A Love Letter To Cornwall

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PENRYN PRESS PRESENTS

A LOVE LETTER TO CORNWALL


Some words from us From small businesses, hidden beaches and deserted walking paths - it is clear from people's responses to Cornwall that many of its beauties are hidden. This is what inspired Penryn Press' latest publication A Love Letter to Cornwall. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic not only delayed the publication of our magazine - but also prevented the society from publicising the society's first magazine publication widely. Although there will be no podcast episodes accompanying the magazine release (which was intended) or no physical copy, we hope this digital edition suffices. Furthermore, we wish this small intentional edition inspires future students and committee members to promote the tranquillity of a Cornish lifestyle, whether that be a temporary or permanent stay. President, Jessica Thomas. I put this digital magazine together living in a small flat by myself, in the middle of central London. It was cathartic to say goodbye to my university experience through others' additions. I still don't feel I have really left- even though I have my degree certificate framed in the downstairs bathroom. I am another world away from my bustling student house and the endless green among blue. I don't think the university experience here is like any other and I feel humbled to have lived through three years of highs and lows in this magical place. The letters we received from final year students and the wonderful words, photos and reviews from community members and students serve as a small testament to the talent the Duchy has to offer. I hope you enjoy what I can only consider a last-minute scramble to piece together a product of the work we have done this year and the amazing work we had sent to us. If anything, this magazine is spontaneous and beautiful- the epitome of Cornwall. Editor-In-Chief, Elyse Emanuel.


ORIGIN

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CONTENTS

Penryn Press is a collective group of students who founded an amateur publishing press in 2015. Every year, the society changes hands. This year's plans for a high-quality print magazine, exploring the unseen glories of Cornwall were changed due to the unprecedented times that we have all found ourselves navigating. Nevertheless, there is a lot of love for Cornwall and some fantastic talent has flourished despite the pandemic. As a testament to some of the amazing submissions we received before our plans went awry, we have compiled these and additional cathartic love letters from final year students about their time at university into this digital magazine. We hope you enjoy just this small sliver of quick creative curation.

Words - 2 Photos - 10 Walks and Adventures - 22


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WORDS


The Fossil Record I approached the metal casket in the corner Which only seemed to me

To contain a rotting man-o-war

And our deep fear of the unseen.

Words by Beatrice Steel There was no treasure at the bottom of the sea, But they dredged up creatures that would be talked about for years. Hideous forms with no eyes, no fins, Helpless and translucent in jellied foetal skins, Sucking and gawping against the chill ocean wind. The fishermen crossed themselves, and took A hook to the face of the first They hit an abscess and the thing burst The second simply quivered and died. In the house of Sir Richard Grenville I have heard talk of the last and third. The servants say he preserves it well And when he sent Charles its likeness in a letter The King wrote back it must come from hell. When I asked Sir Richard himself, he smiled and said, Well, why don’t you come and see? In that dimly lit room Where he had kept lepers and lions before The acrid stench burned in my lungs And I heard rats running in the walls. I approached the metal casket in the corner Which only seemed to me To contain a rotting man-o-war And our deep fear of the unseen.


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Cornish Love Anonymous love letters from graduating students addressing their love affair with the Duchy.

"The sea is cold. It feels like it is cutting into my skin like tiny shards of class and the tide pushes into the shore and covers my bare feet. The water crashes into the sand and the water foams as it spreads along the sand, leaping forward and the creeping away, ready to jump again. Each step is met with a pain that feels alien and comforting as the water builds up around me. I do not stop until I can only just touch the bottom. The tips of my toes balance delicately on the sandy sea bed and my calves are stretched. I have made myself as tall as I can possibly be. There is a slight pull as the ocean's rhythm continues around me. Slightly acclimatised the coldness fades away. A pause. A big breath. My head is under. Seconds pass but it feels like hours as the world around me stops and it is just me and the winter sea."


Cornish Love

" I have been trying so hard with all of the hours in the day to find one moment, just one minute and to hold onto it. To have just one moment and take it into my hands and keep it with me forever. Will I choose the sea crashing against the rocks? Will I choose the sun setting over the hills? Will I choose the walk with a friend along a coastal path? The sand in my toes as I lay on the beach? The streets alive at night with drunken cheers and cries? Each one of these moments, big and small have come together and become a part of me, a part of my life, a part of my future. I do believe that in life all we are doing is passing through and yet I have never found saying goodbye easy. If only I could take one of these moments, and stay in it for a while longer until I am ready to leave it behind."


