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Nineteen eighty six was quite a year. The news had broken that blasting and the subsequent crushing of granite was to start again on Carn Marth. Many truckloads a day were to somehow find their way down Carn Marth Lane and then on through Lanner. A meeting was called of all who were concerned about this ugly threat to relative peace and to the established enjoyment of the Carn. A protest group was quickly formed and got down to the task of organising opposition to the quarrying plans. A raw nerve had been touched in the whole area, as support for the group, then called The Carn Marth Protection Group, was fantastic. Fund raising in many forms, letters of protest, a march from Lanner Square up to the site of the crusher and a mass protest at County Hall were just some of the activities. Heard all this before? Perhaps you were there, one of our wonderful supporters, so I will cut the story short. The Quarry firm went bust, the Group bid for and bought the nineteen acres on top of the Carn and committed the Group to keep the land freely open for all to enjoy. The Open Air Theatre, brilliant idea, was created, a. for its own sake and, b. as a source of funds to help pay off what was outstanding on the purchase of the land and for the inevitable overheads. With the passing of the threat to the Carn, people relaxed and inevitably the Group’s membership slowly fell away over the years. From several hundred in ’86, there are now little more than three dozen, plus the core of members and their families who have worked on and off with the Committee since its inception, i.e. over twenty years.
Several of us are to quit the committee at this year’s AGM in October, leaving it without a quorum, ie. a working number. Unless, that is, we get some new blood. In the Newsletters that go out before the AGM I put in a plea for new Committee members, but with general membership at an all time low, all those who are able to respond have already done so, with the result that we are operating with the bare minimum this year. To put it bluntly, without new people on the committee it will be impossible to operate from October.
The land freely open to all on the Carn is an extremely valuable resource. It would be enormously expensive to create something similar from scratch, even if there were land available. Carn Marth has so much going for it, the best views for miles, pools to spend a relaxing time fishing by, bridleways for horses and walkers, all its wildlife and so on. If we can’t form a committee with sufficient members in October, the care of the Carn currently carried out by members, friends and families will come to a stop. Litter picks, organising removal of stolen vehicles, the summer theatre event, weed control and etc, all will cease and the Trustees will have to look for an alternative organisation to take it on.
It may just be that the Carn Marth Trust has run its course; after all, even the largest organisations have a finite life. Change could well be for the good. This year the present committee will be doing its utmost to find the right solution. All ideas and offers of help will be most gratefully received. We need, not just committee members - come and sit in on a meeting if you feel you might give it a go - but we also need to be able to ring around for our regular litter picks etc, no previous experience necessary! How many villages are there in the UK that can boast of a Carn on their doorstep, one that is open for everyone to enjoy?
The first Swallows and Martins have already been seen here in Cornwall, though not on the Carn yet, unless you know better. One of the more interesting sightings of the winter was a Snow Bunting and at least one Peregrine Falcon. Our thanks to David & Penny for letting us know they too saw the Snow Bunting and also Snipe, toads and newts. Ten days or so ago I walked up the Carn and found Primroses, hundreds of Daffodils and the first Violets in bloom. The Blackthorn in the hedges is ready to burst and look like a dusting of snow from a distance. Should you see unusual flora and fauna, please make a note of what, when and where and let us know for our register.
I am including a couple of photos, sent in by concerned members, to illustrate what we regularly have to tackle on the hill and why it can’t simply be left without the care and clean ups we have been engaged in over the years.
Was this really necessary? Damage on Trevarth Common, causing irreparable harm to flora & fauna, the loss of crook oaks and other saplings plus the erosion of valuable topsoil.
Litter in Cathedral Quarry. There is simply no excuse for this. Our next litter pick effort will clean up however. A resource like Carn Marth is priceless and should be treated as such.
The litter and other acts of vandalism happen all the time and not just on the Carn. It is part of a nationwide problem that will only ever be turned around by a massive change in the way kids are brought up and educated. There, that’s got that off my chest! Just telling it like it is.
The good news is that Miracle Theatre are coming back again this summer for a performance on our open air Theatre Quarry, last year saw over three hundred mums, dads and kids enjoying ‘The Government Inspector’ on a lovely warm evening.
Summing up then, we really do want your thoughts on the future of the Carn and its continuing care. Write, phone or e-mail us as usual, we look forward to hearing from you.
K. G. Editor. April ’07.
Secretary. Ms R Reeve. 01209 820717.
CARN MARTH TRUST
‘caring for land on Carn Marth’