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Help turn the tide on plastic - 11 to 13 May 2018

Keep Britain Tidy, the litter busting charity, has been fighting to put an end to litter for over 60 years now. And ten years ago, the Daily Mail launched their trail-blazing campaign to end to plastic waste by targeting plastic carrier bags.
That's why, following on from the charity's hugely successful Great British Spring Clean, it is partnering with the Daily Mail for the Great Plastic Pick Up.

Endorsed by the Prime Minister and David Attenborough, the campaign to clean up plastic from our streets, countryside and beaches has caught the mood of the nation.

A huge impact in reducing single use plastics has been already made, but there is still more to be done to truly turn the tide on plastic.

By everyone sparing a little time, together we can make an amazing difference to our local communities and help remove this plastic blight.

To find out more and join in, go to www.greatplasticpickup.org.  The key campaign period runs from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th May, but why not pick up litter whenever and wherever you find it.

15 Ideas to help beat the wet weather in Cornwall

Whilst rough weather can add drama to the spectacular Cornish scenery, should you wish to have a break from this unusually wet Easter holiday, here are some ideas to get a break from the rain:

Let off steam
There is nothing like travelling through the Cornish countryside with the sights, sound and smell of a traditional steam train. The Bodmin and Wenford Railway offers all sorts of journeys, including dining trains. See also Lappa Valley Steam Railway near Newquay.

Scare yourself
Bodmin Jail claims to be Britain's most haunted venue. Enjoy a three-course meal before exploring the jail after dark in the company of its resident medium. He will tutor you in the basics of "energy management" before putting you to work for the night behind bars in this formidable county jail. Will you see a ghost?

If it’s wet, get wetter!
If the heavens open then just go with it. You're in Cornwall so why not jump into the sea? The Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay offers lessons in surfing, bodyboarding, kitesurfing, wave-ski, hand planing and stand-up paddlesurf, along with technical equipment hire. There are surf schools based all over the north and south coasts, so you'll be "stoked" wherever you're based.

Become a pirate
Newquay's Pirate's Quest takes you on a swashbucklin' voyage through Cornwall's pirating past. Come face to face with smugglers, mermaids, and real live buccaneers (as opposed to dead ones). New storylines are added all the time.

Mined over matter
Discover Cornwall's mining heritage with a visit to one of many mines open to the public in West Cornwall. Geevor is the largest preserved mine site in the country. Go underground into a real 18th century tin mine. Get interactive in the Hard Rock Museum which tells the fascinating story of Cornish tin and copper mining. Explore the many buildings with their magnificent mining machinery.  Discover how the rock brought up from deep underground was processed in the mill to produce the precious tin concentrate. All of this set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with fantastic coastal scenery, spectacular views and an array of wildlife. See also East Pool Mine, Heartlands, King Edward Mine at Troon and Wheal Martyn at St Austell.

Visit an historic house
Cornwall is full of them: Mount Edgcumbe and Antony House at Torpoint, Cotehele at Saltash, Lanhydrock near Bodmin, Pencarrow House at Washaway, Port Eliot at St Germans, Padstow's Prideaux Place and Trereife House just outside Penzance.

Discover the art scene
West Cornwall in particular is famous for its art and on every street corner you're likely to find an art gallery. This winter why not visit the contemporary, often challenging, always fascinating confines of St Ives' Anima-Mundi or the town's world-famous Tate St Ives?

Go gourmet
Cornwall is famous the world over these days for the quality of its restaurants. Such big-name chefs as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth have amazing restaurants in north Cornwall.

Spend time with the fishes
Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium is always a good bet when the weather's bad. The centre-piece of the aquarium is the spectacular coral reef housed within a giant ocean display. The reef is home to exotic species like angelfish, puffer fish, wrasse and hundreds of other brightly coloured species as well as a variety of sharks, including the graceful black tip reef shark, as well as rays, moray eels and lionfish. Enjoy really close encounters from inside the amazing underwater walk-through tunnel running through the centre of the reef. Also, why not get up close and personal to a lobster and learn about their life-cycle at the Lobster Hatchery, Padstow.

