A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

As a ranger for the National Trust with the privilege of looking after Penrose I always enjoy hearing the stories of how at one time you were able to drive from Porthleven, along the coast, dropping down across Loe Bar then up towards Chyvarloe. That must have been an amazing yet slightly scary drive in a Morris Marina. Ever since a section of that ByWay fell into the sea in the 70’s that route remained hugely popular for walkers, cyclists and horse riders for decades. A large section of the footpath fell into the sea
It was with much sadness that on a rainy January morning we heard the news that a large section had fallen away into the sea. The route which had served as a favoured walk for visitors and locals alike had finally become part of the ever changing coastline at Penrose. The challenge now was to take this problem and from it create a new opportunity.
There was a great response from the many thousands of people that once walked those cliffs with offers of help and support. It was clear that whatever work we did going forward we would need to make sure it catered for all those who enjoyed the stunning clifftop path, be it walkers, cyclists or horse riders. This was the start of many conversations and trips out to the coast with a range of groups and societies, we were lucky enough to get help and support from the British Horse Society, the South West Coast Path Association and some fantastic feedback from a public meeting in Porthleven town hall.View of Porthleven
After absorbing all these great ideas and looking at the practicalities of building a brand new route through steep cliff fields, it was decided that we would not only create over half a kilometre of new surfaced footpath but also another brand new bridleway link again over half a kilometre in distance.
To make sure the work was done in a way that worked for the landscape of Penrose we undertook a series of surveys to make sure that we were taking into account the Archaeology, the ecology and the historical significance of that stretch of coastline. As part of this process all of this information was submitted to the local council for planning approval. We took this time to fundraise for the new route and had an amazing response to our online donation page, raising over a £1000 within 7 days.

Creating the new footpath
Once we had decided on a contractor and the application was successful, works started on the new path on July 2nd. It has been an exceptional summer of weather with week after week of unbroken sunshine. This dry spell in contrast to the previous January meant that the progress of the path has been much faster than we had hoped for. Our goal is to have the new route open and ready for people to explore at the end of August. It has been a real joy to hear the many stories of how people have been enjoying that stretch of coastline for decades and I hope that this new coastal link will help create more amazing memories.
If you would like to know more about the new route or anything regarding the project please feel free to call me directly on 01326 554 082. All the best Greg Cross National Trust Ranger

Published: Oct 2019
Author: Greg Cross (National Trust Ranger)