Cornish Love

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"I lived in Glasney then Marlborough Road then Tampa then Church Street. Four years of my life have come to an end, even though it feels like yesterday, I went to Gylly for the first time, scared because I knew no one there. It isn’t the experience I expected, and I still have to heal from so many things that have happened to me over this time. But, that’s ok too. I made it my best experience. I finished. I’m proud of me."

"Dear Cornwall, You have been my saviour in this time of chaos. Come rain or shine you offer comfort in this time of isolation. You are my home; growing up amongst the hills and the coast. Cornwall, I love so much, that I couldn’t leave. But one day when I do, I’ll think of our memories fondly, like the perfect movie montage. I’ll ache to return, and I know I will, because how can you stay away from such beauty. All my love…"


Cornish Love " I felt a little lost before I met you Cornwall.I wasn't sure who I was or who I even wanted to be. A leap of faith and I ended up with you. Every morning I was greeted by the seagulls that also have the pleasure of having met you, seeing you from above how could they not fall in love with you. Every evening I sat and watched as the sea couldn't help but return to kiss your shores, the only way it was able to show you how much it loved you. And like them I came to love you too, to live in you, and to grow in you. My confidence blossomed in the same way your flowers do when the spring arrives. I wonder if, when winter comes, they are sad to leave you behind in the same way I am?"

" I lived in Cornwall for my last year of university as part of a language exchange programme. I didn’t know what to expect as it’s not a really well known area of the UK in France. But I have discovered amazing landscapes, always as pretty in winter as in summer. Quickly I made friends who, luckily for me, had a car and made me travel across Cornwall from the beautiful beaches of Perranporth to the magical Minack theatre. Surely there has been times when I forgot where I was, because Cornwall is the secret gem of England, it’s unique. I can’t wait to go back there and enjoying long walks by the sea and having a good laugh with the friends I’ve made for life."


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Cornish Love I love flitting back to Cornwall. It really is home. Even when I didn't live there as I grew up in London, I always said that Cornwall was my happiest place to be in the world. My summers there as a child were absolutely magical and haphazard. The amount of time I have spent driving from London to Cornwall doesn't bear to think about, but every time I see the windmills coming into North Cornwall, I get excited. I expect I will spend my twenties living in cities, dotted here and there- but I am so happy that my family now return in this little chunk of Southerly nowhere. I take the Cornish spirit everywhere with me I go.

I think of Cornwall as a soft place, that gave me a hardy heart. You really have to carve out the opportunities for yourself, but once you do- it is a place of spirit and substance like no other. I am fond of my time at university- although like most human experiences, I have my regrets. I was too careless with my time and feelings which made my first year almost unbearable. Second year was one of the best years of my life, and as for third year,: you can't repeat a good time twice, just start anew.


University life and other animals I use the infamous title from Gerald Durrell’s book deliberately. To me, Cornwall was my British Corfu. It is a coming of age place. It is utterly unique from any other part of the United Kingdom especially Devon! There have been tough times. I keep on good terms with them now, but honestly, half my flat in first year hated me, and to say that my mental health has been consistently good through uni is like saying that Cornwall is consistently rainy. That is not to say I haven’t had my laughs. The animals are the quirky friends that I have made, who have given me a lifetime of humour, wonder, and made me realise there are a wide array of people on this planet, so you can choose who your friends are.

Cornwall to me, is my British Corfu coming of age.


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Photos


Give Up The Ghost Words and Photos by Sophie Matthews. “Give Up the Ghost� is a project that explores the post-industrial landscape. It considers many approaches towards the topic in various levels of depth. Although I am working in the Cornish landscape, the observation of nature reclaiming the land can be taken into a much broader context. Landscape isn’t static, it carries life and energy. Nature is taking back over the land of abandoned mines and factories but, the human trace is still apparent.


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In another context, “Give up the Ghost� is an exploration of Cornish and British identity. As a country we take a lot of pride in our history. Whilst believing in preserving this history, is allowing nature to change the purpose of the land more important? Lastly, there is an interrogation of pictorialism and romantism of the landscape. Informed by studies of the Japanese Provoke movement, the final aesthetic of the work is delivered in the form of a publication filled with intense black and white imagery. The exhibition also plays a vital role as it gives an immersive environment to explore all these complex topics.


