Category Archives: Beaches

Life at the Mine Pool -Mawgan Porth

To me, there can be nothing closer to heaven than the cliff tops around Mawgan Porth in late spring. The explosion of colours can be seen from afar and will reach its peak over the next few weeks.

The thick, warm, honey-laden scents of the gorse and the delicate smell of the opening thrift provides the perfect accompaniment to the view of taut lines of swell stretching across a wide indigo horizon.

It comes as more of a surprise that so many flowers are blooming near the base of the cliffs, in the shadow of the old mine workings that are set deep into the northern cliff face.

Cornish Rock Pools junior approaching the mine entrance optimistically equipped with a fishing net.
Cornish Rock Pools junior approaching the mine entrance optimistically equipped with a fishing net.

At first glance it seems that nothing could survive among the stark rockfall boulders and the red metallic ooze from the flooded and blocked shaft. As we clamber closer across the rocks, we see plants poking out. Scurvy grass – so named because it’s rich in vitamin C – more beautiful than the name suggests. Thrift, sea plantain and more are pushing up between the red stones and flowering happily. Continue reading Life at the Mine Pool -Mawgan Porth

Love on the Rocks at Mawgan Porth

I love this rock; no frame could suit it better than Mawgan Porth’s sheer cliffs, golden sand and wide horizon. Perhaps I need emotional counselling, but it really is a beauty. Its seaward side lifts its face to the churning Atlantic, defying the waves that batter and submerge it for most of the year. Only a few mussels and barnacles cling on to its western edge, oblivious to the storms and sunsets I have watched from here since childhood. Continue reading Love on the Rocks at Mawgan Porth

A Winter Walk

Standing on the beach it’s hard to imagine how anything survives in our seas at this time of year. Fierce Atlantic winds send the waves surging high onto the shore, exploding against the rocks and blowing hair or sand into my eyes whichever way I turn. Yet on these dark winter days, when many of our land animals have migrated or gone into hibernation, most marine life is clinging on and waiting for spring.

Wintertime is tough even for the hardiest mariners. The strandline is strewn with those that haven’t made it Continue reading A Winter Walk

Pirate Rock Pooling Adventure

The leaves are turning, the swallows are no longer dipping over the rock pools, but this long, warm Cornish summer never seems to end. We set sail from Hannafore over a barely rippling sea in the good ship Red Canoe to seek secret beaches, pirate caves and, of course, photos of interesting marine creatures. Continue reading Pirate Rock Pooling Adventure

Rockpooling With Mum

My mum will be seventy this year, but she cuts a sprightly figure as she steps across the rocks at Castle Beach. In a rare, precious moment we have time together, surrounded by glittering pools and a wide open bay.

Mum exploring Cornish rock pools.
Rockpooling with Mum, Castle Beach, Cornwall.

These are the moments we hoped for not so many years ago when Mum was lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to a blood transfusion to give her the strength to make it through her cancer operation. Continue reading Rockpooling With Mum

The Selfish Shellfish – The story of a Cornish Rock Pool

It feels like we’re living out a scene from the children’s picture book about a Cornish rock pool, The Selfish Shellfish.

Grandma Paint Pot at Castle Beach
Grandma Paint Pot at Castle Beach

 I’m with the author, Grandma Paint Pot (Donna Painter), on Castle Beach in Falmouth, where her story is set. The tide is rising fast and we’re slithering about on a wet rock while we watch limpets, top shells and anemones coming to life as the waves push in. Continue reading The Selfish Shellfish – The story of a Cornish Rock Pool