Blogs for November 2017

“The Last Straw” at Camel Creek

Posted on Monday 20th November, 2017

“The Last Straw” at Camel Creek

In an effort to join “The Final Straw” campaign that is sweeping Cornwall, Camel Creek Adventure Park have taken action and permanently removed all of their plastic straws and drinking cup lids from their catering units.

Last year, Camel Creek Adventure Park used around 35,000 straws and 34,000 lids and as part of the park’s environment policy, Ewa Rusol - Camel Creek’s Catering Manager, took the drastic step to eradicate them. 

Ewa commented, “We want to help Cornwall become the first county to remove straws completely to help protect our beaches and to save sea life”. 

8.5 billion straws are used in the UK every year and take hundreds of years to decompose, often ending up in seas and on our beaches.

The new campaign titled 'The Final Straw Cornwall' is aiming to prevent further plastic pollution in the county.  As highlighted on their website “The Final Straw is aiming for just that. No more plastic straws being used in Cornwall. They spoil our beaches and kill our wildlife. Every straw on the planet right now will outlive everyone reading these words. Cornwall is where that stops.”

For more information visit, or


Bedding down beside the Biomes raises thousands of pounds for homeless people

Posted on Tuesday 14th November, 2017

Bedding down beside the Biomes raises thousands of pounds for homeless people

Around 100 people braved a long, chilly night in the open air at the Eden Project last Thursday night (9th November) to help raise vital funds for homeless people.

They grabbed as much rest as they could lying on hard ground in sleeping bags under an awning in front of the Eden Biomes.

Sleep Out is a nationwide event organised by the End Youth Homelessness campaign (EYH), a national partnership of grassroots charities and companies.

The aim of the fourth annual Sleep Out at Eden is to raise funds and generate awareness for two South West charities, St Petroc’s Society which helps single homeless people in Cornwall, and the Amber Foundation which has three centres helping young people across the South and South West of England.

The charities say that the numbers of people who find themselves homeless increases every year.

Representatives of the two charities and some of the people they help joined fund-raising volunteers in the mass gathering at Eden.

Both charities say that funds raised through Sleep Out lead to a direct benefit to homeless people.

Judith Dumbrell, Director of Finance at St Petroc’s, said: “Money raised will go towards our cold weather provision, which means that we can open the doors of our resource centre in Truro for homeless people to sleep at night from mid-December for two months, the coldest and hardest months of the year.

“Last year we had 59 people access the service in that time and we went on to accommodate 42 of them in suitable accommodation so you can see that just this one event makes a real tangible difference.

“Sadly the numbers of people who find themselves homeless increase every year and the latest figures show that Cornwall has the third highest number of rough sleepers in the UK.

Judith added: “I’d like to thank the Eden Project and everyone who took part on behalf of the people who are going to use the service this winter. The fact that you’ve got 100 people here who are really keen to do something and find out what is going on – that is so important too.”

Claire Miller, community fundraiser of the Amber Foundation, said: “The funding from this is so appreciated by Amber. It will make a very big difference. But just as importantly, raising awareness about this issue is vital.

“Homelessness is a growing problem in today’s society. It’s not going away and we need to take positive action to help end homelessness. Thank you to Eden for organising such an amazing event.”

A really important thing for the Foundation, said Claire, is that the money raised through Sleep Out represents unrestricted funding which pays for core costs, helping to fund its centres and staff. The foundation has three centres across the country, supporting around 150 people aged between 17 and 30.

Before bedding down on hard ground the Sleep Out participants enjoyed a lively evening of entertainment from the Suzie Mac Trio and duo Dew Barf. The volunteers also took part in a masterclass in bread-making led by the Eden chefs and listened to a bed-time story around the fire-pit.

Jess Rawlings, Project Manager of Sleep Out at Eden, said: “It’s great to know that this event will be making a difference and that the many thousands of pounds raised by the people who have slept out all night is already helping homeless people.

“Sleep Out has established itself as an important date in the Eden calendar and we are already thinking about next year’s event.”

Many volunteer fund-raisers who took part reflected on the harshness of just one night in the cold, damp air.

Andrew Drayton, from Crediton, Devon, said: “Even though we’ve been well looked after, have easy access to clean toilets and hot drinks, our stuff is safe and we are safe, this sucks.  Cold, tired, miserable and extremely uncomfortable but that’s the point. 300,000 people will have no choice but to do this again tomorrow.”


Winter Days Out at Flambards

Posted on Tuesday 14th November, 2017

Winter Days Out at Flambards

Despite its reputation as a must-see summer attraction Flambards theme park also offers a great day out for winter visitors with their indoor attractions opening on Tuesdays – Wednesday - Thursdays.

