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Five Cornish visitor attractions taking sustainability seriously

Posted on Tuesday 20th July, 2021

Five Cornish visitor attractions taking sustainability seriously

As we approach the end of Plastic Free July, Best Days Out Cornwall are showcasing some of the attractions we work with putting sustainability at the heart of what they do.

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. 

Cornish visitor attractions can ensure millions of visitors every year are aware of what can be done to take care of our planet, and our industry body Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions is working with almost 40 attractions to make sure they are aware of steps they can take to improve their ethical behaviour.

We are showcasing five of the attractions we work with who are working hard to make sure they are doing as much as they can to act sustainably - these are just a handful of the actions taken by Cornish visitor attractions to make sure they're making effective changes to help our planet.

Eden Project

The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future. Sustainability is at the heart of what they are all about and is a major part of the message they hope to convey.

The visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, is nestled in a huge crater. Massive Biomes house the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions, and stories serve as a backdrop to their striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events. 

PK Porthcurno

PK Porthcurno have worked extensively with Tevi Cornwall to remove single-use plastics from the museum’s shop, café and offices, and have been awarded ‘Plastic Free Business Champion’ status by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

Planet PK, the award-winning environmental programme of PK Porthcurno have created a Plastic Free Steering Group which includes representatives from National Trust, Cornwall AONB, Cornwall Council, Minack Theatre, Porthcurno Beach Café and local residents. Working collaboratively this group aims to achieve official ‘Plastic Free Community’ status with SAS.

Planet PK also recently hosted an SAS Million Mile Clean as part of the national campaign and are continuing to organise regular beach cleans to help combat the litter issues faced due to the popularity of Porthcurno as a visitor destination.

The PK Porthcurno team have a beach clean on Thursday 22 July for Plastic Free July 9-10am which coincides with an Instagram takeover for Visit Cornwall which will raise awareness on the litter problems at Porthcurno.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Part of the role of the onsite team at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary is to educate the visiting public about the dangers of plastic pollution on marine wildlife.

Steps taken by the Seal Sanctuary team include:

  • Changing waste and recycling management contractor - they currently send 0% of waste into landfill
  • do not sell any single used plastic bottles on site, all drinks come in cans or glass
  • recycling bins across site
  • Changing sandwich supplier to one whose operation is carbon neutral, and all product packaging is plastic free.  
  • Use of paper straws only
  • Constantly reviewing retail products to minimise plastic – including a cuddly toy seal made entirely from recycled plastic!

National Lobster Hatchery

This pioneering marine conservation attraction in Padstow is unique in their approach, with their work entirely tied up in ensuring the sustainability of the Cornish shellfish industry. Working with global experts and renowned scientists, they conserve fragile lobster populations and help solve the sustainability issues facing our coastal communities.

They have made the following changes as they move towards becoming plastic-free:

  • Removal of plastic bags in the shop, replaced with paper ones
  • Shop merchandise moving towards plastic free
  • Selling green toys made from recycled plastic, reusable cups recycled from disposable cups and recycled ghost fishing net jewellery
  • Introduction of a pledge pole, intended for visitor to think about the small steps they can practically take to reduce plastic use
  • Plastic containers used within a large research project were recycled at the end of the project and turned into Kayaks by Odyssey Innovation.

David Lockyer, CEO of the National Lobster Hatchery, said: “Few of us are perfect when it comes to the use of plastic. However, if everyone takes simple small steps to remove plastic from everyday life so much can be achieved.”

The Minack Theatre – Plastic Free Champions

The Minack Theatre is part of the Porthcurno Plastic Free Community.  The theatre has been awarded the title of Plastic Free Champion for their commitment to reduce single use plastics on site.  The team are committed to making the Minack as sustainable as possible.

