Blogs for March 2015

Be an Eggsplorer Trengwainton Garden this Easter

Posted on Thursday 26th March, 2015

This year, the Cadbury Eggsplorers Easter Egg Trail (3-6 April) will be inviting families to unleash their inner explore. Join in the footsteps of the great plant hunting eggsplorers at Trengwainton.

What’s more, all Eggsplorers will receive a delicious Cadbury chocolaty treat at the end of each completed trail, and will have helped support special places looked after by the National Trust for many future generations to explore.

The Cadbury Easter Trails runs at Trengwainton Garden - National Trust from 10.30am to 4pm over the Easter weekend. Normal admission applies; free entry for Members; to take part in the trail there is a charge of £2 each. To join in with the fun, visit

Trengwainton Garden:
Sunday till Thursday 10.30am till 5pm also open Good Friday 10.30am till 5pm
Entry price: Adult: £8.00, Child: £4.00, Family (1 adult): £12.00, Family: £20.00. Free to National Trust members.


Have an Eggtastic time this Easter Holiday at Paradise Park

Posted on Tuesday 24th March, 2015

Have an Eggtastic time this Easter Holiday at Paradise Park

Bring the family for an eggtastic time as you hunt around the Park spotting clues along the way – you might even spot some dinosaur eggs! Complete the trail, find the answer to questions and claim your free mini egg treat.

Plus Easter sees the beginning of the summer flying shows, with the Eagles of Paradise and the Free Flying Bird Show, giving you the chance to get up close and see macaws, owls and eagles flying just above your head!

And if you have energy to burn then there is no better place than the huge indoor JungleBarn with giant slides, suspended rope bridge, lots of climbing and sliding and toddlers zone with ball fountain.

The Otter Pool Cafe offers light lunches including homemade specials, local pasties, a wonderful selection of homemade cakes and Cornish cream teas. 

And if one day is not enough, then there are great value Return Tickets available for your next visit.

“Eternal” redwood forest takes root at the Eden Project.

Posted on Tuesday 24th March, 2015

“Eternal” redwood forest takes root at the Eden Project.

“Eternal” redwood forest takes root at the Eden Project

Europe's first old-growth redwood forest took root at the Eden Project today (Monday March 23) with the planting of a cloned sapling from one of the biggest trees ever.

In an historic moment for the project, Eden co-founder Sir Tim Smit and celebrated tree champion David Milarch dug in the sapling on a hillside overlooking the home of the world-famous Biomes.

Sir Tim said: “We’re really excited about this, we’re going to plant a hundred trees to the north of the Eden site to form a living library. It feels really odd to hold these saplings and know that they might well be around for another 3000 years from now.

“The climate in Cornwall is not dissimilar from Oregon and northern California where these trees grow naturally so Eden offers absolutely perfect conditions for them.”

David Milarch, a former biker-gang member and co-founder of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive (AATA), based in northern Michigan, USA, said: “This is the culmination of hopes, dreams, aspirations and a lot of hard work. These trees are a great green hope for the future.

“Near the end of their lives, coast redwoods put out basal sprouts in a circle around their trunk. This ‘fairy ring’ of clones ensures that even when the parent tree dies it’ll live on in a dozen or so sprouts. It will do that indefinitely so these trees will essentially live forever.

“What Tim and Eden are doing here is planting an eternal forest. This is an archive, a living library of genetics that can be utilised not just for our generation, but for hundreds of generations into the future to rebuild and replace what we’ve damaged.”

The sapling planted today was cloned from the Fieldbrook Stump, the remains of a famous northern Californian redwood which was felled in 1890 when it was around 3,500 years old.

If it hadn’t been cut down it would likely be the world’s largest tree. It left a stump 35 feet in diameter, wider than any other known single trunk. Material was taken from basal shoots that grew from the stump to clone the new saplings.

It is identified as the tree reputedly cut by William Waldorf Astor, the American millionaire and British resident, and shipped to the UK as the clincher to win a drunken bet that he could make a table seating 40 from a single cross slice.

The slice was never made into a table, and rests in the garden of Lord Astor’s home Clivedon, now owned by the National Trust. Lord Astor later denied the story with a letter to The Times, threatening to sue anyone who repeated it. More information at (five minutes 40 seconds in).

The sapling is one of a specially-selected batch of 100 specimens of Champion Coast Redwoods that have been sent to Eden, created from living plants up to 4,000 years old.

