Published: 17 October 2019
Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust (TCCT) will regrettably terminate permissive vehicle access to a popular fishing spot at Berry Head from 1st November.
Until recently, the Trust offered a scheme permitting blue badge holders to drive to a designated parking area in the lower quarry beneath Berry Head in order to access favoured fishing spots. Earlier this year, an angler raised concerns with the Trust about deterioration and hazards within the areas favoured for fishing and, particularly, the suitability of those areas for anglers with disabilities. This led the Trust to suspend the issue of access cards in July following a review of site conditions and to seek further guidance.
The Trust has since obtained advice from a health and safety advisor and a disability access advisor. Both advisors have stated that the Trust should not proactively facilitate access to those areas of the site popular with anglers due to the number of evident hazards. The sheer scale and power of the natural process at work are simply beyond the Trust’s ability to withstand. The Trust has therefore determined that it must terminate access for all private vehicles to the quarry and quay area from 1st November 2019 and will erect signs advising the hazardous nature of the area for the public.
Trust staff will continue to monitor the condition of those areas favoured by anglers, as part of routine site monitoring. Regrettably, the Trust may need to introduce additional restrictions on visitor access in the future should there be further deterioration.
The Trust very much regrets having to make this decision. The Trust is writing to all current cardholders to notify them of the termination of the scheme. Refunds will be offered to those who renewed prior to the scheme’s suspension (pro rata against full months remaining from 1st November).
Damian Offer, Chief Executive of TCCT said:
“We appreciate that this news will be disappointing for those that have enjoyed preferential access for fishing at Berry Head over the years. However, the safety of visitors, including anglers with disabilities is a prime consideration for the Trust.”
The Trust does not encourage anyone to access hazardous areas for fishing or other purposes. We recommend that visitors keep to the surfaced paths and away from steep slopes, cliff edges, unstable cliff faces, slippery rocks and all areas subject to inundation by the sea.
Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust
An independent charity dedicated to looking after Torbay's most important wildlife and heritage sites, including Berry Head National Nature Reserve, Cockington Country Park, Occombe Farm, The Seashore Centre, the South West Coast Path and the English Riviera Geopark. For more information about Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust visit www.countryside-trust.org.uk
Berry Head National Nature Reserve is managed and cared for by Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust. This stunning headland, with its iconic lighthouse and Napoleonic Fort, is surrounded by water on three sides and offers exceptional views across Torbay and beyond. Popular with local and tourist alike the headland attracts visitors all year around
We remind all visitors to take due care and wear appropriate clothing when visiting Berry Head. The headland has many steep slopes, vertical cliffs, unstable slopes and uneven ground. It is very exposed and weather conditions can change dramatically.