How do you ruin a beach and spring trade.. ask Cornwall Council!

How do you ruin a beach and spring trade.. ask Cornwall Council!

How do you ruin a beach and spring trade.. ask Cornwall Council!

First published in News

A bid to remove dead Christmas trees by residents furious at the 'destruction' of the beach at Porthtown has been stopped by by Cornwall Council.

An event planned to remove the trees was stopped after a council officer said the authority would "consider its options regarding taking action to prevent such unauthorised interference and any appropriate recompense".

The dead trees were "planted" in the dune after the plan was cooked up by Cornwall Council with the support of local councillor Joyce Duffin.

The project was a bid to capture sand and allow grass to grow, however locals say the spiky additions are driving trade away, are an 'eyesore' on the popular beach, and are simply not working.

Residents say that many of the trees blew away in the winter gales, littering the village roads and gardens. Adding that those that remain are leaving sharp splinters of wood and pine needles scattered throughout the golden sand, creating a real hazard for bare feet. 

The result is an "Alice-in-Wonderland's nightmare battle defences and the view of the sea is hidden by an orange plantation of dead trees, some still with tinsel twinkling in the spring sunshine".

There are reports of visitors turning away disappointed and asking for directions to a "prettier, more family-friendly" beach.

A plan to hold a community event to remove the trees was stopped at the last minute after Cornwall Council stepped in.

A letter from countryside officer Jolyon Sharpe said that a Porthtowan Beach Management Group (PBMG) event last weekend to remove the Christmas trees from Porthtowan Dunes was without prior consent from the Cornwall Council, who are the landowner.

Adding: "It is important that as the landowner and an organisation with statutory responsibilities that Cornwall Council work with the PBMG to ensure the aims and outcomes of the group meet not only European and National legislation but also policy regarding dune management and shoreline management. The event has unfortunately not gone through the correct event notification process and the organisers of the event have not produced any risk assessments or evidence of Public Liability Insurance.

"Furthermore the work does not follow any recognised and agreed plans developed for the dune system. In view of this as the landowner of the area Cornwall Council cannot agree to allow the PBMG to carry out the works.

"If the group feel that it is appropriate to act independently of Cornwall Council it will have to consider its options regarding taking action to prevent such unauthorised interference and any appropriate recompense. I would sincerely hope that we can work together to ensure the most appropriate outcome for this area and that the Council will not have to resort to such a response."

Porthtown Dunes Group posted on Facebook: "It is with deep regret that due to the response from Joyce Duffin and Cornwall Council that the removal of the Christmas trees will no longer go ahead.

"The Council have always said they wanted to work with the community, but having done everything the Council has asked of us a quarter of a year on Porthtowan is left being called a dump by holidaymakers with comments that they will not be returning unless something is done.

"Please be assured this is not the end. As long as the dunes are in the disgraceful state the Council has inflicted on them the dunes group will not give up. May we take this opportunity to thank everyone who is supporting us and please keep the pressure up on the Council to get something done.

Cornwall Council’s Natural Environment Manager Jon James said: ” We recognise the concerns which have been expressed over the use of Christmas trees to stabilise the dunes at Porthtowan and want to work with the local community group to agree a way forward.

"The planting of the trees was always intended as the first of a series of measures to stabilise the dunes, with other works, including the redistribution of sand and planting of marram grass, due to take place later in the year.

"We do not want to take any action which could be detrimental to the protection of properties, so we are seeking independent expert advice from a specialist company to fully understand what works are required for the long term future and stability of the dune system and to determine the best course of action.

"The recent storms which Cornwall has suffered has clearly demonstrated the importance of the dune systems in protecting Cornwall’s coastline and we need to ensure that all parties take a measured approached to ensure that we retain the best level of protection to communities.

"A meeting is being held with the dunes group committee later this week to agree what minor works can be carried out in the next few weeks.”

Cornwall Councillor Joyce Duffin told the BBC: "I can't comment if the trees are or are not working, though I think they are trapping some of the sand.

"But they would need to have permission because it's council land."

 

 

 

Comments (7)

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2:24pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Toffer99 says...

All it needs is a dry day with the wind in the right direction, and someone with a box of matches could easily rearrange these dead trees.
All it needs is a dry day with the wind in the right direction, and someone with a box of matches could easily rearrange these dead trees. Toffer99
  • Score: 1

3:19pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Gillian R.Z. Martin says...

