Police, coastguards, hoteliers and holidaymakers talk about life in Cornwall on one of the county's busiest days, Bank Holiday Saturday, 25th August 2012.
Behind the traffic jams and the dash for accommodation is the story of an infrastructure under strain and a local housing market out of control. The crowds bring noise, life, litter and trouble. Last year, lifeguards on Perranporth beach in Cornwall dealt with a record 808 separate incidents, as swimmers, surfers, body-boarders, kayakers and kite-surfers all vied for some time and space in the water. Across the South West, lifeboats took to the water in their busiest year on record, and the RNLI helped over 16 000 people.
Cornwall is a unique county. Not because of the scenery, the redundant tin industry or the inflated house prices. It is unique because of the invasion of tourists from up-country that descend on the county's roads, resorts and beaches every summer. It is estimated that up to five million people charge down the A30 to visit Cornwall every summer, most of these from mainland UK. This programme, recorded between sunrise and sunset, is a day-in-the-life of Britain's playground.