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Koru Kayaking

Wildlife Watch: What to look out for this Spring on the Helford River & Creeks

By | Kayaking News

We have kayaking out along the Helford River and it’s creeks on our Frenchman’s Creek Kayak Adventures since mid February and have been delighted to enjoy some wonderful wildlife sightings and perhaps the most special moment was mooring up at the end of Frenchman’s Creek by the Iron Duke wreck and seeing the leaves burst out of the buds on the trees over Easter weekend.

Spring has sprung, the river is coming to life with wildlife.

Herons

Earlier in the year the herons could be spotted perched in the branches of the ancient oak trees along Frenchman’s Creek, but more recently they have be scarce. Yet kayak along Polwheveral Creek on our low tide tour and you can hear the familiar squarks of the prehistoric looking birds. They are nesting high up in the ancient oaks trees in the heronry.

Herons nesting, Polwheveral Creek Herony, Cornwall

Egrets

The egrets  have swelled in numbers this year too with Little Egrets and Cattle Egrets being sighted. The cattle egrets are slightly smaller and rarer than Little Egrets and often spend time by cattle. Until recently the fields along Frenchman’s Creek have been filled with cattle and cattle egrets.

Meanwhile the Little Egret is a small white heron with white feathers, black legs, black beak and yellow feet. It only appeared in the UK in 1989 and was bred in Dorset in 1996. Often thought of as an African bird, it is now a regular find on the Helford River and creeks for breeding and winter visits.

Herons and Little Egrets, Helford River, Cornwall

Buzzards

We just love seeing this birds soaring high up above the tree tops looking for their next prey. They are around all year, but they soar, display and call most in Spring!

Buzzard in flight, Helford River, Cornwall

 

Shellduck

There have been several sighting of Shelducks this Spring. Their black and white markings and bright red beaks make them look like large oyster catchers! They are ducks though, bigger than a mallard, but smaller than a goose. Numbers swell in Spring and they certainly have swelled on the Helford this year!

To join our Frenchman’s Creek Kayak Adventures simply contact us to book your adventure!

Gift Vouchers valid for 12 months available too!

Happy wildlife spotting! Am hopeful we will spot a seal or dolphin again in May, watch this space!

Spring: What to look out for on our North Coast Kayak Adventures from St Agnes

By | Kayaking News

The wildlife along our St Agnes coastline is simply stunning at this time of year. These are the birds and mammals you are likely to see whilst out on our North Coast Kayak Adventure this Spring.

Grey seals

The grey seals are popping up as curious as ever and it is good to see the resident bull seal ‘Silverback’ his usual sociable and inquisitive self!

The Atlantic Grey seal can live up to 30 to 40 years old and so we should be seeing him for a few more years yet!  There are a few greay seals being sighted at the moment and their numbers will swell later in the year – more on that in our Summer Wildlife update!

Find out more about grey seals with Cornwall Seal Group and at St Agnes Marine Conservation Group.

'Silverback' the resident bull seal, St Agnes Coastline, Cornwall

‘Silverback’ the resident bull seal, St Agnes Coastline, Cornwall

 

Swimming around us along the St Agnes Coastline, Cornwall

 

Guillimots and Razerbills

The guillemots and razerbills are here from March through to end July, during their breeding season, before heading back out to sea. They can be seen lined up on the ledges of caves carved out during the Cornish Mining era of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Razerbilll on the cave ledge, St Agnes coastline

Oyster Catchers

The oyster catchers are a permanent resident along the St Agnes Coastline clustering on the rocks. Their bright orange beaks and black and white feathers are stunning sight to see – they are quite noisy too and so you usually hear them before you seen them!  Interestingly despite being called Oyster Catchers they actually live off mussels and cockles found on the coast.

Oyster catchers, St Agnes Coastline, Cornwall

These are just some of the amazing animals that can be seen on our St Agnes Coastline in Spring. To join our Koru Adventures simply contact us.

Gift Vouchers are available too and make for a unforgettable present!