Coast redwoods are the tallest living things and can grow to nearly 400 feet in height. Eden’s gardeners hope that like the forebears, the young redwoods will grow to great heights and prosper for thousands of years to come.

The  Archangel Ancient Tree Archive’s mission is to propagate the world’s most important old growth trees before they are gone, archive the genetics of ancient trees around the world and reforest the Earth with the offspring of these trees.

The AATA team led by David Milarch is against all odds preserving the genetics of these trees, something that was thought to be impossible before Archangel spent four years on thousands of failures before eventual success.

Each of the specimens that the AATA propagate are cloned from a single tree. This means that the resulting offspring are a full genetic match to the original whereas a specimen grown from a seed will have half of the DNA of each parent.

The technique is similar to growing a cutting. Archangel sends climbers to the top of the forest giants to take cuttings from the fast-growing tips. Stumps of felled trees often put out sprouts, which can also be collected and cloned. The samples are spliced on to roots of stock saplings or dipped in hormones and bedded in peat or agar.

Inspired by the success of Archangel in propagating the ancient trees, Eden is planning a UK-wide ancient tree cloning project. It will build on the great work of the Woodland Trust and Ancient Tree Forum in mapping the UK’s ancient trees.

The UK has more ancient trees than the rest of northern Europe put together, with over 130,000 already mapped. Any tree over 400 years old is likely to be wild, and therefore more diverse than modern forestry selections. The project will preserve, and celebrate this precious legacy.

Pre-Eminent Viking Historian To Speak At The Maritime Museum

Posted on Thursday 19th March, 2015

Pre-Eminent Viking Historian To Speak At The Maritime Museum

To coincide with the epic new Viking Voyagers exhibition at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, on March 25 the British Museum's Dr Gareth Williams gives the ultimate insider's guide to The World of the Viking Voyagers.

Find out how the Vikings became one of the most iconic cultures in history through the eyes of world-leading Viking historian Dr Gareth Williams. They explored and colonised, they were invaders and blood thirsty raiders; as well as entrepreneurs. Their power was built on their knowledge of boatbuilding and their seafaring skills. Discover the secret to their success as all is revealed about these Norse voyagers.

Dr Gareth Williams, co-curator of the Viking Voyagers exhibition says: “The Vikings raided Cornwall, but they also allied with the Cornish against West Saxon expansion and Cornwall was an important point on a sailing route from Scandinavia round Scotland to the Irish Sea and on to Brittany. This placed Cornwall in the heart of the Vikings' network of cultural contacts, which extended from the Arctic to Morocco, and from Canada to Afghanistan.”

Tickets for the lecture, entitled The World of the Viking Voyagers, at 6.30pm on Wednesday, March 25, are available from the Maritime Museum in Falmouth at £19.50 to include a two-course supper or £9.50 for lecture only. Doors and bar open from 6pm. To book your seats please call 01326 214546.

The Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions launches new 'Best Days Out Cornwall' website.

Posted on Monday 16th March, 2015

The 37 members of CATA (Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions) have just launch this brand new ‘Best Days Out Cornwall’ website, featuring many award-winning attractions.

Chairman of CATA Trevor Broome of the Cornish Seal Sanctuary comments “Cornwall's unique mixture of natural coastal and moorland beauty combined with some of the world’s best beaches and award winning Attractions means that it cannot be beaten as a holiday destination. This website, designed by Creative Edge in Truro, will help highlight the top attractions, what they have to offer, news, events, discounts, plus help people in planning their holiday days out.”

For over 40 years, the Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions has been working to improve the quality of the visitor experience in the County. Originally there were seven members; today there are 37 - All of whom have passed a rigorous and ongoing inspection programme before they were eligible to join the Association. The 37 Members span the entire length and breadth of Cornwall. Whatever your taste, the ‘Best Days Out Cornwall’ website offers the very latest in action, cultural, gardens, art, wildlife and heritage attractions. From Cornwall's ancient past and stunning natural beauty, to new and innovative fun experiences.
From Pendennis Castle, Trebah Garden, National Maritime Museum, Eden Project, The Minack Theatre, Lands End, Jamaica Inn, Newquay Zoo, Flambards and many more.

Trevor continues “We are committed to ensure that all visitors to our attractions will experience quality in terms of content, service and value for money... come and see for yourself!”

