Carvannel Cliff (nr. Portreath): Short Diversion

The South West Coast Path owes its unique character to natural processes. Our coastline would not look so beautiful and dramatic if it wasn't for cliff and beach erosion. The downside is that sometimes cliff falls or landslips close sections of the Coast Path resulting in temporary inland diversions, which can occasionally be quite lengthy, being needed. In these instances, always follow signing and information on the ground.

We are also constantly looking for opportunities to improve the route in the few places where it is not as good as it could be.

Recent changes that may not be in your guidebook or shown on your map are listed below. Whilst this page is kept up to date, if you want to be alerted to any updates, please follow our Route Changes page on Facebook.

November 2018: Part of the cliff has fallen into the sea on National Trust land at Carvannel Downs near to Portreath.  A short diversion is in place (as shown on the plan) taking walkers away from the cliff edge. 

When a cliff fall affecting the path is reported, the County Council or National Trust rangers will immediately inspect it, and if it looks dangerous they will close off the affected section. They will then start to work on setting up a diversion, which initially will be on the nearest paths and roads around the closure. If this diversion isn’t as good as possible, once the cliff has stabilised, they will then liaise with neighbouring landowners to try and negotiate a new route close (but leaving a safe distance) to the ‘new’ cliff edge. Sometimes this is a simple, quick process, but can get complicated and protracted if there are limitations in terms of terrain (and thus amount of construction required), wildlife habitats (e.g. you can’t cut a new path through scrub during the nesting season) or impacts on someone’s garden.

Funding these repairs and construction of new paths places even more strain on an already stretched Coast Path budget, so donations towards this work are always most welcome.

If you are out and spot a recent cliff fall or other hazard that presents an imminent risk to walkers, please either contact the Coastguard on 999, or the relevant County Council (Cornwall: 0300 1234 202, Devon: 0345 155 1004, Dorset: 01305 224463).

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