Do, Du Maurier                                                                                                                                                                    Visit Cornwall's most famous smuggling pub, Jamaica Inn on the wilds of Bodmin Moor. This historic coaching house has welcomed weary travellers crossing the moor for nearly 300 years.  Full of legend, mystery, romance and even, according to folklore, the odd friendly spirit, the inn continues to welcome guests to its 20 en suite bedrooms, award-winning restaurant, "olde worlde" bars with great local ales and wines, its souvenir shop and the fascinating Smugglers' Museum where tales of wreckers, murderers and villains are brought wonderfully to life.

A grand day out                                                                                                                                                                 New for this season at Land’s End is Aardman Presents: A Grand Experience, a New for this season at Land’s End is Aardman Presents: A Grand Experience, a new attraction starring popular characters from the Aardman animation studio.  The family experience offers guests the chance to step into Wallace & Gromit’s living room, explore Wallace’s workshop and build one of his Cracking Contraptions, before climbing on board a rocket to the moon.

A day in paradise                                                                                                                                                              Visit the Eden Project and explore the world famous rainforest and Mediterranean biomes and enjoy a busy programme of activities in teh former china clay mines, Bodelva near St Austell.                                                           

Go Back in time                                                                                                                                                                  As well as Camel Creek and its 5D simulator, there is always Flambards, Helston, and its ever-charming Victorian village and Britain In The Blitz walk-around displays as well as its rides for both younger and older children, both of which are under cover.

Nautica
Experience every aspect of the Titanic disaster at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall's new exhibition in Falmouth. Discover who were the Cornish heroes and heroines of one of the most infamous events of the 20th century.

Underground water
A visit to Carnglaze Caverns, at St Neot, near Liskeard, and its crystal clear underground lake is a must. If you're lucky there will be a concert in the underground Rum Store too – one of the most unique venues in not just Cornwall but the whole country.

Gool Peran Lowen!

Today is St Piran’s Day, which means those looking for a good time better head down to Cornwall. Yes, this celebration of all things Cornish falls on March 5 each year and it’s one hell of a party, often lasting a whole week before the actual day. This national day of Cornwall is named after one of the patron saints of the county, Saint Piran (who’s thought to have ‘floated’ miraculously to Cornwall from Ireland). Piran was also the saint of tin miners. In fact, the day began as a traditional holiday date for tin miners of the region.

The festival’s been around since the 1800s but back then no rituals were in place – though miners always consumed a vast amount of alcohol and feasted in the week leading up to the holiday, a week known as ‘Perrantide’. This led to the 19th century phrase ‘drunk as a perraner’. Celtic Revivalists endeavoured in the early 20th century to make the date a national day of Cornwall and by the 1950s it was celebrated as such all over the county in towns like St Ives, Falmouth and Bodmin.

Parades, music, dancing, fairground rides and rugby matches are among the celebrations in various towns, and in Grass Valley, California the day is celebrated to honour the Cornish miners who worked in the area from the mid 19th century onwards. Most Cornish towns celebrate with a Furry dance, which isn’t as dodgy as it sounds. A ‘Furry’ is a processional dance performed four-abreast, and often by children. At 9pm on the dot on St Piran’s day, pubs across Cornwall will break into the ‘Trelawny Shout’ – basically a pub singalong. They’ll be singing the Cornish anthem, The Song of the Western Men, and raising money for the Cornwall Community Foundation. Sadly the government has never approved the request to make March 5 a bank holiday in Cornwall, though many towns and cities in the county give a day off to workers and students. So how do you say ‘Happy St Piran’s Day!’ in Cornish? …. Gool Peran Lowen!

Cornish Pasty Week 25th February to 1st March 2018

Turning the spotlight on Cornwall’s favourite and most iconic food, the first ever Cornish Pasty Week will be celebrated throughout Cornwall and across the country.

From Sunday 25th February, there will be a whole week of activity, culminating in the ‘Oggy Oscars’  the seventh-annual World Pasty Championships, held on Saturday 3rd March at the Eden Project.

Busy bakers across the globe are preparing to compete in the Oggy Oscars and anyone can join in.  Registration is now open and doesn’t close until midday on Thursday 1 March (or beforehand if numbers exceed the limit). 

Registration is simple and can be done online.  Entry fee is £10 for adult categories and £5 for junior categories. You will then receive a confirmation email and a form to complete. 