I would vote at the next council election for Councillors with more common sense and ones that listen and take note of public opinion.
In my view the council should remove these trees immediately by the same method they remove bulky waste from private households at a charge, or fly tipped waste on land the council is responsible for, alternatively pay the garden waste contractors to remove them. It beggars belief in a county with a climate prone to coastal winds such as we have, how anyone could have possibly thought this was a good idea in the first place.
I would vote at the next council election for Councillors with more common sense and ones that listen and take note of public opinion. In my view the council should remove these trees immediately by the same method they remove bulky waste from private households at a charge, or fly tipped waste on land the council is responsible for, alternatively pay the garden waste contractors to remove them. It beggars belief in a county with a climate prone to coastal winds such as we have, how anyone could have possibly thought this was a good idea in the first place. Gillian R.Z. Martin
  • Score: 8

9:41pm Tue 15 Apr 14

JeremyBadger says...

I understand that old, dead, dry Christmas trees burn very well.
I understand that old, dead, dry Christmas trees burn very well. JeremyBadger
  • Score: 6

11:14am Wed 16 Apr 14

esswords says...

Typical dithering Lib Dem councillor behaviour. Hand wringing over a non-issue to start off with, poor decision making to solve a non-existant problem, then just walking away and leaving someone else to pick up the mess, and then preventing that someone else from taking remedial action. For goodness sake let the locals deal with it, Ms Duffin, and stop your leftie dogma from getting in the way of common sense.
Typical dithering Lib Dem councillor behaviour. Hand wringing over a non-issue to start off with, poor decision making to solve a non-existant problem, then just walking away and leaving someone else to pick up the mess, and then preventing that someone else from taking remedial action. For goodness sake let the locals deal with it, Ms Duffin, and stop your leftie dogma from getting in the way of common sense. esswords
  • Score: 3

11:56am Wed 16 Apr 14

she of faith says...

quote" Cornwall Council, who are the landowner". aren't the people the landowners? and the "officials" members of your community that you voted to represent your views?, as councils are elected and paid for by the people any council land has been paid for by your taxes!
quote" Cornwall Council, who are the landowner". aren't the people the landowners? and the "officials" members of your community that you voted to represent your views?, as councils are elected and paid for by the people any council land has been paid for by your taxes! she of faith
  • Score: 1

10:41pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Greyhead says...

I agree with She of Faith - Cornwall Council are no more than custodians of the land on behalf of the local community and who exactly did the council consult with when it was decided to implement the rather bizarre christmas tree idea.
sand dunes tend to be dynamic and fixing them can be very challenging - planting live plants (Marram grass) and erecting sand fences have a better chance of fixing the dunes that sticking dead or dying trees in the sand and ruining the beach's amenity value.
I agree with She of Faith - Cornwall Council are no more than custodians of the land on behalf of the local community and who exactly did the council consult with when it was decided to implement the rather bizarre christmas tree idea. sand dunes tend to be dynamic and fixing them can be very challenging - planting live plants (Marram grass) and erecting sand fences have a better chance of fixing the dunes that sticking dead or dying trees in the sand and ruining the beach's amenity value. Greyhead
  • Score: 1

8:54pm Sun 20 Apr 14

Chocoholic2 says...

Greyhead wrote:
I agree with She of Faith - Cornwall Council are no more than custodians of the land on behalf of the local community and who exactly did the council consult with when it was decided to implement the rather bizarre christmas tree idea.
sand dunes tend to be dynamic and fixing them can be very challenging - planting live plants (Marram grass) and erecting sand fences have a better chance of fixing the dunes that sticking dead or dying trees in the sand and ruining the beach's amenity value.
Not a bizarre idea at all. The National Trust have been utilising this technique in a highly successful manner on Formby beach for many years. They use several thousand trees each year. This gives a more stable environment for live plants to establish. Give it time!.
[quote][p][bold]Greyhead[/bold] wrote: I agree with She of Faith - Cornwall Council are no more than custodians of the land on behalf of the local community and who exactly did the council consult with when it was decided to implement the rather bizarre christmas tree idea. sand dunes tend to be dynamic and fixing them can be very challenging - planting live plants (Marram grass) and erecting sand fences have a better chance of fixing the dunes that sticking dead or dying trees in the sand and ruining the beach's amenity value.[/p][/quote]Not a bizarre idea at all. The National Trust have been utilising this technique in a highly successful manner on Formby beach for many years. They use several thousand trees each year. This gives a more stable environment for live plants to establish. Give it time!. Chocoholic2
  • Score: -2

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