On top of the hill, as we cut down to the cliff edge trying to find a path along the clifftop, the view out to sea was lovely, with beautiful light lying gently over the water. We were unable to progress along the cliff at this point and we needed to go back to the track we had come off and follow it round a short distance to access another common path. Apart from this small glitch, the shortcut worked out and we saved ourelves a couple of miles of walking. After leaving the farm track just above Pencra Head and on to a footpath, we went to the south of the old and disused Saint Keverne Quarries to walk first on the cliff and then the beach as we approached Porthoustock.
At the time we walked in this area, Dean Quarry was earmarked for further development to provide rock armour for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon Project and other tidal lagoons elsewhere in the planning process. This would potentially have resulted in an increase in quarrying from an historical total of about 200,000 tons up to 1.2million tons annually. Rock armour is the huge rocks you sea used as barriers to the sea protecting coastal areas, towns and cities. If the proposal had gone ahead, the rock would have been initially transported by road, later moving by sea when two new jetties had been completed.
The extension of quarrying activities is now on hold, however, as the government have declined to fund the Swansea project on the basis that it is not value for money. This a beautiful environment, excluding the scars left on the earth by previous mining activities. But since the quarry closed in 2008, a lot of work has gone in to the area developing it as a tourist destination. The concerns of the local people who protested against the development include the impact on the landscape; the Manacles marine conservation zone which lies just off the quarry; the consequences for lcoal shell fishing and the noise and polution that would result from the increased activity. Generally, a public right of way runs through the coastal side of the quarry, which could be included as part of the England Coast Path, but that would surely be doubtful in the context of the increase in quarrying activity, including blasting.
As we walked along the shore, swathes of Dandelion and White Sea Pink (Armeria maritima alba) peppered the verdant green of grass. The Dandelion that had gone to seed reminded me of childhood wishes of 'she loves me; she loves me not. So many lost romances; so much unrequited love!
Coverack lay tucked in to the lee of the hill on the far side of Coverack Bay, the landform then running on round to the point at Black Head.
We had arrived in fairly bright weather and enjoyed a lovely view from the terrace outside the restaurant. But while we were sitting there, there was an outburst of thunder and lightning and we waited for the rain to arrive. Fortunately, it never did, any bad weather either staying out at sea or passing us to the west.
Unbeknownst to us, we put the tent up on a campervan pitch that was already taken, but the campers were out in their van for the day. We only found out when the couple, who were from Stoke-on-Trent, returned. However, they were lovely about it and just set their self up in the next pitch. Despite the catering facilties on site, we cooked our own evening meal and after showering and spending a bit of time chatting with our neighbours, we retired to the tent for our usual post walk review before finally nodding off.