Popular Cornwall tourist beach ruined by 100 Christmas trees

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A popular tourist beach in Cornwall has been ruined for the Easter holidays after 100 Christmas trees were dumped on it.

Locals say businesses are being affected by the trees at Porthtowan, which were part of an anti-erosion conservation bid to preserve sand dunes.

The trees were planted in January by Cornwall Council, who said they would act as wind traps, allowing marram grass to grow and hold sand around them, forming new dunes.

However, holidaymakers, say locals, are being put off by the unsightly look.

Chris Smith, who runs an ice cream parlour in Porthtowan, told the Western Morning News: "It's just awful, it really is.

"Everyone is really concerned about Easter. It's not the sort of thing tourists want to see."

The Porthtowan Dunes Community Group say the conservation plan has failed, leaving the sad-looking Christmas trees sticking out of the sand.

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Rose Trengove, community group spokesman, told the Daily Mail: "We were told by the council's dunes expert that the Christmas trees would be covered by sand come April.

"We wanted to see if it would work, but it hasn't and is now an eyesore and a blight."

Luke Morris, who runs the Blue Bar just yards away from the trees, said they are now "an eyesore on what is a fantastic beach", adding: "It's alienating visitors at a time when Cornwall, as a whole, needs as much support as it can get."

A plan to go and dig up the trees by the Porthtowan Beach Management Group (PBMG) was also quashed by Cornwall Council.

According to the Falmouth Packet, a letter from countryside officer Jolyon Sharpe said: "The work does not follow any recognised and agreed plans developed for the dune system. In view of this as the landowner of the area Cornwall Council cannot agree to allow the PBMG to carry out the works.

"If the group feel that it is appropriate to act independently of Cornwall Council it will have to consider its options regarding taking action to prevent such unauthorised interference and any appropriate recompense. I would sincerely hope that we can work together to ensure the most appropriate outcome for this area and that the Council will not have to resort to such a response."

Cornwall Councillor Joyce Duffin told the BBC: "I can't comment if the trees are or are not working, though I think they are trapping some of the sand.

"But they would need to have permission [to carry out any work] because it's council land."

Cornwall Council's Natural Environment Manager Jon James told the Falmouth Packet: "The recent storms which Cornwall has suffered has clearly demonstrated the importance of the dune systems in protecting Cornwall's coastline and we need to ensure that all parties take a measured approached to ensure that we retain the best level of protection to communities.

"A meeting is being held with the dunes group committee later this week to agree what minor works can be carried out in the next few weeks."

Best beaches in Cornwall

Best beaches in Cornwall


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