Beach Conservation short break in Cornwall
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Saturday 25th - Friday 31st August 2018 - £890 (£250 deposit)
This year we've extended our ever popular holiday and are working on even more of Cornwall's most beautiful beaches. For this six night conservation holiday we stay in very comfortable apartments in Falmouth, owned by Exeter University.
Spend all day on the beach
We'll walk along the seashore looking for seashells and studying the things that the sea washes up, recording our finds for surveys by the Natural History Museum and The Marine Conservation Society. There will be time for talks about the marine environment and the creatures within it as we move from beach to beach, often walking spectacular sections of the South West Coast Path on the way to our beach sites. In between undertaking our survey work, we will have time to enjoy the life of the coast, stopping at interesting restaurants to sample local food. And of course to include sampling fish and chips from the local takeaway run by Rick Stein.
Visit the Tate St Ives
We will take a trip to St Ives for a spot of culture at the Tate and enjoy a wander through the historic town.
Find out more detail about this holiday below.
The views over the cliffs of unbroken blue seas.
Coffee breaks with fresh ground coffee prepared on the beach and fuelled by driftwood.
A warm evening, sitting on a harbour wall with a glass of wine, eating Rick Stein's fish and chips from a paper bag.
The stunning beaches of England's southwest are among the most beautiful in the world, and great indicators of the richness of marine life in the seas beyond. Much can be learned from them. During this Cornwall break we'll conduct detailed surveys on selected beaches to learn more about the marine life of the area and some of the threats to its wellbeing.
Walk, collect and record
We will be working the Natural History Museum assisting with their national seaweed survey - literally walking the beaches identifying a range of seaweed indicator species.
All marine habitats are vulnerable to pollution in the form of flotsam and jetsam from a wide range of sources. On this six-night break in Cornwall, we’ll be conducting parallel detailed surveys on the same sample of beaches to identify the nature and extent of other washed up items. This will generate data used to determine national trends and inform campaign and policy development.
Marine Conservation Society
Wild Days Conservation are coordinators with the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch campaign, targeting priority beaches for ongoing survey. We carry out surveys over defined 100m sections and record and categorise our finds before submission to the MCS. Once we've surveyed, we collect and remove debris where practical.
Most of the targeted beaches are in clusters across West Cornwall allowing the option to walk short sections of the South West Coast Path between some sites. One beach is near St Ives, where we spend an afternoon exploring the picturesque streets and visiting the atmospheric Tate St Ives gallery.
All field training in the necessary conservation and research skills and techniques will be given as part of the holiday and you do not need any special skills - everyone can take part and there are no age limits whatsoever. We'll train you to identify, categorise and record materials as part of the holiday. You'll also learn about the wildlife and environment that surround us.
None! Our breaks don't require you to be an expert, or have special skills – this is an opportunity for everyone to get involved in high-value conservation and research.
Our base for this six-night break in Cornwall is the Exeter University campus at Falmouth. This gives us good access to both the North Cornwall coast and the Lizard peninsula – our main survey areas. The location is ideal for our work and perfect for early morning wildlife spotting and late-night stargazing expeditions.
A comfortable room of your own
We stay in two modern apartments with comfortable individual en-suite rooms (doubles available on request) and all facilities. We’ll spend most of this short holiday out and about, but when we’re back at base there's space to relax as a group, or in peace on your own if you wish.
Barbara Hepworth sculpture garden
The unique fishing village of St Ives on the north coast is a 10-minute train ride from one of our survey sites - and nothing beats arriving by train! Home to an outpost of London’s Tate Gallery, the Tate St Ives, the village was once the haunt of some of the best known contemporary artists of the last century, including Barbara Hepworth. Her house is now a museum and her sculpture garden the best place to end the working day: we’re looking forward to it!
Colonies of rare choughs
The Lizard peninsula is set within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and includes the southernmost point on the UK mainland. This rural outpost is known for its geology and rare plant communities, containing three designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). It’s also home to the chough: one of Britain’s rarest breeding birds. Our surveys take us to remote coves on both western and eastern sides of the peninsula: two apparently different worlds. And it’s not all about nature and culture: there’s a chocolate factory with its own handy café just round the corner from one of our beaches.
We're a bit obsessed with food at Wild Days – it's what we spend most of our time thinking about (apart from wildlife conservation, of course). Not only does it fuel our good work, but it's a great way to support local people and economies and experiencing the areas where we work. We're always on the lookout for the best and most interesting places to eat, and West Cornwall is full of them.
It's a short walk from our hilltop home to the delightful harbourside at Penryn, and the very pleasant Muddy beach Cafe restaurant. But with such a seaside theme, traditional fish and chips, ideally dangling our legs over the harbour wall, are also essential. Fortunately our local takeaway in Falmouth is run by Rick Stein and the tartare sauce is sublime.
And of course, it wouldn’t be Cornwall without pasties.
All meals included
We love our picnic lunches, prepared fresh each morning and, weather permitting, enjoyed al fresco in stunning scenery. Our locally roasted, freshly ground, fair-trade coffee is legendary - prepared on the beach with gathered driftwood and tastes fantastic after a morning walking the shoreline.
We are happy to cater for most diets, given a bit of notice. Please let us know when you book if you have any special dietary requirements.
West Cornwall is an area rich in history and culture. Our visit to St Ives gives us an opportunity to immerse ourselves in both the ancient and the modern: from bronze-age habitation to contemporary art.
Back on the beaches, with assistance from a Marine Conservation Society representative, we’ll take a rockpool ramble, and find out more about the colourful world under the rocks. Some of our beaches are in the care of the National Trust and their rangers will also be stopping by to tell us more about the history and environment.
Add a guided night-time bat foray, and a morning marvelling at the beauty and variety of night-flying moths attracted to our light trap, and this holiday is an unforgettable insight into the wonder of wildlife and conservation in Britain.
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
You have two options. We can meet you at Penryn railway station. Or you can travel directly to the Penryn campus near Falmouth in your own vehicle.
- Penryn railway station: 17.10, Saturday 25th August 2018. Trains run regularly from London Paddington, with one change required at Truro for the last short leg and this time is designed to meet the 17.06 arrival – see times here. It’s a five minute drive from the station to our home for the holiday.
- Penryn campus: 17.30, Saturday 25th August 2018 – full details for meeting up will be provided after booking.
Departure is after breakfast on Friday 31st August 2018, with return travel to Penryn railway station by 10am if required.
You are responsible for satisfying all relevant UK entry and visa requirements. Wild Days is unable to assist you with this. Detailed information specific to your nationality or country of origin can be found here.
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