The 37 Members you can see on this website are:
Blue Reef Aquarium
Bodmin and Wenford Railway
Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre
Cornish Seal Sanctuary
Cotehele (National Trust)
Courtroom Experience
Cornwall's Crealy Great Adventure Park
Dairyland Farm World
Eden Project
Flambards Experience
Geevor Tin Mine Heritage Centre (Cornish Mining World Heritage Site)
Glendurgan (National Trust)
Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm
Holywell Bay Fun Park
Jamaica Inn
Land’s End
Lanhydrock (National Trust)
Lappa Valley Steam Railway
National Lobster Hatchery
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Newquay Zoo
Minack Theatre and Visitor Centre
Paradise Park & JungleBarn
Pendennis Castle (English Heritage)
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum
Screech Owl Sanctuary
St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre
St Michael’s Mount
Tate St Ives
Tintagel Castle (English Heritage)
Trebah Gardens
Trelissick Gardens (National Trust)
Trengwainton Garden (National Trust)
Trerice (National Trust)
Wheal Martyn (Cornish Mining World Heritage Site)
World of Model Railways

Blue Reef On Alert For Toxic Boxfish

Posted on Thursday 12th March, 2015

Blue Reef On Alert For Toxic Boxfish

Marine experts at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay are taking extra precautions with their latest arrivals - a quartet of bizarre baby boxfish.

The baby boxfish, which get their name from their curious box-shaped bodies, are being looked after in the aquarium's nursery area, alongside a quartet of equally unusual-looking long horned cowfish.

Closely related to boxfish, cowfish get their name from the horn-like protuberances at the front of their heads.

As well as being among the most unusual of tropical marine species, boxfish are also among the most potentially deadly.

If attacked or threatened, the slow-moving fish will emit a highly poisonous toxin from its skin which is capable of wiping out any would-be predator within minutes.

“Boxfish are covered in hard, plate-like scales which give them their strange, square shape and also protect them from being eaten,” said Blue Reef Aquarium’s Lucy Hackett.

“However if this doesn’t work they exude a poisonous toxin through their skin which is so deadly they are sometimes known as the ‘neutron bomb’ fish!

“Thankfully they are actually very placid and friendly but we still have to treat them with extra care to ensure they stay happy!

“Initially the boxfish will stay in our nursery tank. The plan is that after a couple of months they will then be large enough to go into the main coral reef display area,” she added.

Boxfish and cowfish are found in reefs throughout the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean as well as the south eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Young boxfish are bright yellow in colour but as they get older the colours gradually fade and adults, which can reach close to half a metre in length, are a dull gray-blue colour.

They mainly feed on algae, but will also eat sponges, crustaceans and molluscs.

Eighty years of pasty making and now Betty is a world champion at the Eden Project World Pasty Championships

Posted on Tuesday 10th March, 2015

Eighty years of pasty making and now Betty is a world champion at the Eden Project World Pasty Championships

Betty, from St Kew, Cornwall, has been making pasties for 80 years. She said: “I’m shocked really, I didn’t think for one minute I would win anything. I did it to please John. He said to me ‘You make a good pasty, mother, why don’t you enter?’

“I’ve been making them for years and years. I started when I was eight years old. Mother used to make pasties so I used to roll the pastry out on a bench. You need to get really good meat to make a pasty and the seasoning is important.”

Also victorious was Chilean miner Jorge Pereira, who was in Cornwall as part of a two-month stay in the UK to visit his wife Gail Cleverdon’s family. Jorge won the Open Savoury Amateur category with an empanada Chilena, a traditional Chilean pasty made with beef, onion, hard-boiled egg, olives and sultanas.

Jorge, who doesn’t speak English, spoke through Gail. He said: “I feel very excited and happy to be so far from my country to win such a prize. It’s all about getting recognition for my country rather than winning.”

The highest marks in the competition were awarded to Cornish Pasty Professional winner Andy Heath from Bodmin, who scored 96 out of 100, and Open Savoury Professional winner Luisa Ead from Padstow, who scored 97 with a smoked haddock, white wine and mustard pasty.

In the company categories, West Cornwall Pasty Company were victorious for the second year running in the prestigious Cornish Pasty Company category. Daniel Beddoes from Bristol won the Open Savoury Junior category for the second year running.