So start perfecting your pasties and make sure you have that winning entry ready to go!

Time to act on plastic pollution

The Prime Minister must take bold and decisive steps to break industry and societal addiction to single-use plastics. Outlawing non-recyclable plastics and making industry take full responsibility for their plastic waste is essential to this. The extension of the plastic bag levy, the microbead ban and a UK-wide deposit refund system are proven ways to reduce society’s plastic footprint that is trampling our natural world.

Our oceans have brought the plastic pollution crisis to millions of people across the UK’s coastlines, with the recent storms that battered the UK again demonstrating the huge scale of the issue and how it affects us here in Britain. Our beaches have been inundated with vast deposits of throwaway plastics, creating a toxic tideline of plastic products that society often uses for just a few seconds yet persist in our marine environment for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  Plastic pollution has spread into every corner of our world, a parasite hitching a lift on the essential fluids of life; our air and water.

In the UK we use a staggering 38.5 million single-use plastic bottles and a further 58 million cans every day. Only half of these are recycled, so it’s no surprise that many of these end up on our beaches and in our oceans. A UK-wide deposit refund system on plastic bottles could stop this source of plastic pollution and a recently delivered petition with over 300,000 signatures supporting this call has been delivered to the Prime Minister, thanks to Surfers Against Sewage.

The time for action is now to implement new policies and legislation that the country is crying out for to finally go plastic free. We must reinvent our relationship with single-use plastic to eliminate, replace and recycle plastics faster and more effectively. Plastic production is already rampant and is also set to increase massively in the next 25 years. We need new legislation and systems to stop plastic at source now. We can’t simply pick our way out of the problem; it’s gone far beyond being simply a littering issue.

Help us and many other individuals and organisations working towards Plastic Free Coastlines by eliminating throwaway plastics such as straws, plastic water bottles, bags, cutlery and finding more sustainable alternatives. From grassroots to Government, the time to act is now.

Once in a blue moon - sooner than you think!

As the world settles into 2018, it's been an auspicious year for skywatchers already. New years day presented the first supermoon of the year, sort of a warm up to the main event later in the month. At the end of January, skywatchers will be treated to a supermoon, blue moon, and a total lunar eclipse (known as blood moon) all in one night – although the latter will not be visible from the UK.

This phenomenon, nicknamed the "Super Blue Blood Moon" will be icing on the cake after several months of impressive moons. However, there’s more to follow as although February won't showcase a full moon, March will have another blue moon on the 31st.

There's a lot of jargon surrounding different lunar phenomena, so read on to find out what each one means and why it's a special occurrence to have a super blue blood moon.

What Is A Supermoon?

As the moon orbits the Earth it does so in an ellipse, with an average distance from the moon to Earth of 238,000 miles. However, as the moon circles, its distance from the earth varies slightly. The term supermoon refers to the occasion when a full moon coincides with the closest the moon gets to Earth during its orbit around our planet.

During the supermoon, the moon appears about 14 percent larger than a normal full moon and around 30 percent brighter. While this isn't a drastic difference, the moon can look even bigger if it is close to the horizon. This is because we can visually compare the size of things on the horizon (buildings, trees, mountains, etc.) to the size of the moon. This invariably makes the moon appear larger than normal, which is why most supermoon photos you see show the moon just at the horizon.

So January 31st will present a supermoon where the moon will appear slightly larger and brighter than normal (if there are no clouds that is). But there are still two other phenomena to occur on that night, the blue moon and total lunar eclipse.

What Is A Blue Moon?

You've likely heard the phrase "once in a blue moon" meaning something happens infrequently. However, a blue moon occurs about every 2.5 years according to NASA. The term is used when there are two full moons in a single calendar month. Hence, the second full moon in January will be termed a blue moon.

This happens because of slight differences in the calendar month and lunar phases. Each full moon occurs ever 29.5 days, however, months can be up to 31 days. This means that there is a possibility, if the timing is correct, for a full moon to occur at the very beginning and end of a single month. This also means February will never have a blue moon as it is shorter (28 days) than a full moon cycle (29.5 days).

In 2018 we will experience two blue moons, one on January 31st and the other on March 31st.

Now that we've covered both the supermoon and blue moon to occur on January 31st, let's dissect what a total lunar eclipse means.