 

Koru Kayaking make it onto French National News

By | Kayaking News | No Comments

CLICK ON PHOTO FOR VIDEO

Koru Kayaking took international bloggers out on the their Frenchman’s Creek Kayak Adventure, from the Budock Vean Hotel this week and ended up on France 2 – French National News which was aired tonight! (23 March 2017, 32 minutes in! )

French blogger, Adeline Grassin of Voyagesetc.fr, was interviewed by France 2 whilst on the Kayak Adventure. They interviewed about the power of blogging and how blogs make a great research tool for travelling and holidays.

When Captain Bligh from Muntiny on the Bounty came to the Helford

By | Kayaking News

Captain William Bligh

Have you been riveted by the recent series re-enacting Captain Bligh’s Mutiny on the Bounty, entitled ‘Mutiny‘ on Channel 4? We have! Especially with his connections to Cornwall and the Helford.

Mutiny, Channel 4

Captain Bligh, a Naval Officer, whose ship was taken over by its crew leaving him cast off into the sea. Although registered as being born in Plymouth, Devon, his ancestral home is Tinten Manor in St Tudy, nr Bodmin, Cornwall.

After travelling around the world his Admiralty stationed him on the Helford in 1803 to assess its defenses during the Napoleonic War. However, it seems luck was not on his side again, after over zealous local constabulary arrested him thinking he was a spy!

One of the potential defenses being assessed by Helford Village, Cornwall

The Captain was not best pleased at being taken under arrest to the Vicarage in Manacan, just above Gillan Creek. He refused to reveal his identity to both the local constabulary and magistrate and so was locked away in an outhouse.

Eventually they released him and he was left in the Vicarage parlour with the Reverend Polwhele. The Reverend reports in Traditions and Recollections vol 11

“But a moment’s conversation with Captain Bligh discovered all the gentleman. In an act of duty he had been roughly treated and he resented it. But, his anger evaporating, he even joined me in commending the loyal zeal of my parishioners – the woodcocks were produced for supper, and a variety of wines such as there were; and it was two o’clock in the morning before we parted, I may say mutually pleased

It is amazing to think that just 200 years ago in 1803 Captain Bligh was cruising along the Helford River and it’s creeks, as we follow in his footsteps on our Koru Kayak Adventures – hopefully never to be arrested for being spies!

Kayaking along the Helford in Captain Bligh’s footsteps

You can follow in Captain Bligh’s footsteps on the Helford on one of our daily Frenchman’s Creek Kayak Adventures for availability and timings please contact us or call 0779 4321 827.

Further interest is Captain Bligh: Man, Myth, Mutiny at The Maritime Museum,Falmouth 17 March 2017 – 7 January 2018 where you can see a replica Bounty ship and the coconut cup that Captain Bligh used on his fateful journey.

Koru win Gold at St Agnes Business Awards

By | Kayaking News

Koru Kayaking were awarded Best Customer Experience and Best Business in the inaugural St Agnes Business Awards hosted by the St Agnes Chamber of Commerce on Saturday 10th December at Driftwood Spars.

The evening started with welcome drinks and we were treated to a fascinating talk by Matthew Thomson, CEO, Fifteen Cornwall who also presented the awards.

Gold Best Customer Experience, St Agnes Business Awards

Tom and Hetty Wildblood, Koru Kayaking being presented Best Business by Matthew Thomson, CEO Fifteen Cornwall

Judges Kathy Morris, Chair of St Agnes Chamber of Commerce, Cllr Pete Mitchell and Toby Parkins, Chair of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce interviewed, reviewed entries and some categories were mystery shopped.

There were 6 awards Best Business, Best Customer Service, Best Digital Presence, Most Sustainable and People’s Choice.

Gold Best Business, St Agnes Business Awards

Tom and Hetty Wildblood, Koru Kayaking being presented Gold for Best Customer Service by Matthew Thomson, CEO, Fifteen Cornwall

Koru Kayaking were delighted to also receive Silver Awards for both Best Digital Presence and Most Sustainable Business.

St Agnes is a fantastic place to have a business and the awards highlighted the diversity of businesses we have here in such a thriving community.

Gold Best Business, St Agnes Business Awards

Looking forward to seeing the video of the evening, by ex BBC Producer Charlie Fripp of Fieldgrazer. We will share it when it is published!