Palm

“Palm� is a series of photographs of palm trees shot at night. The aim of the project is to stimulate conversation about how we integrate nature back into our environment. It also comes with the weight of the historical background of the palm tree as an invasive species. The glorification of the exotic and the display of wealth is also a topic you could dive into when viewing this work. Another important factor to this work is the photograph as an object, the materiality of the photograph and the process of making. It was important to me that the process and end result felt organic and tactile as it echoes the natural subject matter. Film and alternative processes evoke the idea of time and narrative; black and white imagery also has the same effect.

Words and images by Sophie Matthews

yell0wcar matthews.sophie6@gmail.com


Sophie Matthews

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Brighter Times

Jessica Banks' experimental photography outlining the weird and wonderful student imagination


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KATIE RIESNER Driven by an enduring interest in the natural world, Katie Riesner is a UK-based photographer and experimental artist. Believing strongly in Moholy-Nagy’s opinion that the camera is a tool that can be used to see the world anew, she explores abstraction and the often-overlooked aspects of our world with close attention to detail. Creating surreal works born from the mundane, she prides herself in making people imagine, anticipate, and try to guess what the subject matter of her work is.

riesolution

katieriesner.com

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Unnoticed beauty.

Mountain, bright.

Vibrant.

UV sea.


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Moon landscape.

Wing imprint.

Filling the Gaps.


“I am exploring how the camera lens can change our perception of the world, and whether this affects how the audience relates to their surrounding environment after viewing this.� (Riesner, 2020)


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Walks and Adventures


Coveted walks of Cornwall

Words and photos by Liz

Grampound

Hurley

Length: 5 miles Effort: Easy Terrain: Mostly country lanes. Some fields (avoidable) and tracks Footwear: Any Livestock: Cows but avoidable. Parking: TR2 4RT WCs: Grampound Community Centre Café / Pubs: Grampound Community Centre / The Dolphin Arms OS Map: 105 Nearby Attractions: Trewithen Gardens. Witch houses at Veryan. Lost Gardens of Heligan Brief Description: A nice easy walk through country lanes, discovering little hamlets and fine country houses. This walk spans every historic age of Cornwall with evidence of Iron Age hillforts and Roman settlements as well as Domesday properties and medieval barns.

Points of Interest

Grampound This has long been the site of an important settlement, from the Iron Age Hillfort, the Roman Settlement, the Domesday parish and the Mediaeval market to a Georgian and Victorian commercial centre. Sitting at the junction of one of Cornwall’s principal routes with its great bridge providing the first crossing point over the River Fal, Grampound has a long and established history. Just in front of St Nun’s Church stands an impressive medieval cross. CreedChurch SomeNormanconstructioncanbeseen butthemajorityofthechurchis from thefourteenthtosixteenthcentury, and ithasgoodexamplesofmediaeval stainedglass.In1791theRector ofCreed, WilliamGregor,discoveredTitanium. DetailsofthediscoveryontheLizard, are inthechurch.

Trewithen Estate A large family home with Spring opening only. John Hawkins was the first member of the family to move to the county in 1554. Originally a courtier to Henry VIII, he settled at Trewinnard, near St Erth, married and established a maritime trading business through Mevagissey that thrived for many years. The current house was built in the seventeenth century.

Golden A small but pretty hamlet, consisting of a farm, a well, a manor house and some very old buildings incorporated into the farm. The building that looks like a chapel might be part of the old manor house and dates from around the sixteenth century.


Directions

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From the Grampound car park, head towards the main road and turn right, walk along the road until you get to the turning on the right for Creed. Walk along this lane for just under a mile. After a quarter of a mile keep a look out for the remains of a medieval stone cross in he hedgerow on your left. All that is now left is the base and a hole where the upright would have stood, making it look like a well. This was one of a series of crosses linking Grampound and Creed. Continue along the road until you get to Creed. When you get to the main church gates on your right, you now have two options. The next section of the path is permissive and closed between Oct and Mar for the shooting season. There are also normally a lot of cows in the fields ahead. So take Option One to avoid cattle or if walking between Oct/Mar. Otherwise take Option Two.

Option 1 Avoiding fields. Continue walking along the road. Head uphill for about half a mile and then take an unmade road to your right. (If you get as far as the left-hand road junction you have just overshot the pathway.) Now on the unmade road, ignore the track by the river and continue uphill. There are lovely views from this high road, to your right you can just see Creed Church and ahead you can see a wood sheltering Golden Camp, an Iron Age hill fort. The hill fort must have had great views. It also sat above the River Fal, which was much wider and deeper than today. Now continue along the road, eventually, it will drop down and you will get to the River Fal. This is where Option Two joins the path.

