Those who saw the film 'The Perfect Storm' will recall that when a whole load of weather events come together a perfect (awful) storm results. The phrase 'perfect storm' is often applied to other combinations of events that result in something awful happening.
A perfect storm is gathering in the Helford River Area which threatens its perfection and pristine beauty. Bit by bit, the greed of a few and failure by others is resulting in damage which may soon become irreversible. The only way to protect the Helford River Area is for as many people as possible to come together to lobby, to write letters and to make financial contributions to those bodies prepared to fight.
Just look at what is happening:
Damage to the Helford River seabed - damage to the SSSI
Growing hazards to navigation in the river - potential breaches of the Coastal Protection Act
Helford River Jetty Scheme
Damage and degradation of the Grade II Port Navas Quay
Anna Maria Creek
Mussel Farming - now in abeyance - but for how long?
See below for letters and documents relating to these issues.
Much of this damage is a result of the failure of Kerrier District Council to do its job. But with its unlamented abolition, will the new Cornwall Council do any better? Given that many of the same planning structures will continue, albeit under a different umbrella - who knows?
The greatest threat to the Helford River is APATHY. your house, your land, your view, your enjoyment of the area might be ok today - but looking at other coastal areas of the UK which have been ruined irrevocably, your turn may well be next. As one Port Navas resident said "There is a gradual chiselling away at the beauty of the Helford River Area causing permanent damage. It's got to be stopped "
For those who want to know more about conservation in the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation (SAC), we recommend the Marine Conservation Society www.mcsuk.org. The MCS was instrumental in achieving a Government ban on dredging (for scallops) in the Lower Fal SAC. Dredging has caused / can cause immense damage to river beds where rare and protected marine life occurs. Click here to read the letter from the MCS to the Government which resulted in that ban.
The Campaign for Protection of Rural England (CPRE), Cornwall Branch, is supportive of our mission to protect Port Navas Quay. A previous generation of CPRE members helped significantly back in 1959 when Port Navas Quay was last damaged as a scrapyard and then with plans to build a cafe with car park there. Michael Bruton, who is part of today's campaign, was a teenager at that time growing up in Port Navas and attending Falmouth Grammar School. Michael was involved in that campaign to preserve the Quay. Like many, he thought that when the Duchy of Cornwall bought the Quay in the early 1960's that they would protect it as the National Trust protects properties and the environment. Click here to read the letter (1963) from the then Secretary of the Duchy of Cornwall, Sir Patrick Kingsley, to a village resisdent, which assured the Port Navas residents of that protection.
2. Letter from Kerrier District Council to Mr Williams, Chairman of the Helford River Association 07/01/2009. Click here to read.
We will leave readers to draw their own conclusions over the effectiveness of Kerrier's Enforcement Activities. Perhaps we might know more about the Ombudsman's comments in 2004 and the 62 Recommendations by consultants. We would welcome a response particularly from Kerrier District Council and would be happy to consider publishing such a response. Anna Maria Creek is at the northernmost end of Port Navas Creek - at the foot of Budock Vean Hill.
3. Letter from a local Port Navas resident to Councillor Neil Hatton ( District and County Councillor covering Port Navas) 21/12/2008. Click here to read.
The resident raises concerns about a keen interest in a planning application for a property not far from (but not part of) the Oyster Unit compared with little interest over the conditions on Port Navas Quay.