In the last two years the Minack Theatre have initiated the following steps to reduce and recycle plastic waste:

  • Replace plastic straws with paper ones.
  • Replace plastic bags with paper bags
  • Single use plastic drinking bottles replaced by canned soft drinks and water.
  • Developed own branded reusable water bottle made from sugar cane.
  • Selling reusable coffee cups with a free hot drink on purchase
  • Installed drinking water taps around the theatre and in the car park to encourage customers and staff to refill their own water bottles.
  • Using compostable disposable cups and takeaway-boxes
  • Using wooden take-away cutlery
  • Aiming to use ethically sourced and sustainable products – e.g., deli pop looks with compostable packaging.
  • Working with suppliers to provide food items that are not wrapped in plastic.
  • Purchasing cleaning products in large bulk containers and then decant them into recyclable plastic bottles for use on site
  • Floor matting is made from Econyl, a substance produced from recycling ghost fishing nets.  Once these mats have ceased to be usable at the theatre, they are recycled again into flooring for equestrian arenas.
  • All dirty waste, such as nappies, is collected and reprocessed for fuel, roads etc
  • Implementing a new waste bin system in 2020 to make recycling easier and more effective.

For more information on Plastic Free July, go to https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/

CATA works with almost 40 of Cornwall’s top tourist attractions, ensuring the best visitor experiences are promoted across the region. They act as the voice of the Cornish visitor attraction industry and provide a supportive industry network for those working in the sector

Summer Family Fun and Fireworks at Flambards

Posted on Tuesday 20th July, 2021

Summer Family Fun and  Fireworks at Flambards

Flambards Theme Park has unveiled an exciting line-up of August evening events with live music from local artists, after-dark rides, and their award-winning spectacular firework displays. The iconic Cornish Theme Park is open daily throughout July and August for fun family adventures.

Plus, every Monday and Wednesday throughout August, visitors will have the chance to enjoy live music performances. Flambards is proud to be supporting a host of fabulous local bands including The Qwest, Shameless and The Electric Bandits.

The events will colourfully climax with fireworks illuminating the Cornish night sky. The Flambards Firework Spectaculars have previously been awarded Best Attraction Event in the South West by ‘Days Out with the Kids’.

In addition to the special events, visitors can board the theme park’s newest ride for 2021, the Western Mine Train, which transports guests back 200 years on a whistle-stop tour of the American Frontier, travelling through the twisting tunnels of an abandoned mining town.

Visitors can also take a spin on the Hornet Rollercoaster, check out the amazing views from the top of SkyRaker - the twisting drop ride, brave the Thunderbolt and prepare to get wet on the Colorado River log flume.  

Feel the G-Force on the ‘Sky-Force’ ride. Whizzing high above the Park, this adrenaline-packed ride is guaranteed fun for thrill-seekers. The giant ‘white knuckle’ experience takes up to 40 people, 25 metres above the ground exerting a force of up to 3G whilst simultaneously spinning 360 degrees.

Plus take a walk-through history in Flambards’ award-winning undercover attractions. Journey back in time to discover Britain in the Blitz, The War Gallery and Aviation Experience and an entire Victorian Village – all under one roof.

With its evocative atmosphere of bustling streets and alleyways, hidden nooks and crannies, the village is an incredible all round sensory experience with authentic sights, smells and sounds - thanks to the real cobblestones!

  • Flambards Theme Park, Helston, Cornwall TR13 0QA. Tel: 01326 573 404 or visit www.flambards.co.uk for more information.

 

23 dog-friendly days out in Cornwall

Posted on Wednesday 14th July, 2021

23 dog-friendly days out in Cornwall

Cornwall is a fantastic destination for a dog friendly holiday. As well as miles of coastal walks, countryside rambles and beaches, we also have many tourist attractions who are happy to welcome your dog.

Take our lead and don’t leave the dog at home. Dogs are welcome at many of our visitor attractions here in Cornwall. Most will allow dogs to visit all or part of their site.

