National Trust development plans for Poltesco on the Lizard Peninsula

Falmouth Packet: National Trust development plans for Poltesco on the Lizard Peninsula National Trust development plans for Poltesco on the Lizard Peninsula

The National Trust has revealed planned changes to Poltesco Valley on the Lizard Peninsula.

One of the key projects is to develop the barn being used as an education room by schools and community groups, which was last refurbished 20 years ago.

The Trust says that the floor needs strengthening and to improve the environmental performance of the barn the ceiling will be insulated and a woodburner installed, to replace the existing electric heaters.

With much of the woodwork beginning to rot, the plan is to replace some of the windows and the door, to improve security and storage use.

Justin Whitehouse, head ranger on The Lizard, said: “The Trust does not intend to change the character of this building in any way and the barn will continue to be used in the same way it has been for the past 20 plus years.”

In the same way, the Trust wants to install toilet facilities next to the existing workshop, using the current plumbing and sewage plant, in order to cater for the children visiting Poltesco on school visits.

Mr Whitehouse described the situation as “the one and only negative comment we ever receive from the schools.”

Poltesco is also the main base for the Trust's ranger team and volunteers, who would benefit from the facilities.

“This work will not alter the external appearance of the building in any way, and will not ordinarily be for the use of the general public or visitors,” said Mr Whitehouse.

He added: “Due to the need for converting some of the present workshop space into toilet facilities, there may be some need for overflow workshop/storage, and the Trust intends to submit a planning application for a storage shed later in the year.”

The Trust has already begun what it calls “essential” repairs to the roof of Poltesco Mill. A full archaeological assessment also highlighted a number of other repairs to be carried out in consultation with historic environment services at Cornwall Council, to the wheel, millpond sluices, launder and stonework of the tailrace channel.

The Trust hopes to allow some restricted public access to the mill, through organised visits initially.

Changes are also planned to outdoor activities in the area. Having previously issued a temporary licence for Lizard Adventure to run coasteering and kayaking trips from Poltesco during 2013, in light of some local concerns raised about the suitability of the area for these activities the Trust is looking at alternative locations or restricting how Poltesco is used.

With the help of researchers from Exeter University, and in liaison with Natural England and the Wildlife Trust, it is also undertaking research into any impact of outdoor activities around the coast on sensitive species, habitats or conflicts with other recreational users.

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