The hard work of five different community groups that make up the Porthtowan Beach Management Group has been celebrated in a short film produced by Cornwall Council. The Porthtowan Beach Management Group was set up by the council to bring the community together. The group focuses on helping improve the sand dunes, since the storm damage in 2012, and enhancing the local economy.
The community groups featured in the film are the Porthtowan Dunes Community Group, the Porthtowan Beach Association, Porthtowan Surf Life Saving Club, Porthtowan Village Hall and St Agnes Parish Council.
Each community group has supported their local village Porthtowan in different ways.
To encourage the dunes to reform, the Porthtowan Dunes Community Group has worked with Cornwall Council on a long term initiative to re-establish plant growth and prevent sand from blowing from all over the village.
To help draw visitors to the Beach, the Porthtowan Beach Association has led on the work to achieve the prestigious Blue Flag status for exceptional quality and cleanliness since 2004. The Association is behind the initiative to improve ‘access for all’ to Porthtowan Beach which includes the Porthtowan Beach Management Sign that has braille as part of a welcome message.
To help save lives on the beach – whether by prevention or by rescue from the sea – members of the Porthtowan Surf Live Saving Club provide a service to the RNLI. The Club, which is the third oldest Surf Life Saving Club in the Country, has a dedicated programme which trains teenagers to be surf lifeguards.
To attract younger locals and visitors to play in the village’s play park, the Porthtowan Village Hall Committee takes care of the park and equipment which includes inspecting it weekly. The Committee welcomes more local volunteers to rake the sandy surface in the play park so it’s the correct depth around the equipment.
To keep St Agnes Parish Councillors up to date about the work of the Community Groups the two local Parish Councillors (Cllr Pauline Barrow and Cllr Lynn Davies) are members of the Porthtowan Management Group and attend the bi-monthly meetings.
Joyce Duffin, Local Cornwall Councillor for Mount Hawke and Portreath, who is involved with the Beach Management Group and who is the Chair for the Group’s bi-monthly meetings said: “I’m delighted that the short film showcases the efforts and commitment of the local community groups. The Porthtowan Beach Management Group is a great example of peoples’ different areas of expertise coming together to help the beach environment and local economy. As the film shows, the community groups in Porthtowan are working hard together and looking at projects that can benefit the whole village. With the support of the Community Area Manager from Cornwall Council’s Localism Team we’ve been able to apply for funding to help stabilise the dunes system and make other projects within the village happen.”
As told in the short film Cornwall Council helped the Beach Management Group to become a Coastal Community Team. This means they are eligible to apply for grants from the Government’s Coastal Community Fund; which supports the economy in coastal areas. As a result the Group has been awarded Government funding to support projects within the coastal village ranging from helping to restore the sand dunes to improving access for all to Porthtowan Beach.