protecting the towans from hayle to godrevy


The Towans Partnership was formed early in 2002 to bring together land owners, local government, government agencies and other parties interested in protecting, managing and enhancing the Towans.

Towans Care

  • Walk, don't ride
  • No vehicles, bicycles or horses
  • No fires or overnight camping
  • Clear up after your dog
  • In restored areas, please use the paths - and
  • Take your litter home

About Us

Role of the Towans Partnership

The Towans and adjacent beaches are hugely popular destinations for both local people and visitors to the area. They are used for a variety of outdoor recreational activities including walking, dog exercising, water sports, observing or recording wildlife and family day-outs. The Towans are the second largest dune system in Cornwall with most of the area being designated as an SSSI by Natural England.      

One major issue for this area has been the fragmentation of land and beach ownership. The Towans has very complex multi-ownership and multi-management arrangements with minimal co-ordination and communication between the many varied and interested parties. There is no over-arching management or long term cohesive plan and no one person responsible for driving this plan. For example CWT manage Upton Towans but the land is owned by Cornwall Council. Gwithian Towans is owned by the Hocking Trust but managed by Cornwall Council

The Towans Partnership which meets every three months was established to address this issue of fragmentation and to focus on facilitating communication between different agencies and groups and identify issues that are common across the Towans. It has no management powers but it can advise, recommend and ask people to attend to explain decisions.

The Partnership has representatives from local communities and from the statutory and voluntary sectors involved in conservation. It includes landowners, businesses and Cllrs from Cornwall, Hayle Town and Gwinear- Gwithian Parish Councils and an independent Chair.


Some of the issues for the Partnership

• The conservation and protection of habitats and wildlife. There have been a number of presentations made by the various managing bodies on the management of wildlife on Gwithian Green, St Gothian, Gwithian Towans and Upton. Grazing and cutting of scrub and keeping footpaths open are issues often discussed. The Towans Partnership has recently recommended that St Gothian should become an SSSI since it meets the criteria due to the presence of priority and scarce species such as the Silver-studded Blue butterfly.


• Beach Litter, beach safety and water quality. The Beach Users Advisory Group meets three monthly and reports to the Partnership. There are representatives from activity groups such as surf schools and kite and wind surfing as well as the RNLI.


• Anti-social activities on the dunes and beaches such as off road motor bikes and teenage parties, fly-tipping, vandalism, dog bans and dog fouling.


• Improved signage. Recently notices were put on the lifeguard huts for contacting the police and information posters elsewhere have been initiated

• Sand Extraction and the impact on the sand in St Ives Bay.


• Pollution, including problems with Gwithian Sewage Works which were addressed through asking the Environment Agency and South West Water to attend.


• Most recently the Partnership has been instrumental in securing funding for a project officer for 12 months, working one day a week to undertake a feasibility study into the possibility of appointing a Towans Ranger on a long term basis.


Our Terms of Reference



The Partnership Group.

This group shall consist of elected or nominated representatives of the County, District, Parish and Town Councils most closely connected to the Towans complex from Hayle to Godrevy, along with representatives from local business interests, resident associations, and appropriate environmental and cultural interests.

The Partnership Group therefore consists of representatives of the communities most likely to be effected by the management of the Hayle- Godrevy Towans complex, alongside organisations relevant to the rich recreational, archaeological, and environmental value.

Additional groups and/or individuals could be invited to attend meetings where necessary. Increased membership of the Partnership Group would be a matter for the Partnership Group to decide.


Meetings are to be held at least twice a year. Officers will also be in attendance at the Partnership Group meetings in order to provide professional advice to assist decision making. Decisions made at the Partnership Group would be by vote with the Chairman having the casting vote.

A Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Partnership Group should be elected annually. Date and location of the next meeting will be decided at the end of each meeting. Meetings can rotate between a number of locations reflecting the geographical spread of Partnership members.

Decisions made by the Partnership Group having an effect on existing policies and/or resources of any parent organisations should be reported back to them for ratification or further action before being adopted as policy for the Towans.


The Partnership Group:

  • • Identifies issues of a strategic nature and proposes policies or actions to address them.
  • • Identifies priorities for policies and actions including assessing resource requirements and the potential for attracting additional financial investment.
  • • Monitors the implementation of policy decisions made by the Partnership Group.
  • • Provides a link between the Partnership and the communities affected by the management of the Towans, ensuring management reflects the concerns, aspirations and opportunities championed by local people.
  • • Reflects the views of their parent organisations during any decision making process.
The Towans Partnership shall continue to operate until such time when the Partnership Group decides that it is no longer required.
Our Members
  • Gwithian Residents
  • Cornwall Wildlife Trust
  • Hocking Trust
  • Sunset Surf
  • Gwinear Gwithian Parish Council
  • Gwithian Residents
  • Devon & Cornwall Police
  • Hayle Town Council
  • Save Our Sands
  • Gwithian Rate Payers Association
  • Community Archive/Hayle Mill Pond
  • Camborne Town Council
  • Cormac Solutions Ltd
  • Cornwall Council
  • Gwithian Sands Chalets
  • Natural England
  • Riviere Towans Chalet Management
  • Landowner Lethlean Towans
  • National Trust
  • RNLI
  • Landowner Riviere and Mexico Towans

Gavin Henderson, Cormac, Secretary