After more than a year of being off limits due to safety concerns, the beach access at Polpeor on the Lizard has been restored this week.
The beach, and the old lifeboat station next to it, is accessed by a track below the UK’s most southerly point, half a mile south of Lizard village.
However a rock fall in November 2012 made it impossible to safely access the beach, and threatened the road access to the businesses above.
The National Trust commissioned engineers to look at the problem, and they decided that reinforcing the cliff was a realistic way to allow both the beach to be reopened, and the road above to be retained.
Rachel Holder, National Trust ranger, said: “Work began in October and it involved an impressive ten-tier scaffold structure. This enabled the contractors to drill two metre pins into the cliff, and to install mesh to hold everything in place.
“We’ve pulled back the granites at the top, and reinstated the wire fencing, but really once the vegetation has grown back through the mesh, things won’t look much different to before the rock fall. With the last of the scaffolding removed this week, we can finally welcome people back to the beach.”
General manager Alastair Cameron said the trust was pleased to be able to re-open the cove in time for the 2014 season.
“We appreciate beach access is important to visitors and locals alike,” he added.
“Here the rock fall wasn’t caused by the actions of the sea, but by loose material falling onto the slip below used by local fishermen to store their boats, and had to be made safe for future use.
“Last winter was a particularly difficult one for cliff falls, and this year we are being challenged by more rain and the effects of the recent storms around our coastline. In some places we have to let nature take its course but in this instance, the safety of users to Lizard Point needed to be secured.”