Wednesday, 27 March 2013

How to make a camera...take one empty beer can

6 local schools joined us and our friends from the University of Falmouth Photography Department recently for a fun filled 3 days at Lizard Point, learning how to make a camera out of nothing more than an empty drinks can, gaffer tape and some photographic paper.

Sounds unlikely, but here are the weird and wonderful  results that prove it really does work! More than 70 kids from 5 local primary schools, and Mullion Secondary School came along to the workshops, to hone their photography skills, and they have all been invited along to an exhibition at Tremough Campus next month, to see their prize shots displayed in a gallery setting.

It's the second time we've hosted this project on the Lizard, and it's great to see how the kids and undergrad students hit it off straight away, and how they are inspired by the coast and countryside around them.  The students are in their first year of a photography degree based in Penryn, and for them it is an opportunity to practice newly learned skills, and share them with the kids. The kids got to enter a temporary dark room set up at Lizard YHA, to see their images developed in front of their very eyes!

We'd like to thank the University for their hard work in making this great project happen, and also Justin Quinnell (pinhole photograph expert extraordinaire), and the YHA. 

Next time you're chucking a can out in the recycling - just think that could be a camera!


Friday, 22 March 2013

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A bit of rain won't stop us...

The dedicated Friends of Poldhu and Poldhu BeachCafe braved the rain and wind last Friday to make some vast improvements to the 'flower triangle' at Poldhu.

The triangle of land that sits between 2 roads on the north side of the beach has always been used by locals as an easy parking spot for surfing or walking. Last year the council decided to fence off the triangle for safety reasons.

The earth mound that was left was quite an eyesore as you drop down the road to Poldhu Cove so Mullion in Bloom took a proactive approach and planted it up with a wildflower seed mix. The results were stunning and caused more of a safety problem than there had been previously as people stopped in the road to photograph the sea of poppies and cornflowers with Poldhu cove as a back drop.

Unfortunatley the posts have since been hit by various vehicles and has been left looking rather disheveled and wonky. So the Friends of Poldhu decided to do something about it and create a fence that would not only be more robust but much more aestheticaly pleasing and inkeeping with the surrounding landscape.

Despite the weather and vast amounts of contrete we had to chip through to get the posts in far enough, the dedicated team got the job done and all in good spirits. We used natural sisel rope and chestnut posts which have a natural preservative in them making them last a long time. As it weathers, the fence will take on a 'beachy' look and (providing the buses don't swing to wide) will last a very long time.

We look forward to seeing the triangle in bloom again this year and many thanks to the Friends of Poldhu for all thier hard work.


Monday, 18 March 2013

Tremayne Quay Restoration Appeal

Tremayne Quay on the Helford River is in need of some urgent restoration works. We need your help to raise the funds needed to undertake these essential repairs. Read on to find out more.

Tremayne Woods, the Quay and boathouse are well known to most people who are familiar with the Helford River, but for those who’ve not had the pleasure of visiting this very special place, here’s a little background together with an appeal for help.

Historically, Tremayne has always been associated with Trelowarren Estate. Whilst there has no doubt been a quay located here for a great deal longer, the present structure dates from 1847, built by Sir Richard Vyvyan in preparation for a visit by Queen Victoria. Whilst unfortunately the queen never came, her great grandson, Edward, Duke of Windsor, favoured the quay with a belated royal visit in 1921 when he was Prince of Wales.

The Quay is at the end of a mile long track leading through unspoilt ancient semi-natural and plantation woodland running alongside the Helford River. Some of these woods, notably the mature beech plantation in the valley at the head of the Creek, were planted specifically to impress Queen Victoria prior to her aborted visit in the 1840s. The sessile oak woodlands further down the track were managed as coppice for the charcoal and tannin trade, and like many Cornish oak woodlands, would have been a hive of activity up until the 1920s with bodgers and wood folk managing the woods. Today, the woods are better known for their beauty and tranquillity as well as the abundance of estuarine birds and woodland flora which can be spotted along the way.

The Woods and Quay were bequeathed to the National Trust in 1978 from the Vyvyan family of Trelowarren. Today, it is one of the few public quays on the upper reaches of the river, with public access right down to the riverside.

These days, Tremayne is a popular place for recreation, quiet enjoyment and having fun. Whether it’s walkers stopping for a picnic or just to enjoy the unspoilt views up and down the river, boat users pulling up for a BBQ or overnight stay, or a bunch of youngsters experiencing the wonderful solitude of the river at night with a camping trip, most locals and visitors to Tremayne have fond memories of the place. It’s a place to fish, catch crabs, wild swim, jump in at high tide, make a mud pie and roast marshmallows around the campfire. It’s a place for everyone, for ever.

However, in recent years the Quay has begun to show its age and needs some significant restoration repairs undertaken. Holes have appeared within the walls, stones have become dislodged and in places the core of the structure is beginning to be washed out. We’d also like to make some improvements to the Quay, with some new boat tie-ups installed, improved fire pits and better drainage.

The National Trust has recently received a very generous donation of £3000 from a local charitable trust, but we still need at least £9000 more before the work can take place.

We know that Tremayne is a much loved and appreciated place and we would be enormously grateful for any contributions towards the repair costs. A gift of any size would be gratefully welcomed and will make a huge difference to this stunning local landmark for years to come.

If you would like to make a donation to this appeal then you can do so at or send a cheque made payable to ‘National Trust’ to Tremayne Quay Appeal, The Stables, Penrose Estate, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 0RD Please indicate whether or not you would like us to claim gift aid on your donation.

You can also contact me for more information on 01326 291174.


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