Exploring the backyard and discovering treasure on Par Beach. June 2nd CG

It’s easy to overlook what we have on our doorstep but I’ve recently learnt to love Par Beach. Until last year, the only time I went there was to litter pick with the school, it was always cold and drizzly, the work was dirty and boring and I would trudge away aching and wet. Then we got Harry, an exuberant Springer (is there any other type?) and we started to look around for walks; our warehouse is in Par, so the beach was an obvious choice. It’s never going to be a beach I use to sunbathe on or swim in but there’s so much else to do.

Throughout the day the life of the beach ebbs and flows. The sun rises on fishermen digging for lugworms and riders stretching their horses as they plunge through the waves; dog walkers give way to sun worshipers as the day progresses, children spill onto the beach after school and then kite surfers tear along the surf blowing a day’s work out of their hair. The sun sets and barbeques are lit and eventually the beach returns to the wildlife. At low tide in winter there are cockles and razor clams to be harvested. In summer the paths running through the sand dunes are drenched in the scent of dog roses and gorse.

For my part I just walk Harry and thought I‘d seen all there was to see. In fact if you give me a grain of sand I can probably tell you which part of the beach it comes from. Of course there’s not just the beach front. There’s a great walk over the coast path to Polkerris and if the tide is low enough you can scramble back over the rocks going along Boolies beach. If you’re lucky (and Harry is not nearby) you can spot all sorts of wildlife. I clocked 22 different birds once; I couldn’t name them all mind you.

In fact it was my ignorance of what I was looking at prompted me to go on a free bird spotters walk hosted by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT). I turned up with binoculars and without Harry and discovered so much more about Par Beach. Did you know there are otters there! We walked around the pond and cut through the holiday park through the wood (there’s a wood!) and came out by the river where kingfishers have been spotted. There was so much that I had never seen before (I tend to avoid the pond as Harry and geese would be a lethal and noisy combination.) We also saw some of the work carried out by the Friends of Par Beach, a group of volunteers, who like volunteers the world over, work hard but keep quiet.

I discovered this walk in a small square book published by the council of all countryside events occurring in Cornwall both free and paid. So, many thanks, to the Friends of Par Beach, to the CWT for providing the fascinating walk and the council for putting together the free guide (try your local library or TIC for a copy). Harry and I will now explore new pastures with greater knowledge.

Click here for further photos of Par Beach.

If you want to read more of Harry’s exploits have a read of my other Blog on outdoor life in Cornwall – Cornwall Outside

• This week I’ve been reading VAT returns (but sneaking in Asimov’s Caves of Steel), drinking water and listening to Patricia the Stripper – Chris de Burgh. I don’t like any of his other stuff but this has fabulous memories!

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