Please do check the websites of each attraction to make sure you have booked in advance, and are aware of their dog-friendly policies. If you have specific requests regarding your Assistance Dog, please get in touch with the attraction to discuss your accessibility needs.

Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Discover the excitement and nostalgia of steam travel with a journey back in time on the BODMIN & WENFORD RAILWAY, Cornwall's only full size railway still regularly operated by steam locomotives.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Experience animal welfare in action in Cornwall's only Seal Sanctuary and rescue centre. Hear about dramatic rescues and meet the seal and sea lion characters whose individual stories are bought to life during your visit.

Eden Project

Inside our visitor attraction in Cornwall are massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to our striking contemporary gardens. Dogs are welcome in the Outdoor Gardens – assistance dogs only are allowed in the Biomes.

Flambards

Flambards Theme Park, Helston, Cornwall is the perfect destination for an unforgettable family day out with its fun mix of rides, indoor attractions and entertainment.

Geevor Tin Mine

Follow in the footsteps of Cornish miners.  The stunning coastline around Pendeen was once at the heart of the Cornish tin and copper mining industry.

Visit a real mine and learn what life was like for a Cornish miner – and enjoy a walk on the South West Coast Path after your visit.

Hangloose Adventure

Hangloose Adventure is based in the heart of Cornwall within the beautiful confines of the Eden Project. They are one of the UK's top adrenaline adventure activity providers including the world-famous Zip-wire over the Eden Project Biomes. Dogs can be on site and kept on a lead while their owners take turns on the activities!

Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm

Home to Cornwall's favourite Rattler Cornish Cloudy Cyder, traditional Cornish Cream Teas, and makers of England's oldest whiskey, a visit to Healeys is a sure way to tickle those taste buds, create fond memories, and expand your cyder knowledge!

Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn welcome dogs in the Smugglers bar, the museum and they even have some deluxe en-suite bedrooms where you can request a dog bed and bowl for your room. Not forgetting the doggy treat at the bar on arrival!

Lands End

A world famous landmark and resort at the westernmost point of Cornwall - you can stay with for a fabulous short break, discover a beautiful coastal landscape and enjoy fantastic attractions and seasonal events.

Lanhydrock

A Victorian family home inside a Jacobean mansion, surrounded by beautiful formal gardens, an expansive estate and exciting cycling trails.

Lappa Valley

Lappa Valley is the only attraction in Cornwall that transports visitors on an exhilarating nostalgic steam train ride into a secret world of traditional fun and family adventure.

Minack Theatre

A place like no other, the world-famous Minack theatre is a must-see for visitors to Cornwall. 

Perched on rugged cliffs over-looking the spectacular panorama of Porthcurno Bay, you might think ancient Greeks had carved it from the granite.  In fact, less than a century ago it was a rough gully of gorse and heather dropping dizzily down to the sea. Dogs are welcome during visiting hours, but we regret that no dogs other than guide dogs will be admitted to performances. For daytime storytelling events dogs on leads are permitted at the top of the theatre only.

Pencarrow

Visit Pencarrow House & Gardens, the much loved home of the Molesworth St Aubyn family who still live here and can trace their family back to the time of Queen Elizabeth 1. Have a leisurely walk around the 50 acres.

Pendennis Castle

Situated on a headland with breathtaking views out to sea, Pendennis Castle is one of Henry VIII's finest coastal fortresses. The castle has defended Cornwall since Tudor times, and played a vital role during the two World Wars.

Pinetum Gardens

Pinetum is a very special and inclusive space, set mostly on level ground with large areas put to lawn, perfect for a gentle stroll with the dog, an ideal environment for under fives to toddle around and perfect for families to share a moment away from traffic and the stresses of everyday life.

Lovingly created over the last four decades with over 6000 plants from around the globe, there is colour and interest throughout the year

PK Porthcurno

PK Porthcurno is a unique museum experience telling the story of how a once uninhabited valley in Cornwall became the heart of worldwide communication, how it remains so today and what might happen tomorrow.

