Beach used in Poldark filming polluted by plastic, nets and even NAILS
A beach used as a filming location for the BBC drama Poldark has been destroyed by the scale of plastic pollution, discarded nets and nails, claim campaigners. Porth Mear beach, near Padstow, was regularly used on the hit show and in iconic shots Aidan Turner was often filmed riding on horseback across the shore. But the idyllic scenes now seem a far cry from the reality as beach cleaners struggle to keep up with the mess and plastic pollution left behind.
Father-daughter duo Emily and Rob Stevenson – known as Beach Guardian – devote much of their time to cleaning some of the nation’s most beautiful shores to rid them of waste. The pair cover a 10-mile stretch from Padstow to Newquay – but say Porth Mear beach is one of the worst affected. Emily and Rob say they were recently called to remove a huge tangle of fishing ropes and lobster pots from the spot – which can be a real struggle to get to.
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Pictures taken by the team show the staggering size of the mess that had washed up on the shingles which then needed to be carried back to their truck.
Emily and Rob say they are lucky to have a helpful local landowner onside so they can use a track to get down to the area. But awkward terrain and bad weather still means they can sometimes only get halfway down to the cove. Emily, 22, said: “There’s only one track down to the beach, and it’s on private land.
Other than that, the only way to get there is by walking down from nearby National Trust land – and that’s a mile away if not more.
The images were shared by Beach Guardian, a community interest company focused on ridding Britain’s beaches of plastic (Image: Beach Guardian/SWNS)
“It’s absolutely the hardest beach to get to. The fishing nets are so heavy that there’s no way you can walk down and carry them back to the top. Luckily we have a really good relationship with the local landowner.
“But we still only get halfway in our 4×4 and then we get stuck when the weather is bad, so we have to walk the rest of the way. “We were on the beach for about two hours the other day cutting it into manageable chunks. Everything was so heavy because it was saturated with water.
We’re going to have to go back and get it when the mud is dry.”
Emily added that the pair love what they do – but are sometimes left to clean up mess left others. She said: “It’s so physically and mentally rewarding. But Porth Mear is definitely the hardest to get to – it usually gets all the stuff washing up.
These pictures show ghost netting and fishing pots that washed up on a hard-to-reach beach used as a filming location in hit BBC drama Poldark (Image: Beach Guardian/SWNS)
“There are local people who dog walks down there who clean it up, but they can’t carry it off the beach.
They just clear it up and we get rid of it. “Some people go down there in the summer for beach parties, because it’s so inaccessible. They burn pallets.
I think I removed 2,000 nails with a giant magnet after that.” The pair shared their pictures of the recent clean of Porth Mear on Facebook with a caption alluding to area’s affiliation with the hit BBC drama. The post said: “What would Poldark say?
Thanks very much to Rochelle, Jim and Sue who all alerted us to a massive tangle of pots and ropes washed up at one of the remote, inaccessible, coves used by the BBC when filming Poldark.
Emily Stevenson with the ghost nets which she removed from a remote beach in Cornwall (Image: Beach Guardian/SWNS)
“Fortunately, we have permission from Peter the farmer to have access at certain times of year and under the right conditions. “We were able to get fairly close and cut up the rope into manageable bundles to relocate to a safe place so that it will not be washed back out again. “We removed the pots, well Emily did, and took back what we could to her new Beach Guardian truck.
We’ll be back in drier conditions and when the cattle are elsewhere to collect the rest. #IAmABeachGuardian.”
Beach Guardian is a community interest company based in Cornwall.
It aims to rid the county’s beaches of waste – particularly plastic – and also hopes to educate locals and run group cleans.
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