Shoring up Sharrow

Published : 24 Nov 2016 Last update : 02 Mar 2018

After the contractors' work at Sharrow we're working on solutions to get the path open and safe to go down again.

Andy Simmons, lead ranger in South East Cornwall, has been back to Sharrow Cliff to see what we can do now to make the access safe.

Last year we had contrators doing a fantastic job at dislodging around 100 tonnes of material from the area of cliff which was posing a real risk to the beach path. They spent two weeks with pneumatic breakers removing the unsafe material, although some large lumps, about a tonne each, only needed to be pushed out of the way.

After leaving the site to settle again, we went back to Sharrow and, along with structural engineers, we were looking at what to do to next. The cliff was still proving to be unstable and a risk to people using the path. The next job was to put up drape netting over the fragile area to protect the cliff and to capture any debris. After this the ranger team got on with digging out drainage run-offs and steps, clearing debris from the path and stream and cutting out new steps down onto the beach. They are also planning to install gabion baskets to stop the stream from undermining the steps.

This work reminds us how fragile our coastline can be and we ask everyone to stay safe on cliff edges and coastal paths, making sure you check weather conditions before you head out, looking at tide times if you're heading down to the shore so you don't get cut off.

Why not download our Whitsand Bay circular walk or one of our other trails around South East Cornwall for inspiration for a crisp winter day?