Thousands of people flocked to Eden near St. Austell for a celebratory day which, as well as the world championships, included pasty demonstrations and workshops and a brilliant line-up of entertainment headlined by the Fisherman’s Friends shanty singers from Port Isaac. Group member Jon Cleave added to the pasty merriment as master of ceremonies on the main entertainment stage.

The event attracted around 150 pasty entries, a similar figure to last year, which was the highest to that point.

Marion Symonds, of Portreath Bakery, and a leading light of the Cornish Pasty Association was awarded the Pasty Ambassador award for her great contribnution to the industry. Marion has travelled extensively promoting the pasty and in Mexico she is known as “mama pasty”.

Marion, who led demonstrations and workshops with some of her team on the day, said “It’s absolutely amazing, I really love my job and and it’s great to be part of the World Pasty Championships at the Eden Project.”

Eden Project spokesman David Rowe said: “The fourth World Pasty Championships was a very memorable one for sure. Mrs Lethbridge’s win was such a heart-warming story. We commend the entrants who took so much pride in their pasties.

“To have pasty makers from the USA, Canada and Chile gave it a great international feel and there was a nice spread of entrants from different parts of the UK.

“The Fisherman’s Friends topping a fantastic bill made the day a very special one.”

The full list of winners is:

Cornish Pasty Junior
Winner – Michael Webb, 15, from Helston
Second place – Rosie Dymond, 13, from St Erme
Third place – Ettie Coonick, 9, from Wadebridge

Open Savoury Junior
Winner – Daniel Beddoes, 13, from Bristol with a barbeque chicken pasty
Second place – Amy Sparrow from Newquay with a chicken and sage pasty
Third place – Toby Black, 15, from Fareham in Hampshire with a smoked pork pasty.

Cornish Pasty Company
Winner – West Cornwall Pasty Company
Second place – Prima Bakeries
Third place – Simply Cornish

Open Savoury Company
Winner – Prima Bakeries with a peppered steak pasty
Second place – Chough Bakery with a Christmas dinner pasty
Third place – Simply Cornish with chesse and onion pasty

Cornish Pasty Amateur
Winner – Betty Lethbridge from St Kew
Second Place – Glyn Meredith from Penryn
Third Place – Terry O’Connor from Watford, Hertfordshire

Open Savoury Amateur
Winner – Jorge Pereira from Chile with an Empanada Chilena
Second place – Don McKeever from Bristol with a “boeuf bourguign-Don”
Third place – Bradley Allen with an escargot (snails) in a garlic, mushroom and cream sauce pasty.

Cornish Pasty Professional
Winner – Andy Heath from Bodmin
Second place – David Timmins from Penryn
Third place – Karolina Albertova from Bodmin

Open Savoury Professional
Winner – Luisa Ead from Padstow with a smoked haddock, white wine and mustard sauce pasty.
Second place – David Timmins from Penryn with a Sunday roast pasty.
Third place – Nick Brown from Liskeard with a Cornish pork and Rattler pasty.

Sound of silence makes big noise for dog charity

Posted on Tuesday 10th March, 2015

Sound of silence makes big noise for dog charity

Jenny Youngs successfully completed a full day at work at the Towan Promenade aquarium without talking once.

She took the temporary vow of silence to raise money for the Last Chance Hotel charity which works to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abused and neglected animals.

Six months ago she adopted a dog called Louis from the Last Chance Hotel and decided she wanted to do her bit to help the centre.

“Staying quiet for nine hours straight was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” said Jenny.

“Normally I am a very talkative person and I found it very frustrating to not be able to communicate even the simplest thing.

“I ended up with five pages of written notes for the other staff and endless messages for visitors.

“The toughest moments during the silence were trying to get someone’s attention
as they walked away or were not looking at me.

“I had a sign around my neck to explain what I was doing and I was overwhelmed with the level of support and the generosity of everyone,” she added.

The money will be used to rehome more dogs and provide them with vet care. Last year alone, their vet bill was over £32,000.

The Last Chance Hotel take in dogs of any kind, ones that other rescue centres cannot take, including ex-bait and ex-fight dogs, the sick, the aged and the terminally ill.

The dogs are then either rehabilitated and go to new homes or remain at the hotel for life. No animal is ever destroyed because they cannot be homed.

They are always looking for long and short term fosterers, as well as new loving permanent homes.

Mobile logo