What Is A Total Lunar Eclipse (Blood Moon)?

The third phenomena to occur on January 31st is a blood moon, nicknamed for the reddish hue cast on the moon. The term blood moon refers to a total lunar eclipse where a full moon lines up with the Earth and Sun. In this configuration the Earth blocks out the Sun's light, turning the moon from a white glowing orb to a deep red orb.

Unfortunately for us, the lunar eclipse will not be visible from the UK, but, weather permitting,  it’s still a night to get out and take a look at what should be a spectacular moon.

18 Cornish gigs for 2018 that you shouldn't miss.

JANUARY 12
THIS IS THE KIT
ST PETROC’S SESSIONS, BODMIN
Bodmin’s church is opening its doors at night for a series of high-profile concerts called the St Petroc’s Sessions. Playful indie-folk band This Is The Kit and folk-rock legends Fairport Convention (May 31) have been announced as the next two headliners.

JANUARY 20
JAX JONES
WATERING HOLE, PERRANPORTH
The English DJ, record producer, singer, songwriter and remixer is best known for featuring on Duke Dumont’s 2014 single I Got U, peaking at No 1 on the UK Singles Chart, and his 2016 single You Don’t Know Me, featuring Raye, which reached No 3 on the UK Singles Chart.

JANUARY 27-28
THROWN GAUNTLET FESTIVAL
FALMOUTH
The Thrown Gauntlet Festival of Mixed Arts is returning for its second year. It sees people once again open their houses to the public, exhibiting art and performance upon the hill above Jacobs Ladder in the Smithick area of Falmouth.  The festival is a celebration of the diversity of creativity, exceptional artistry and community, showcasing everything from music to literature, theatre, fine art, dance, film and so many different things in between.

FEBRUARY 2
DUB PISTOLS
PRINCESS PAVILION, FALMOUTH
Fresh from playing at the Watering Hole, Dub Pistols have announced a date in Falmouth on their Crazy Diamonds tour.  Fronted by infamous Londoner, Barry Ashworth, the band are where electronic dance, ska, punk, rock and everything in between collides for one huge live music party.

MARCH 2
SAM FENDER
OLD BAKERY, TRURO
One of the hottest names tipped for big things in 2018, Sam Fender will play his first headline shows in Cornwall at a freshly relaunched indie club B-Side Presents night at the Old Bakery in Truro.  It’s been nearly four years since the last B-Side took place in Truro and there has been nothing to replace it in its wake.

MARCH 6
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
HALL FOR CORNWALL, TRURO
The fabulously fey indie pop band who now have a penchant for synths, Belle and Sebastian will appear at Hall For Cornwall as part of their 2018 UK and European tour. Quite a coup for the HFC, this will be one not to miss as Stuart Murdoch and his fellow Glaswegians break our Cornish hearts.

MARCH 15
OH MY GOD! IT’S THE CHURCH
WATERING HOLE, PERRANPORTH
Come and be blessed, baptised and all leave believers together from the Pentecostal party that leaves everyone on their knees begging for more.

MARCH 29
LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY
WATERING HOLE, PERRANPORTH
The legendary, some would say infamous, Jamaican dub producer and inventor noted for his innovative studio techniques and production style for the likes of Bob Marley and The Clash, brings his bizarre mindset along with his bass-heavy skank rhythms to the bar on the beach.

JUNE 1-3
THE GREAT ESTATE
SCORRIER HOUSE, NEAR REDRUTH
The inaugural festival in the grounds of Scorrier House was the surprise festival hit of the year, featuring a laidback mix of local bands and DJs, big acts such as Echo and the Bunnymen, a killer silent disco and some of the most mindblowing visuals a stately home has ever seen.  It’s back again in 2018 and we’re all on tenterhooks as to who will play.

JUNE 6
GARY BARLOW
EDEN SESSIONS, ST AUSTELL
The national treasure – it happens to anyone who manages to cling on to fame after 20 years – has penned 14 No 1 singles and won six Ivor Novello awards across his illustrious career in Take That and as a solo artist.  He has also been a judge on ITV’s The X-Factor and the BBC’s Let it Shine and written songs for numerous artists, including Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams, Lily Allen and Dame Shirley Bassey.

