Friday, 7 February 2014

Mullion Harbour Update

Massive waves pounding the harbour walls January 2014
Cornwall has been witnessing an unprecedented number of storms, coupled with some of the highest tides of the year, over the past few weeks and, like many other settlements, harbours, cliffs and beaches around our coast, Mullion Cove has taken a severe battering.
Stormy seas coupled with high tides Feb 2014

The harbour at Mullion Cove takes the full force of the sea and over the years the Trust has spent significant sums in maintenance and repair of the harbour walls, including over a million pounds during the 1990s. Looking to an uncertain future with increased frequency and strength of storms and rising sea levels as a result of climate change, the Trust commissioned a study in 2004 into the future of the harbour which looked at its structure, what climate change could mean for it and was steered by a stakeholder group which included users of the harbour, members of the local community, statutory organisations and other harbour managers. The study showed that the harbour was in better condition than we thought, but that at some time in the future a storm or series of storms could do such damage that repair or maintenance would not be viable in the future.

Paving setts, ripped from the walls, were dumped in the harbour
The first damage this year occurred in early January, taking out some of the granite paving setts from the western breakwater and knocking out some stones on the southern breakwater. We discovered that these setts had been laid on sand, so once the sea got to them it was able to rapidly remove hundreds of them, flicking them into the harbour.
There was some respite in the weather between the storms and during that time Trust staff, volunteers and harbour users got stuck in and were able to salvage some of the granites at low tide.

Salvaged setts stacked beyond the seas reach
With the harbour in a vulnerable state, and with advice from structural engineers, contractors swiftly undertook some emergency repairs, sealing the edge of the damaged section to hopefully prevent further damage occurring.

Damage to the south wall caused on the 5th February

Unfortunately to little avail as the storm of the 5th of February tore into the harbour and took more granites out of the western breakwater and inflicted some significant damage to the southern breakwater which we have not been able to assess yet. Our engineers are on standby for a period of calm weather when they will be able to see what damage has occurred before we will be able to make any decisions about the next steps to take.
The harbour walls are currently closed because of the stormy seas
Alastair Cameron, General Manager


  1. The information provided here is fantastic. It should be spread widely throughout the village and on the number of groups on social media, especially Facebook. Information is key to get the support of local people I feel.

  2. All i ask is that you have to remember there are familys that depend on income from the harbour including the village itself due to the number of visitors throughout the year. I understand the cost but surly theres avenues you can go through to obtain funding to help ease the pressure of the cost i for one as well many others of the village hope to see our harbour last another 100 odd years so please think hard and long how inportant the harbour is to so many people. Thank you

  3. The NT as trustees Mullion Cove have a statuatory duty to repair the damage all parts of the cove and return it it's original state.
    Once again it appears that the NT is being duped by the 'climate change. harbingers of doom, who have no actual proof that their statements are snything more than supposition.


Contact us


Email *

Message *