Shipwreck Treasure Museum

The Shipwreck Treasure Museum shows a unique insight into the history of maritime adventures and misfortunes. It is a museum of peril and possibility, where a seabed of salvaged stories waits to be explored.

Discover 8,000 finds from over 150 shipwrecks. Well behaved dogs are welcome, provided they are on a lead.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Heligan remains one of the most loved and romantic gardens in the UK, appreciated as much for its beauty and mystery as for the ground breaking restoration project

Over 200 acres are now a paradise for the explorer, wildlife, plant lover and garden romantic. Victorian Productive Gardens and Pleasure Gardens beckon, along with winding paths laid out over two centuries ago. 

Tintagel Castle

Go on a legendary adventure at Tintagel - a Cornish castle with links to the stories of King Arthur. Cross the spectacular new bridge to take in unforgettable views of the coastline and explore the history-rich headland. Walk among the castle ruins that still cling to the cliffs, find early-medieval remains and meet Gallos - the life-size bronze statue of an ancient king who keeps watch over the wild seas below

Trebah Garden

Trebah is a sub-tropical paradise with a stunning coastal backdrop.

Discover the magic of this beautiful valley garden with over four miles of footpaths. Explore under canopies bursting with exotic blooms. Follow vibrant tunnels of colour that cascade to a private secluded beach on the Helford River.

Trelissick

A welcoming country house and garden set in an estate with stunning maritime views and lovely woodland walks.

Enjoy Trelissick's woodland garden, with meandering paths that take you on a journey through evergreens, palms, flowering shrubs and borders bursting with exotic colour.  

Trengwainton

Discover a garden where the spirit of the Plant Hunters lives on with winding, wooded paths, wide open spaces and plants from around the world.

Be wowed by sea views, towering tree canopy of the long walk and jungle-like tree ferns.

Wheal Martyn

The extensive historic grounds and largely outdoor museum offer a safe space to reflect, soak up the natural environment and enjoy some sense of normality away from crowds of people in a wonderful historic setting. 

 

Picture credit: James Street | Eden Project

Pioneering shipwreck treasure hunters celebrated at Charlestown museum

Posted on Monday 28th June, 2021

Pioneering shipwreck treasure hunters celebrated at Charlestown museum

Six ground-breaking shipwreck treasure seekers responsible for locating and salvaging thousands of artefacts are being celebrated in a new exhibit unveiled at Charlestown’s Shipwreck Treasure Museum.

This band of early undersea explorers began locating shipwrecks and salvaging their contents in earnest in the 1960s. The museum owes its existence to the pioneering adventurers who brought long lost artefacts back to dry land that provide an incredible insight into the past.

Four of the six original adventurers, Richard Larn OBE, Bridget Larn, Peter McBride and Rex Cowan attended the official opening of the feature recognising their hazardous exploits at the museum.

Former Royal Navy diver, Richard Larn and his wife Bridget are no strangers to the Charlestown attraction which they established in 1976 and ran until 1998. The couple are regarded among Britain's leading historic shipwreck experts and have written more than 65 books on the subject.

Diving enthusiast Peter McBride met Richard Larn whilst posted at RNAS Culdrose and became hooked on finding shipwrecks and their treasures. One of Peter’s notable discoveries was the wreck of the Santo Christo de Costello in 1969. The Genoese merchant vessel was driven ashore near Mullion Cove in a storm on its maiden voyage from Amsterdam to Genoa in 1667.

Swapping a career in law in the 1960s for treasure hunting, Rex Cowan sought the most difficult to find wrecks. He worked alongside his late wife, Zélide, who was also an expert on the history of diving and wrecks.

One Rex & Zélide’s substantial recoveries in 1971, after a meticulous three-year search, was the "Hollandia", a Dutch East Indian Company ship that sank off the Isles of Scilly in 1743.