The Helston theme park’s fascinating Indoor Attractions include Britain in the Blitz, The War Gallery and Aviation Experience and an entire Victorian Village – all under one roof.

Visitors can step back in time to the 1800s and the reign of Queen Victoria with a trip around the unique Victorian Village.

“In recent years we have seen a significant increase in visitors over the winter period and it’s something we are looking to build on and develop,” said General Manager Richard Smith.

“We are extremely fortunate to have so many unique indoor attractions which provide the perfect day out whatever the weather. Visitors can enjoy the experience of walking around an authentic Victorian village away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday crowds.

“With its streets and alleyways, the village is an all-round sensory experience – filled with sights, smells and the sound of real cobblestone roads,” he added.

The Victorian Village features more than 50 scenes.  Gaze through shop windows, step inside the local pub, visit the greengrocers, ironmongers, butchers, shoemakers and even the apothecary.

Everything from a schoolroom and blacksmiths to the fire station is authentically recreated with thousands of genuine artefacts.

There’s also the opportunity to re-discover the lost world of William White, a pharmacist who lived and worked in Somerset.  When he died in 1909, the shop was boarded up by his son and remained untouched for more than 80 years. 

The walls are lined with medicine bottles, apothecary jars, quartz carboys, demijohns, pill dispensers and mortars and pestles.  The entire shop was painstakingly dismantled and carefully rebuilt exactly as it was found.

The Britain in the Blitz exhibition is a dramatic re-creation of daily life during World War Two.  Listen out for the air raid sirens and literally feel the floor shake as another bomb hits its target.  Find out what life was really like on the Home Front. 

Peek inside a wartime kitchen, a classroom and an evocative railway platform scene showing children being evacuated to safety.  There are a series of fascinating and poignant letters sent home from children evacuated to Cornwall in order to escape the threat of bombs.

Plus on December 2nd-3rd Flambards’ Victorian Village, Britain in the Blitz and bespoke Entertainment Venue will host its hugely popular Christmas Fayre. Back for its third year, the family-friendly fayre conjures up all the magic of Christmas in this unique location, plus Father Christmas will be paying a special visit throughout the weekend.

The festive stalls will feature around 50 designer-makers, gifts, crafts and goodies as well as delicious food and drink produce.


Eden Project parkrun off to a flying start

Posted on Tuesday 14th November, 2017

Eden Project parkrun off to a flying start

The Eden Project’s first-ever weekly parkrun took place 11th November.

Undeterred by high winds and drizzle, 265 runners turned up at the Eden coach park for the 9am start.

Among the participants were first-time runners, veterans of hundreds of parkruns, a mum with a pushchair and families with young children.

A family of six travelled down from Chippenham in Wiltshire. They are regular parkrunners who have taken part in more than 20 different parkrun events since 2014.

Julia Maddocks, who is originally from St Austell, and Giles Archer ran with children Rohan (16), Daryl (14), Travis (13), and Selby (nine). The family came down especially for the first Eden run and are staying with Julia’s parents in St Austell.

Before the run Julia said: “We were over the moon to learn that Eden would be holding a parkrun and that we’d be able to run past the Biomes. It’s the perfect location.”

After the family completed the run, she added: “It was a bit hilly and challenging and great fun. All the runners are friendly. Eden should be really proud of its parkrun.”

One man who stood out from the crowd was building surveyor Colin Bell from Bodmin, who had a Shelterbox strapped to his back. Colin takes part in many runs to raise awareness of the disaster relief charity.

First three over the line were Simon Minting of Exmouth, second was Marc Smerdon of Liskeard and third was James Cutlan of St Austell.

Ben Foster, Eden’s media relations manager who took part in the parkrun, said: “It’s great that so many people turned out to support our first parkrun. Our course has been designed to be fun and accessible and we hope that runners from near and far will join us on Saturdays to come.

“We’re very thankful to the team of dedicated parkrun volunteers who have put so much work into making this a well-organised, fun and safe event.”

Eden is the latest venue to become part of the global parkrun community, joining hundreds of locations around the UK and in 14 other countries to host runs. The parkruns are always free and are open to runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities, from beginners to Olympians.

Eden’s parkrun is designed to be easier than some others as it takes place entirely on tarmac, unlike those which have off-road elements. The course begins in the coach park at the top of the site before entering the main garden and taking a scenic route around the paths in front of the world-famous Biomes.

Like all parkrun events, the Eden Project parkrun is a personal challenge and not a race. Participants set their own targets and will receive their times by text, email and through the parkrun website (

It’s entirely organised by local volunteers with support from the Eden team. The events are inclusive and friendly, encouraging physical activity within a supportive community. After crossing the finish line, parkrunners, volunteers and supporters can gather in the Eden Kitchen where refreshments will be available.