Option 2 Closed October – March. Go through the church gates and take the path on the left of the church, follow it down to the fence on the left and then leave the churchyard. The path now goes through a spinney, for about 200 yards, it can be overgrown. The path now drops down to the left and over a small wooden bridge that spans a little stream. You are now in the first of two fields. The metal wires you need to duck under are electrified. It will give you a small tingle if you touch it. Head across the middle of the field to the gap in the hedge. You are now in a very long field, walk the length of it until you get to a five-bar gate at the other end. There are often cows in these fields. If cattle block your way you can take the footbridge over the River Fal into the next field and continue left towards the five-bar gate at the end of this field. (This is not the proper path, but if you suddenly need to avoid the cattle, it’s an option.) Once you have left the field you are at the same point as the alternative option.

2. Cross over the Fal via the road bridge and take the road uphill. There is a “pub” to your right but you won’t get a drink here, it’s a private building for the Estate Shoots. Walking on, you pass through the lovely hamlet of Golden and eventually reach a T-junction. From the River Fal to this T-Junction is about half a mile. Turn right and continue for another half a mile. This road can be busy so watch out for traffic as there are no pavements. After half a mile, take the left-hand turning into the grounds of Trewithen Estate. Stick to the main drive through the Estate passing the lake on your right and after a while Trewithen House itself on the left. If the gardens and cafe are open, this is a nice place to stop and explore. Trewithen is generally only opened in the Spring.


3. Continue along the main drive as it heads out to the main road. Pass through the Estate gate posts and cattle grid and then directly to your right you will see a white picket fence and a gate, go through the gate.

4. You are now walking along what is considered to be a Roman road. This bridleway will take you back to the start of the walk. Like any good Roman road, this is a pretty straight path. Every time the path seems to turn to the right, ignore it and continue forward. Each of the right turns have Private signs, so you don’t need to worry about getting lost. The path starts on grass, goes through a small copse, then crosses a minor road. There is no more traffic, after this point, and the path travels between fields. After you have crossed the road, the next turning on the right is towards a house called Carvossa. This is also the location of a Romano British site, Caerfos, archaeological studies show a settlement from 60 AD to the third century. although is visible today. When the path starts to head down the hill and under trees, you may want to get any dogs back on lead as you are about to head back into Grampound village. The path re-joins a village lane that heads down towards the main Truro road. Turn right and walk along the main road, over the river, and then back to where you started.


Ponts Mill, Luxuylan

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Length: 3 miles Effort: Moderate Terrain: Good footpaths, can be muddy Footwear: Trainers or boots Livestock: None Parking: Ponts Mill car park at the end of a no through road. PL24 2RR WCs: None Café / Pub: None OS Map: 107 Nearby Attractions: Fowey. Eden Project Brief Description: A gorgeous woodland walk through a vanishing industrial landscape. Walk through the remnants of a tin and copper industry, that then moved into china clay back in the 1800s. To experience the modern china clay industry choose Walks 9 and 10. This walk offers great exercise for dogs as they rush up and down the hillsides.

Carmears Inclined Plane This was a 1 in 9 horse-drawn Points of Interest GraniteBoulders tramway, driven by horsepower and the Alongthiswalk, giant waterwheel at the top of the slope; youwillhavetonavigatehugegranitebouldersand youcanseehowearlier engineersdealtwith someof TreffryViaduct it was used to bring the granite and them.Ifyouexaminethegiantboulder bythe BuiltbyRichardTreffryin1839, this china clay down off the hillside. waterwheelpityou Remains of the granite setts can still be viaductisanengineeringmasterpiece.Ithas 10arches,spanning200metresandstands canseearunofholesalllinedup;thesewouldhavebeen seen at your feet. 27metrestall.Theviaducthada dual madewithtoolscalledfeathers&wedges,tocalveoff Leats segmentsofrock.Onthisboulder, youcanalsosee purpose,itwasbuilttoprovidea Aleatisasmallcanal;a man-made tramwayacrossthevalley, butalsoto whereitwassuccessfullysplitfortheleat.Theboulders waterwaycreatedtodeliver water toa providepowertothewaterwheel. Within atLuxulyanaresoexceptionallylargethatonewasused tocarveasarcophagusfor theDukeof particularlocation.Thefirstleatyoucross theviaductrunstheCarmearsLeat.You Wellington' s tomb inStPaul'sCathedralinthe1850s. cansometimesseethewater flowing istheFoweyConsoleLeatandwasbuilt beneathyourfeet.Itisa stunning piece tosupplywatertothecopper minesat ChinaClayDry ofarchitectureandisnowa scheduled PenpillickHill.Afteryouclimbupthe Itischeaperandeasier, duetotheweightand monument. stepsnexttothewaterwheel, andonto fluidityofliquid,todrythechina clay thetoppath,theleatthatrunsalong this asclosetoitsextractionsiteaspossibleandso,inthe past,drieswere pathistheCarmearsLeatwhich was builtalongsidemining areas. Chinaclayarrivedina builttodrivethewaterwheel. Wheelpit Mill Originally built in 1841 the water from the Carmears Leat flowed over the top of the waterwheel and delivered the power to help the horses haul the wagons up the inclined plane. When the inclined plane was abandoned, two large grinding pans were employed to crush granite and extract the suspended china clay. This was transported, in a liquid form, down to the dries down by the valley floor.