Thanks to Conan Coatsworth for the photos. It is amazing the diversity of businesses here as Menu Cards were printed by local printer Mandy Kimmins of Printout, the awards supported in the local newspaper the must read the Bolster. Glittering table decor by fellow award winner Anna Trethewy Sawle of Wedding Flowers in Cornwall, top music and disco by DJ James Penny and the lights and rostrum from St Agnes Players. A real community event celebrating award winning businesses in our Parish! 


 

Koru Kayaking at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards

By | Kayaking News

Koru Kayaking were delighted be shortlisted for two awards at Cornwall Sustainability Awards at Truro School last night.

The event highlights businesses working sustainability with the environment and included Cornish businesses who work locally and internationally.

Cornwall Sustainabilty Awards

Koru Kayaking pride ourselves are being an educator in sustainabilty and are a sustainable business. Koru use high quality equipment which lasts, are a ‘turn on the tap‘ company – initiative from Surfers Again Sewage and St Austell Brewery called Clean Cornwall asking people to refill water bottles, which we for all our customers.

Koru are Cultural and Cornish Mining Ambassadors, business supporters of Cornwall Wildlife Trust and love sharing information about the environment and sustainability in a fun yet informative way with you on our stunning guided kayak adventures.

helford river, frenchman creek, koru kayaking, budock vean hotel, cornwall

It was inspiring to be surrounded by such a diverse group of businesses all wanting to be as sustainable as they can, the National Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

So if you fancy a buying someone a sustainable Christmas Present this year check out out online shop for Koru Gift Vouchers and Koru Gift Bags packed with adventure!

 

 

 

 

Koru out and about at the Christmas Markets

By | Kayaking News

Koru are really excited as tomorrow is the start of our 2016 Christmas Markets! Koru will be selling gift vouchers, gift bags packed with adventure, 2017 Koru Calendars, Koru Cards and Postcards.santa-hats-christmas-markets

Here is a list of when and where we will be:

30 November – 5-9pm – Truro Late night shopping outside Waterstones, Santa fun fun run too! Lovely festive feel with Christmas lights and the Cathedral open!

Truro Late night shopping

Truro Late night shopping

7 Dec – 5-9pm – Truro Late night shopping outside Waterstones.  Lovely festive feel with Christmas lights and the Cathedral open!

9 Dec – 5.30pm – 8.30pm St Agnes Christmas Late Night Shopping:

st-agnes-christmas-market

Miners and Mechanics Christmas Market, St Agnes

There are activities happening throughout the village – the reindeer parade is around 5.30pm from the doctors surgery to outside the St Agnes Hotel  & the Church, Father Christmas and stalls in the Church Hall, Carols with the brass band around the Christmas Tree and in the Church. Shops open throughout the village. Koru Kayaking have a stand in the Miners and Mechanics Christmas Market. Parking available in the Library carpark.

10 Dec – 10am – 4pm – Bike Chain Bissoe Bike Trail Christmas Market – pre Christmas sale of bikes and accessories, market stalls (including Koru Kayaking) in fully covered area with local traders and crafts people, childrens disco, games and craft activities, face painting, festive food and drinks available from the newly licensed cafe

Christmas Indoor Market

Indoor Christmas Markets in St Agnes and Bissoe Bike Trail

11th Dec – 10am – 4pm – Bike Chain Bissoe Bike Trail Christmas Market – pre Christmas sale of bikes and accessories, market stalls (including Koru Kayaking) in fully covered area with local traders and crafts people, childrens disco, games and craft activities, face painting, festive food and drinks available from the newly licensed cafe

14 Dec – 5-9pm  Truro Late night shopping outside Waterstones

truro-christmas-market

Outdoor Christmas Markets in Truro and Perranporth

18 Dec – 10am – 8pm – Perraporth Christmas Market – Activities happening throughout the day including live music, santa, reindeers and for the first time there is an open air market. We have stand in the main high street in the open air market.

21 Dec  – 5 – 9pm Truro Late night shopping outside Waterstones.

Hope to see you at some if not all of them!

Koru’s online shop is open all the time and we will post out by first class post! FREE postage and packing on all products.