JUNE 8-10
TUNES IN THE DUNES
PERRANPORTH BEACH
Hit by bad weather this year which scuppered Primal Scream’s headline slot on the first night, here’s hoping the sun shines on the 2018 festival, which will then be in its third year. The likes of Clean Bandit, Billy Ocean, John Newman and Jamie Lawson did make it to the main stage in 2017.

JUNE 15/16
MASSIVE ATTACK / YOUNG FATHERS
EDEN SESSIONS, ST AUSTELL
A brilliant double-header over two nights as Bristol’s famed art-dance collective (please, don’t call them trip-hop) are joined by celebrated Edinburgh trio Young Fathers.

JUNE 20
BJORK
EDEN SESSIONS, ST AUSTELL
… four days later, the Icelandic wonder comes to the biomes.
Ms Guðmundsdóttir will be celebrating the recent release of Utopia, her ninth “future-facing” studio album, with what should be one of the most memorable Eden Sessions of recent years.

JULY 5
JACK JOHNSON
EDEN SESSIONS, ST AUSTELL
A musical god to Cornwall’s surfing fraternity, Johnson returns to Eden eight years after his last headline slot, to support recent album All The Light Above It Too, which debuted at No 4 on the US Billboard chart.

JULY 22
MORCHEEBA
SUNDOWNER SESSIONS, LUSTY GLAZE, NEWQUAY
The trip-hop band behind such woozy dance hits as The Sea, Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, Trigger Hippie and Part of the Process are the first band to be announced for 2018’s Sundowner Sessions on the beach named the best in the land by The Times earlier this year.

JULY 26-29
BAXTER DURY
PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
In my not so humble opinion, Baxter Dury’s Prince of Tears is the best British album of 2017. The ultimate midlife crisis record, it will make you splutter with laughter and have a little weep, all to a musical mix of Serge Gainsbourg and Barry White.  It is an utter joy then that son-of-Ian is the first name announced for 2018’s wonderful celebration of upper crust artiness.

JULY 27-29
LEOPALLOOZA
THE WYLDES, NEAR BUDE
Cornwall’s favourite DIY festival gets bigger and better every year but still feels like a party your mates have out on in a field. The likes of Bastille, The Cribs and Maximo Park have all played. Who will be announced for 2018?

AUGUST 11
CHEMICAL BROTHERS
BOARDMASTERS, WATERGATE BAY
Bit of a dream gig for dance fans as the Chemicals play their first ever Cornish show, headlining Cornwall’s biggest festival on the Saturday night. The Horrors and Craig David are among the first wave of acts to be announced, too.

Information courtesy of Cornwall Live

Cornwall's first snow weather warning in years

Snow is predicted for Launceston, Bodmin, St Austell and Wadebridge as a Yellow Weather Warning is issued for Cornwall.

Cornwall is getting prepared for snow at the end of this week. There’s a real chance of seeing the white stuff in Cornwall despite years of absence in this part of the country.

Temperatures are set to plunge on Thursday (December 7 2017 ) with wintry weather expected and a yellow weather warning for snow and ice has been issue for central and eastern Cornwall on Friday and Saturday (December 8 and 9 2017).

“The snow and ice warning for Saturday identifies the potential for snow showers in east Cornwall,” said Grahame Madge, from the Met Office.  “With the wind coming from a northerly direction, those areas in Cornwall with the greatest chance of seeing snow will be in areas of higher ground around Wadebridge, Launceston and Bodmin.”

The warning, which is in effect from 12.05am on Friday to 6pm on Saturday, says snow could fall at lower levels, with higher amounts on high ground. Other areas, like St Austell, Newquay and Saltash are also at risk of seeing snow.

There are 25 gritters ready and waiting for the call to send them out, spreading salt over 900 miles of Cornwall’s busiest A and B roads.  While salt itself won’t prevent snow settling, it does lower its freezing point, making it more difficult for it to settle or for ice to form.

However snow can make driving difficult, especially if you’re not used to it.  A Cornwall Council spokesman recommended that any unnecessary journey be avoided if at all possible.  Advice is to monitor your local radio stations, social media and any travel apps on your mobile phones to keep up to date with the latest forecasts, current conditions, and advice.

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Updated on January 27th, 2013

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