Eden’s parkrun is a free event that will take place every Saturday morning at 9am. Participants and volunteers are required to register through the parkrun website ( and print a barcode in order to receive a time. Friends and family of runners will be allowed free entry to Eden for the morning of each parkrun.

The parkrun is the latest addition to Eden’s growing portfolio of sporting events and activities. The ninth annual Eden Project Marathon and Half-Marathon happens on Sunday October 14, 2018 and the fourth annual Eden Classic cycle sportive will be taking place on Sunday May 13, 2018.

A video showcasing the course of the Eden parkrun is available at


Winners of the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2017-2018

Posted on Friday 3rd November, 2017

Winners of the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2017-2018

Many congratulations to all the winners celebrating in this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards which were joined by Olympic superstar Helen Glover at a prestigious ceremony at the Headland Hotel on 2nd November 2017.

Below are just a few highlights of the winning attractions from 'Best Days Out Cornwall' plus the winners from the 'Visitor Information Service of the Year' which was sponsored by 'Best Days Out Cornwall'. For a complete list of the winners please click here

Access and Inclusivity Award
Silver went to Screech Owl Sanctuary, St Columb,

Active and Sporting Experience
Gold went to Lanhydrock, National Trust - outdoor offer, Bodmin,

Artistic, Cultural and Learning Experience
Silver went to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall - British Tattoo Art Revealed Exhibition, Falmouth,

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Gold went to Tintagel Castle, Tintagel,
Silver went to The Minack Theatre, Penzance,
And Bronze went to Camel Creek Adventure Park, Wadebridge,

Small Attraction of the Year
Gold went to Screech Owl Sanctuary, St Columb,
Silver went to Lappa Valley Steam Railway, St Newlyn East,
and BRONZE went to St Austell Brewery, St Austell,,

Visitor information service of the Year  - Sponsored by us, the Cornwall Association of Tourist Attractions
Gold went to Visit Truro, Truro,
Silver went to Bude Tourist Information Centre, Bude,
and Bronze went to Bodmin Information Centre, Bodmin,
Highly Commended was awarded to Launceston Tourist Information Centre, Launceston,

Winner of Winners
Was awarded to the Screech Owl Sanctuary, St Columb,



Lappa Valley Open For Winter Weekends!

Posted on Wednesday 1st November, 2017

Lappa Valley Open For Winter Weekends!

Lappa Valley Steam Railway will be opening for Winter Weekends once again!

Visitors will enjoy a steam ride into the leisure park where they can enjoy all of the attractions on offer for the heavily discounted price of just £6 per person.

Open weekends from 10:30am on 4 November until 3rd December 2017 and then 4th February until 18th March 2018. Trains will run every 40 minutes from 11:10.
(Timetable weekends only: 11:10, 11:50, 12:30, 1:10, 1:50, 2:30, 3:10 & 3:50).

The extremely popular Santa Trains are returning on selected dates in December between 9th -24th. Pre-booking is essential as they all sold out in 2016.


Lappa Valley will also be open daily from 10:30am throughout February half term.

Baby Rays Hatch at Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay

Posted on Wednesday 1st November, 2017

Baby Rays Hatch at Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay

A small group of captive-bred rays have been born at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium and more are set to hatch out over the coming weeks.

The small-eyed, or painted, rays’ egg-cases are part of a captive bred population and have been donated to the aquarium in the hope of establishing their own satellite breeding group.

The ray, which can grow up to 90 cm in length, gets its common name from its conspicuously small eyes. Usually found on sandy sea beds, the species will often cover itself with sand with just its eyes and spiracles above the surface.

Following an incubation period of up to seven months, the 10-centimetre-long babies emerge from the egg-case as perfect miniature replicas of the adults.

Blue Reef Aquarium’s Steve Matchett said: “Virtually every species of ray and shark is under increasing threat in the wild as they tend to reproduce relatively slowly and are subject to a variety of hazards including loss of habitat, pollution and over fishing.”

Both the egg-cases and newly hatched rays are on display in a special nursery tank at the aquarium. However once they have hatched out they will be transferred to one of the larger native marine displays.

Found from the British Isles to Morocco, the small-eyed ray are most commonly caught around the UK in the Bristol and English Channels.

The small-eyed ray is designated as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

A Near Threatened species is one which is considered to be under threat of extinction in the near future unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve.

Since 2009 the species has been included in the EU Total Allowable Catch (TAC) quota.

Find out more about Blue Reef Aquarium 


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