ask that better protection is given to the dunes in Porthtowan and to encourage members of the public to respect the area for the benefit of future generations.

In his letter, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, says:

"It would be a shame indeed if, through neglect and lack of protection, the sand from the dunes was blown away and with it the very thing in nature that gave Porthtowan its name."

Mr Tal-e-bot’s letter was also copied to Porthtowan councillor Nigel Ekins and the full text of which is set out below.

Councillor Julian German
Cornwall Council

Dear Councillor German

Protection of Porthtowan Sand Dunes

I am writing to you in order to bring to your attention my concerns about the way the sand dunes at Porthtowan are being used by the public and the apparent lack of protection that they are receiving from the Council.

As a resident of Redruth one of my local beaches is Porthtowan and my family and I like to visit the area at least once a week for leisure. I am often perturbed during my visits to see people walking over the sand dunes in spite of signs from Cornwall Council that clearly ask people to “respect” the dunes by keeping off them and “abiding by the laws”. Admittedly the sand dunes are partly fenced off, but there are large gaps in the fences surrounding the area that people freely pass through to use the dunes as a short cut and/or for their leisure activities.

This week for instance I saw many people walking over and sitting on the dunes, including groups of children who were sliding down the slopes, while their parents enjoyed a drink at the Blue Bar. I later noticed litter had been dropped where the children had been playing. I am not a kill joy by any means, but I think that better protection needs to be awarded to the dunes if they are to continue into the future. Porthtowan is a lovely beach area and there is no need to venture on to the dunes, because there is plenty of sand that can be played on or used by everyone, even when the tide in high. There are even designated pathways across the dunes that can be used by the public as a short cut.

Even though the dunes at Porthtowan are not protected as sites of special scientific interest and/or special areas of conservation they do “support plant species such as sea holly and sea spurge”, as Cornwall Council website rightly points out. Further the sand dunes are natural sea defences and home to a range of flora and fauna, including marram grass, which keeps the sand on the dunes from being blown away and eroded by the weather. If the biodiversity of the dunes is weakened - in this case through erosion caused by human activity - then the unique environment and character of the area could indeed be effected.

As you will be aware the name Porthtowan derives from the words 'porth' and 'tewynn' to mean Cove of Sand Dunes and so it is evident that the dunes have been an integral part of the area for a long time. It would be a shame indeed if, through neglect and lack of protection, the sand from the dunes was blown away and with it the very thing in nature that gave Porthtowan its name.

I would therefore like to call on you to encourage the public to respect the sand dunes at Porthtowan and to bring in tighter restrictions for public access onto the dunes, so that they can be enjoyed for future generations. Some of the ways that this can easily be achieved is through the mending of the fences that surround the dunes, clearly indicate footpaths, the erection of more signs telling the public to stay within the designated areas and the importance the dunes have to the environmental uniqueness of the area by making the public aware of what flora and fauna can be found there.

I look forward to your response in this matter and any suggestions for improvements you may have.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
Communications officer
Camborne and Redruth branch
Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall

CC Councillor Nigel Ekins

The Camborne and Redruth Branch

The Mebyon Kernow Camborne and Redruth Branch is one of six parliamentary constituency branches of MK throughout Cornwall. The Branch is made up of ordinary people who want the best for their community and believe that MK is the only party that can achieve this goal.

With the people – for the people!

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