Highly regarded archaeologist Dr Margaret Rule CBE, who died in 2015, completes the six pioneers. Margaret led the project to salvage the Tudor war ship Mary Rose. Margaret’s son Nick represented her at the event.

Lynné Raubenheimer from the Shipwreck Treasure Museum said:

“The museum is home to Europe’s largest private collection of shipwreck artefacts and for more than forty years the thousands of items on display have provided an incredible window to the past for our visitors.

“However, the new Pioneers Gallery focuses for the first time of these six daring men and women who broke new ground in underwater archaeology and exploration. Painstakingly hunting down centuries old shipwrecks and risking their lives to liberate their secrets.

“We were so pleased to welcome the four surviving pioneers, along with Nick Rule, to the unveiling of our new exhibit that celebrates their amazing lives and historic finds.”

The Shipwreck Treasure Museum is open daily from 10am – 5pm, pre-booking of timed entry tickets is recommended at www.shipwreckcharlestown.co.uk.

 

Paradise Park and the World Parrot Trust host meeting on illegal wildlife trade

Posted on Friday 11th June, 2021

Paradise Park and the World Parrot Trust host meeting on illegal wildlife trade

Paradise Park and the World Parrot Trust host meeting on illegal wildlife trade with George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for the Environment.

Ahead of the G7 meeting in Carbis Bay, Paradise Park and colleagues from the World Parrot Trust met with George Eustice MP. The UK holds the Presidency of the G7, and the subject of biodiversity and the illegal wildlife trade are high on the agenda.

G7 Environment Ministers met in May and made commitments on halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity. The World Parrot Trust can play a role by providing evidence of the illegal trade in wildlife, the way social media is promoting this, and solutions on how it can combatted.

Wildlife Charity based at Paradise Park

The World Parrot Trust, founded at Paradise Park in Hayle, Cornwall, is an international conservation organisation that has been protecting parrots around the world for over 30 years. Parrots are among the most threatened of all groups of birds in no small part due to their popularity as pets.

David Woolcock, Curator of Paradise Park and Trustee of the World Parrot Trust explains “The capture of wild parrots for the global pet trade has driven collapses in wild populations and much of our work at the World Parrot Trust has been focused on ending this mass trade. We spearheaded the successful campaign to stop imports of wild birds into the EU, and continue to work with partners around the world to conserve the world’s most endangered species.”

Opportunity for change

The escalating online trade in wildlife is a major threat to parrots, along with many other species. Given the global nature of this, the solution must be co-ordinated international action. Trading platforms must take responsibility for illegal actions online and real consequences must follow.

The G7 summit provides an enormous opportunity to highlight this issue to world leaders and to showcase the UK’s leadership role in addressing illegal wildlife trade from the 2018 London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, DEFRA’s IWT challenge fund and the United for Wildlife Transport and Financial Taskforces spearheaded by the Duke of Cambridge and the Royal Foundation.

Alison Hales, Paradise Park Director and Chair of the World Parrot Trust said “We are grateful for the opportunity to tour Paradise Park with George Eustice, discuss the species we work with and present findings and recommendations of our research in conjunction with our international partners.

At the Park we have parrots, toucans, mynah birds all seized by the authorities as they were being transported illegally. We have been pleased to give them a good home but it is sad that some of these were wild birds that should not have been trapped but could not be returned and released.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • The World Parrot Trust works closely with partner organisations working on online wildlife trade around the world through the Alliance to Counter Crime Online and the Global Initiative on Transnational Organised Crime.
  • The multifaceted approach to addressing illegal wildlife trade also involves “boots on the ground” projects and we are grateful for the support of UK government’s DEFRA’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge fund for recently supporting work in Cameroon.
  • Paradise Park offers a great opportunity to showcase what Cornwall has to offer the world. A hugely successful family-run attraction that punches far above its weight in driving the global conservation agenda not just for parrots but for all wildlife.

 

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