suspendedliquidformatthebackofthedry;itwas thenspreadoverthecoal-fireddrying floor. Thedry chinaclaywasthenshovelledforwardtothelinhay areaandwastakenawayby cart,tramorlorrytothedocksonStAustellBay. Thisdrywascalled TrevanneyDry,itwasbuiltin1920andclosedin 1965.


Directions 1. From the car park, with the river in front of you, turn left and walk upstream. Head towards the metal gates and walk through, passing the Luxulyan Valley notice board.

2. As the path veers left before the railway bridge, take the clear footpath on your right. Climb the few steps, go through a kissing gate and then start walking uphill. If you look down at the path you are walking on, you can see evidence of the Carmears Inclined Plane tramway. To the right of the path is a small stream and after heavy rain, you can spot lots of small waterfalls in the hillside to your right. After a climb, you will come to a stone bridge, just before it on the left is a small path, take this and then follow it onto and over the bridge. Now turn left and continue uphill. 3. As you reach the small stream (leat), you will need to walk left, upstream. It doesn’t matter which side of the bank you choose to walk. Your path now joins several others, there are two right-hand paths take the lower of the two. The leat should now be on your right and, shortly, the remains of the Wheelpit Mill although the wheel itself is no longer present. Walk along the path until you get to a massive granite boulder on top of the leat. Having examined it return to the waterwheel and take the steps to the right of the wheel. I would recommend putting dogs back on leads for this section, it is well fenced off but the drop is considerable. 4. At the top of the wheel take the footpath left. Dogs can come off the lead again now. This is the highest path in the Luxulyan Valley but can be prone to mud. Possibly because of the current closure of the top leat . You will pass a stone with a K on one side and a T on the other. This is a boundary stone marking the boundary between land owned by Robert Treffry and Nicholas Kendall, although everything that you see on this walk is created by Treffry. 5. The path now comes out into a large open area and what appears to be a large stone wall. This is the top of the very impressive Treffry Viaduct, although at this angle you can’t see it properly. Looking towards the viaduct, we will be turning right onto another path, however, it is well worth walking along the viaduct and back before doing so. Crossing the viaduct is magnificent, with incredible views. Within the viaduct itself runs another leat, occasionally there are gaps in the granite path where, if you peer through, you might be able to see water running. I would strongly recommend dogs on leads if you do walk along the viaduct, Harry once tried to jump up onto the wall. I nearly died. At the other side of the viaduct and to the left is another disused leat, this is the Charlestown Leat that was built by Charles Rashleigh in the 1790s, to provide water to his newly built harbour in Charlestown, almost four miles away. Once back onto this side of the viaduct turn left onto the path mentioned above.

6. Follow this path, with the wall on your left and then go through the gap and down some steps. The path now runs down through a very picturesque beech wood towards the valley floor. It’s easy to pretend you are in a fantasy film set, with giant granite boulders strewn across the floor. Cross a small footbridge over the leat and turn left on the footpath. The leat should now be on your left as you walk back toward the viaduct. 7. Keep to this path until you reach a place where there is a field on either side of the path. Continue along the path until you get level with the end of the fields and then cross the stile on your right to enter that field. Head down to the bottom left corner, through a kissing gate and turn left onto the path. 8. Follow this path down towards the river. It will now take you all the way back to the car park, occasionally crossing over the river and under railway lines. Just over halfway, there is a well-preserved china clay dry complete with its chimney. Continue along the path until you return to the start of the walk. There is a small stream just before the car park in which you can wash your dog.


