Roaming, rescue and refreshment

Around Harbour Cove, farms where the livestock and wildlife roam free, where the sea is watched for rescues, and roaming walkers find refreshment in a garden

On the walk down to Harbour Cove – also known as Tregirls – animals roam the fields in quintessential Cornish farmland.

At Tregirls Farm – with which Harbour Cove shares its other name – Ruby Red cattle, sheep and pigs share their sea view with a growing number of wild animals in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

“We have been farming the headland and surrounding land since the 50s, we are now in the fourth generation.”

“We keep the margins around the majority of the fields. We’ve been working really hard to reintroduce the Grey Partridge and we’ve seen an increase in numbers this year,” says Sarah Hodgson.

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A cow in a field by the sea in Padstow

Image credit: Padstow Farm Shop

“We faired really well in the RSPB survey, with the largest number of certain species being found on the farm,” she adds.

Sarah is manager of Padstow Farm Shop – where produce from the land on the headland is sold – and is part of the family team farming at Tregirls.

“We have been farming the headland and surrounding land since the 50s. We are now in the fourth generation,” she tells us.

Padstow Farm Shop

Image credit: Padstow Farm Shop

The free range farm produce is joined by local vegetables and “lots of Cornish cheese” on the shelves at Padstow Farm Shop. Sarah says visitors to the shop pick-up supplies from the farm shop deli for their day outs around Harbour Cove.

“Rick Stein used to come out here for a crab sandwich and some of my lemon drizzle cake.”

From roaming to rescue

For Sarah, an ideal day off is “walking the coast path from here to Trevone, then around to Padstow, or hiring bikes and cycling from Padstow to Wenford bridge, via Wadebridge and Bodmin, the scenery changes massively from coast to wood land, along the way.”

The walk from the cove around the headland to Trevone passes Stepper Point and a National Coastguard Institute (NCI) Lookout. Reached only on foot – coastguards of some description have kept watch over this stretch of the Atlantic for over 100 years. Today volunteers at the current station, built in 2001, watch over the seaborne and coast path traffic, as well as the dynamic coastline weather.

Further on towards Trevone is a stone tower known as the Daymark – a symbol of a more eventful maritime past in these waters. The tower was built in the early 1800s to help seafarers navigate what could be treacherous waters, from the crashing waves out at sea to the Doom Bar in the estuary. A lifeboat station once operated from Hawker’s Cove – the beach passed on route to Stepper Point from Harbour Cove.

Image credit: Padstow Farm Shop

Roaming to refreshment

Another outpost on the peninsula has been offering roamers welcome Cornish refreshment with a view for over a decade.

Rest A While’s scones are particularly popular, says owner Martin Holmes. “The secret ingredient is buttermilk,” he tells us.

And that’s not all. “Rick Stein used to come out here for a crab sandwich and some of my lemon drizzle cake,” says Martin.

“The location is stunning, and I used to be DJ, so I’ve always talked for a living, and I enjoy meeting people. We always have a chat and a laugh,” he adds.

Break up a beach day with a Rest A While scone, roam the headland and retire for the evening via the farm shop for a Tregirls-grown dinner.

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