Cornwall is ‘almost an island’

The visitor to Brittany cannot fail to notice the number of presqu’îles, or ‘almost islands’ dotted around its coasts. These are usually peninsulas jutting into the sea with only a narrow strip joining them to the land. We have no equivalent term in the English language but the whole of Cornwall could be viewed as … Continue reading Cornwall is ‘almost an island’

Cornish Town Councils save local services!

With the UK Government and regional and local authorities recently at daggers drawn, devolution is in the news. It’s timely therefore to consider current relations between the different tiers of local government in Cornwall. A recent article by Jane Wills, Professor of Geography at Exeter University, Tremough, does exactly that. During the austerity decade of … Continue reading Cornish Town Councils save local services!

Cornish beaches the most littered in the UK

A recent academic article has discovered that beaches in Cornwall are among the most litter-strewn in the UK. Using beach clean data going back 25 years, they found those beaches bordering Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at the Land’s End, Mount’s Bay, Padstow Bay and Newquay & the Gannel were among the ten most polluted in … Continue reading Cornish beaches the most littered in the UK

Bridging the Tamar

At the very margins of Cornwall, the River Tamar is nonetheless central to Cornish identity. Countless books refer to the river ‘almost’ extending far enough to make Cornwall an island. When Brunel’s railway bridge spanned the estuary at Saltash in 1859 it was widely viewed as ending Cornwall’s remoteness. Even sober industrial archaeologists have written … Continue reading Bridging the Tamar

Bottom-up heritage projects?

Too often conservation projects are imposed from the top onto local communities with little genuine local involvement. A recent article compares an area of common land at St Breward on the edge of Bodmin Moor with a community in western Galicia. It calls for more understanding of local knowledge and traditional management practices when undertaking … Continue reading Bottom-up heritage projects?

Challenging negative stereotypes of Cornwall and its people

Believe it or not, the Cornish can occasionally be the butt of stereotypes. We’re ‘slow’, ‘backward’ or ‘living in the past’. Sometimes we collude with these, for example through the use of dreckly, turning the stereotype back onto its users in an ironic and postmodernist way. This is good for a laugh but some of … Continue reading Challenging negative stereotypes of Cornwall and its people

‘A hideous and wicked country’: travellers on Cornwall

We all know Cornwall is a picturesque place. In fact, although it is viewed as such now, it wasn’t always seen in that light. The countless images of Cornwall’s cliffs and coastline that are produced and circulated by visitors and locals alike these days would have come as a surprise to the travellers of the … Continue reading ‘A hideous and wicked country’: travellers on Cornwall

Has the Standard Written Form of Cornish failed?

For a lot of us the debate over the proper base for the revived Cornish language is about as relevant as medieval theologians arguing over the number of angels that can stand on the head of a pin. Nonetheless, the Cornish language, revived or not, is of considerable symbolic importance for Cornwall and its identity … Continue reading Has the Standard Written Form of Cornish failed?