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Words and Photos by Charlotte Guest


It’s September, summer is lingering on; the days are still long and warm. The island, just off the coast of Looe, welcomes its annual campers of the Looe marine conservation group to its isolated landscape amidst the sea. Its small beach beckons our arrival by a small boat, and for the next couple of days we will watch the changing tides before we can return to the mainland. Both our arrival and departure rely on a high tide and I believe this seclusion is part of the island’s magic. The weather is bright as we bring ashore our camping gear, food and water along with supplies for Cornwall Wildlife Trust Wardens, Claire and John, who inhabit the island and ensure the wellbeing of the land and animals. This nature reserve, bursting with wildlife only grows more idyllic in my eyes as I hear about the way it is run; electricity only when the generator is turned on, compost toilets in little outside sheds and drinking water to be brought over from the mainland. Myself and other members of the conservation group have been invited to take part to help with maintenance of the island and to carry out seal, bird and rocky shore surveys across the two days. This is only a fraction of what goes on at the island all year round. Day long surveys, which are weather dependant, happen monthly to monitor the precious wildlife, but to camp over night was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass. In the small amount of time we had been there I had spotted so much more wildlife close up than I had expected. The animals around the island clearly felt safe tucked away out to sea and they were not bothered by our presence if we kept a reasonable distance. In fact, they were curious; the Shetland sheep brought over to island in July would often come up to me, intrigued by my photo taking. Claire points at a field back on the mainland, informing me that they were bred just over there. They wanted a flock near to the island, so their disturbance was kept minimal. These sheep play an important role on the island; keeping growing vegetation at the perfect level for nesting birds, who feel vulnerable in areas of long or short grasses.


Later that day we headed down to the jetty where we could swim. The water was steely blue, and you had to take a quick plunge into the icy water before you decided against it. Breathless, I entered the water and swam with the island behind me and let the cold refresh me. This time the curious animals were the seals with their heads bobbing up to watch us before disappearing and reappearing closer – I am sure they were wondering who these strange creatures were in their waters.

Seals can be identified by their markings, which stay the same throughout their life. Males are often harder to identify as they are darker and therefore their markings are not so distinguishable. Females however are lighter, and their markings are clearer. The seal surveys take in a lot of information about the seal’s behaviours and surroundings and these are logged monthly. But anybody can log a seal, by sending a photo and its location to the seal research group. This helps keep an up to date database of the seals and their whereabouts. The surveys on the island are very thorough with the group splitting off into pairs and basing themselves.


As a child I grew up with the view of the island on my doorstep and now I was getting the glimpse I always wanted into island life. →→

The surveys on the island are very thorough with the group splitting off into pairs and basing themselves at marked points around the island. A note is made of the weather conditions and the seals, and every half an hour you move to the next point. It is so peaceful just watching the island’s surroundings, being made to be watchful and attentive of specific details. It makes you look harder and sometimes pick up on other things you might have missed. The group will return to collect everybody’s feedback over homemade cake and warming coffees. There is a beautiful sense of community on this small island, people who love nature gather to share their knowledge and offer help in any way they can.

Dusk seemed to come around quickly after our first afternoon on the island- it drew into evening. We had returned to our layers to warm up from the sea and it was time to light a fire, share food and talk about the wonder of this small island and how much it offers both ourselves and the wildlife.

The following day consists of bird and seals surveys after waking in my tent to the view of the sea all around me. You are officially cut off from the outside world and there is something of a relief in that because you are surrounded by nature. I return to the island a few months later for the monthly surveys. There is a stark contrast in the weather; winter has set in along with wind and rain. Surveys are more likely to be cancelled as landing on the shore can be difficult when the waters become choppy. Standing at each station to record the data is bitterly cold and wet but the wildness of the weather only adds more to the attraction of the island. I come back to the main house and the fire is glowing and warm. I can take off my boots and stretch my toes towards its warmth whilst we all return our data of the day.

Winter months means there is less wildlife but in summer months it is thriving. By late summer, when I arrived previously, the blackberries were ripe and juicy with the salt air contributing to their fantastic taste. I collected pots full of them back in September and Claire made her island jam from them. Now in November John’s chillies in the greenhouse spur on and those picked hang over the fire drying as we sit warming our hands and feet. The island offers its inhabitants so many things, and for those that visit, a hint of its charm.


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A final word Charlotte will be playing a pivotal part in the continuation of Penryn Press. We encourage anyone within the local community and any students who have an interest in Cornish life and publishing to join this special society. Thank you to all our contributors this year. Keep writing, keep making art, keep carrying on.