Koru visits the Tin Mining Coast

By | Kayaking News

 

Cornish Mining is a World Heritage Site spread out across the county including St Agnes where we run our Koru Kayaking North Coast Kayak Adventures all the way down to St Just near Lands End!

 

One blustery November day we sent Hetty to explore St Just and Botallack, with the iconic Poldark mine – known was Wheal Leisure (series 1) or Wheal Grace (series 2) with Cornwall365. Would Poldark be there?

Well we had to wait to find out….

The Tin Mining tour started in St Just Methodist Chapel, hearing about the newly formed Tin Coast Partnership linking the National Trust and businesses together to promote the area – a bustling town with shops, pubs, hotels, and art galleries (more on that later)!

st-just-methodist-chapel

St Just Methodist Chapel, St Just, Cornwall

The Methodist Chapel in the 1800s and early 1900s was bursting with a congregation of miners and their families, who would spend their one day off attending the chapel for one, sometimes two services.

The Chapel was built with fantastic acoustics so that all could hear and in recent times has been used by Male Voice Choirs.

st-just-methodist-chapel-ceiling

Artwork on the ceilings of St Just Methodist Chapel, Cornwall

The ceilings were decorated with intricate artwork. The Chapel is an incredible building, which reminded me of the chapels we visited in Port Arthur prison, Tasmania, Australia where prisoners only day off from hard labour was a Sunday, which would be spent attending church. In the same way miners work was hard labour 6 days a week with only a few mines recognising Bank Holidays and Christmas Day as unpaid days off.

Yet the miners left a legacy, some mines like Geevor Tin Mine only closing in the 1980s! Their toils made the mine owners wealthy and built up towns like St Just and St Agnes with strong communities which are still thriving today.

One of the most surprising finds in St Just is Jackson Foundation Art Gallery. A converted warehouse which houses well known artist Kurt Jackson’s paintings and I was transported to a very modern St Just and a world class art gallery.

kurt-jackson-gallery

Kurt Jackson, Jackson Foundation, St Just, Cornwall

His paintings in this exhibition are all of the sea and surfers. See below – can you spot the surfer? There is also a video of the artist at work and he has quite a unique style of painting with his canvas on the shoreline!

kurt-jackson-painting

Kurt Jackson painting, Jackson Foundation, St Just, Cornwall

Kurt donates the top floor of his gallery to charities and it was quite apt that this exhibition had a Surfers Against Sewage exhibition, exhibiting artifacts retrieved from the sea.

washed-up-sas-exhibits

Artifacts washed up on our shores and retrieved by Surfers Against Sewage

crisp-packet

Crisp packets from the 1970s

Among the items washed up was a crisp packet from the 1970s! Oh and Julie they found your debit card!

lost-credit-card

Debit card washed up by the sea, Surfers Against Sewage, Jackson Foundation Exhibition, St Just

Inspired by classical art in the chapel and modern art in the gallery we headed off to Botallack Tim Mine to enjoy nature’s art!

skyline

View along the coastline, Botallack Mine, Cornwall

Welcomed by this fantastic view of the sea and our stunning Cornish coastline!

Botallack Mine sits by Geevor and Levant Mines and in it’s heyday employed 500 people. There were success stories where local men ended up with mansions, in fact Botallack was owned by a local man, but for many it was a hard life. Men, women and children, some as young as 8 years old, working 6 days a week in all weathers throughout the year.  Botallack was a mine which had mine shafts under the sea.

botallack-mine-2

Mine to under the sea, Botallack Mine, Cornwall – Poldarks Mine

The now iconic BBC1’s drama Poldark buildings, which were Wheal Leisure (series 1) and Wheal Grace (series 2) were the mines which transported miners down to the sea bed to mine out the tin.

miners-tunnel

Miners tunnel, Botallack, Cornwall

The miners would enter tunnels branching off caves working upto 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

miners-cave

Cave with miners tunnels branching off, Botallack, Cornwall

The tin rich rocks would be sorted by the women and children, broken down into smaller pieces and silted in the open air in all weathers.

mine-works

Mine works, Botallack, Cornwall

Pictured below, the remnants of a large feast hall where workers fuelled with food ready for the next shift, which today offered a nice rest-bite from the strong onshore winds!

feast-hall

Feast Hall, Botallack, Cornwall

After silting, the rock was heated to 500 degrees to extract the profitable arsenic. Arsenic was shipped to America and used to whiten faces, taken in moderation as a stimulant and as a poison. Users could build up a tolerance, but it’s use could make make men sterile and also was corrosive to the skin.

