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Innovative project to protect and enhance one of Cornwall's most famous and beautiful coves

On Friday 10 September the National Trust will be celebrating the completion of a two-year project to protect and enhance the landscape and improve visitor facilities at Kynance, one of Cornwall's most famous coves.

Since starting in October 2002, historic buildings in the cove have been sensitively restored and renovated, in keeping with the National Trust's commitment to conservation and sustainable tourism, including the installation of solar tiles to generate renewable energy and natural wool insulation. The project has also improved visitor facilities in the cove, providing purpose built lavatories for the 150,000 visitors that come to Kynance every year.

Sympathetically designed to blend into the natural landscape, with a living turf roof and surrounded by Cornish hedges, the new toilets have their own 'biobubble', a self-contained fully biological and ultraviolet treatment system for treating sewage and café waste, to ensure high quality water standards for beach users. In the past visitors would walk for fifteen minutes and climb over 200 ft to reach the nearest public toilets in the car park.

The National Trust acquired the café complex at Kynance Cove in 1999 to protect the beauty and historical importance of the buildings and coastline from potential unsympathetic development and over commercialisation.
The project has received partnership investment from the Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly through the European Regional Development Fund, the South West of Engoand Regional Development Agency and Cornwall County Council. Further funds were received from the Lizard Lighthouse Appeal and through legacies from Mrs C M Lyon, Mr W Proctor and Mrs I Taylor.

Mike Hardy, Project Manager for the National Trust said: "Kynance Cove is a well-known and well-loved Cornish beach. Thanks to the support of our funding partners we have worked to ensure the protection of this historically important and environmentally sensitive site, whilst also improving the visitor facilities. We hope this project will help demonstrate that sensitively designed facilities not only protect the natural environment, but make a significant contribution to supporting the local economy and providing local people and visitors alike with an enjoyable day out.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership said: "The project at Kynance is an excellent example of how we can invest in and therefore drive the local tourism industry, without compromising the distinctiveness that makes Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly so unique. The new developments completely sustain and reinforce the unimpeachable environmental quality of the Lizard."

Helen Richards, County Council Executive Member for Environment and Heritage, said: "This project embodies all the issues of conservation and environmental management in Cornwall - the need to find sustainable solutions to protecting our natural assets, whilst making sure those who wish to enjoy them find appropriate facilities which have been sympathetically designed. I think the solutions in this case are admirable, and the County Council is very pleased to be supporting such a worthwhile project."

Sue Wearing, Community facilitator for the South West Regional Development Agency said: "The South West RDA is delighted to have been able to support this project. It is good to see that facilities at Kynance Cove are now of the highest order for the thousands of visitors to the area."


Editor's notes:

Kynance Cove is one of Cornwall's earliest and most famous visitor attractions. There has been a settlement in the cove since at least the eighteenth century, with a café recorded since early Victorian times. Prince Albert brought his children to the cove in 1846 and one of the surrounding rocks was named 'Albert Rock' in memory of the royal visit. The poet laureate Alfred Tennyson visited Kynance in 1848 and 1860 and was impressed by the 'glorious grass – green monsters of waves' and remarked that he '... could have stayed there all day.'

The project has included installing water and electric services to the cove – all located underground in over 2km of trenching to protect the natural landscape. Existing BT poles and cables have also been relocated underground.

Kynance lies in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a Heritage Coast.

Solar roof tiles installed on the café buildings are generating enough electricity to offset the energy demands of the new toilets, whilst solar panels contribute to hot water requirements. Natural wool insulation has been used in the restoration of the buildings and the toilets use low flush cisterns and a natural spring supply to support water conservation.

Members of the media wishing to attend the event should meet in the National Trust car park at Kynance Cove at 11am. The structure of the event is as follows:

11.00am members of the media are invited on a guided tour
12.30pm official opening of the new toilet facilities, speeches and lunch provided by the café (locally sourced produce)
12.50pm opportunity for guests to look around
2.00pm onwards guests make their way home

The solar tiles have produced over 5000Kwh of electricity in the past 12 months – enough to light a 3 bedroom house for eight years.

The café is open for business, providing a service for visitors from Easter – end October.

The National Trust's work contributes much needed income to local economies across the country and has increasingly demonstrated the important link between a high quality environment and the economic sustainability of communities. Our Valuing our Environment studies found that 40% of the jobs created through tourism rely directly on a high quality environment.

4 out of 5 of the properties opened by the Trust run at a loss every year, so the charity supports this commitment to public access through membership subscriptions, gifts and donations and other fund-raising activities. The National Trust has more than 11 million visitors a year to its pay-for-entry properties and a further 50 million a year visit its open-air properties.

With over 3.3 million members, the National Trust is the second largest membership organisation in Britain.

The Trust opens around 300 houses and gardens to the public every year, and a further 330 built sites ranging from a Roman goldmine to a Chartists' cottage. More than 600,000 school visits are paid annually to Trust sites, making the charity the largest education provider in the country.

With 249,000 hectares of land the charity is the largest non-governmental landowner in the UK.

For further press information and photographs please contact:

Mike Hardy
National Trust Project Manager
Tel: 01326 290865 / 07968 177775

Sabina Eberle
National Trust Communications Officer
Tel: 01208 265225


Sue Wolstenholme
Objective One Communications
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01579 370991

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