As you may be aware Cornwall Council has been granted a further 12-month extension on the closure of the footpath at Carbis Mill. On 27th May a meeting took place on the riverbank with Cornwall Council, the Environment Agency (EA), the West Cornwall Footpaths Preservation Society (WCFPS), the Ramblers Association & representatives from St Erth and St Hilary Parish Councils looking at short- and long-term options. The whole stretch of the path was walked from the concrete bridge at the end of The Green Lane down to River Valley at Relubbus (along the length of both 111/7/2 and 112/52/4) stopping to look at not just the issues at Carbis Mill but other areas along the footpath that could potentially be a problem going forward.
Mr Martin, the Countryside Team Leader for Cornwall Council, is now in discussions with the EA to look at the most robust solutions for the river and ways of funding a river restoration study for the River Hayle as a whole. He has put together a draft grant application to help inform the wider project and possibilities include widening or diverting the channel at Carbis Mill, and a mixture of soft engineering, tree planting and setting back the channel elsewhere.
In addition, regarding the short-term diversion using the Public Rights of Way (PRoW) routes, Mr Martin has confirmed that the works package has been commissioned but that there are significant resource pressures in actually programming it to be carried out. This diversion (as shown by following the red route highlighted on the picture below) will use footpath 111/39/4 from the concrete bridge to Lower Porthcollum Farm (taking the track around the pond) where it then joins 111/17/1 to walk along Porthcollum Lane, using 111/50/1 & 112/92/1 to then cross back over the river and re-join 112/52/4 to walk the rest of the way to River Valley. See the interactive map by clicking this link.
A number of residents have queried the need for the green fencing that was erected by Cornwall Council last year. Cornwall Council had tried signage and small barriers but people had been deliberately ripping this down and walking through the area anyway. The path has now eroded to such a state that it is dangerous and Cornwall Council had no choice but to install something more solid here as they would be liable should an accident occur, and also to stop people climbing the fence and walking through the owner’s garden at Carbis Mill which had also been happening.
St Erth Parish Council continues to push for both a short and long-term resolution for this footpath as it knows how important this is to both the local community and visitors alike.