When used as a poison a tolerant person could be eating the same arsenic laced meal as another non tolerant person and the effect could be deadly on the person with no tolerance – hence a poison. 

arsenic-works

Arsenic processing, Botallack, Cornwall

Cornwall was also a hot spot for Cornish Gold! Here a replica found in the mining cave. Many of the rivers in Cornwall are said to be rich in gold deposits.

gold

Thought we had struck Gold, Botallack, Cornwall


And looking across the fields there are Geevor and Levant Mine…we will go and discover these another day!

geevor-and-levant-mines

Geevor and Levant Mines, nr St Just Cornwall

To find out more:

St Just Mines go to Cornish Mining World Heritage site

St Just Methodist Chapel and the impact Methodism in Cornwall 

Jackson Foundation – Kurt Jackson Art Gallery and Surfers Against Sewage Exhibition

To explore St Agnes Mining on the water check out Koru’s North Coast Kayak Adventure and who knows we might be tempted to have a look at Botallack from the water…on a calmer day!












 

 

 

 

Autumnal colours and reflections

By | Kayaking News

November is one of the most stunning months of the year on the Helford River and it’s creeks and we wanted to share some of our best photos so far with you!

autumnal-leaves-frenchmans-creek-2

Blue reflections looking up Frenchman’s Creek, Cornwall

autumnal-leaves-frenchmans-creek

Autumnal leaves and fallen trees, Frenchman’s Creek, Cornwall

reflections-from-the-foreshore

Autumnal reflections early morning from Budock Vean Hotel foreshore

reflections-on-the-helford-river

Reflections looking out to sea, Helford River, Cornwall

To join a Fenchman’s Creek Koru Kayak Adventure simply book here or want to wait until next year Koru’s Gift Vouchers available!

Koru Kayaking Calendars are on sale so you can enjoy the Helford River and St Agnes Coastline 12 months of the year!

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Helford River Wildlife Watch – October

By | Kayaking News

October is a fantastic month to see wildlife on the Helford River and it’s creeks. With sunny days and deep blue skies the leaves are starting to turn and fall.

Kingfishers

Kingfishers. Frenchmans Creek Kayak Adventure, Cornwall

It is a great time to spot kingfishers who seem to be prolific this month with most sightings on Frenchman’s Creek and Polwheveral Creek. The kingfishers fly along the river banks under the ancient oak tree branches and along the creeks.

Egrets

The Little Egret is a common sighting on the Helford River and creeks. However, this month they are more spread out, rather than all huddling up on Polwheveral Creek or Frenchman’s Creek individuals and couples are being sighted on all the creeks including Port Navas Creek.

egrets-low-res

The Little Egret is not a native bird, but they have a big colony on the Helford. Almost made extinct in the 1800s by the Victorians and their like of their feathers for their hats, they are now plentiful. Their bright white wings make them look like lanterns in the ancient oak tree branches.

Buzzards

Buzzards a commonly sighted soaring about the Helford River and it’s creeks. It is an amazing sight seeing them soar with their wings spread out in a V shape, with dark brown feathers. buzzard They live off small mammals, birds and carrion. And we often see them squarking with crows – a real David Attenborough moment!

Heronsherons-and-egrets

The grey heron is a resident on the Helford River and creeks. With it’s bulky wide wings it looks like a dinosaur when it flies and wise vulture when perched up in the ancient oak tree branches on Frenchman’s and Polwheveral Creek.

Swans

swans-and-cygnets

The mute swan, which is the white swan most commonly seen in the British Isles, and the species we see on the Helford River and creeks, will normally mate at anytime from spring through to summer, with the cygnets being born anytime from May through to July. So it was a surprise to see two cygnets recently on Polwheveral Creek!

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