Cornwall

St Ives beach hole 'needs solution' after fence damage

Porthminster Beach fencing
Image caption The fencing on Porthminster Beach has sunk in recent stormy conditions

Visitors to a popular beach in Cornwall have been warned to stay away from a large bubbling hole where safety fencing is sinking into the sand.

The fencing around the soft sand area on Porthminster Beach, in St Ives, has been damaged by recent storms.

Beach cafe manager Paul Symons alerted the council to the collapsed fence and said a permanent solution was needed.

Cornwall Council, which owns the beach, said it was monitoring the hole and people should stay away from it.

The council has been cordoning off the bubbling hole for many years.

It is thought to have been partly caused by coastal run-off from a land water pipe.

Image caption Cafe manager Paul Symons said it was also important the beach was looking its best

Mr Symons, who runs the Porthminster Beach Cafe and is a council tenant, said people "need to be aware of and be careful of it".

He said the council was usually good at dealing with the fence but its response seemed slower this time.

"It's very important that the beach is good and looking at its best, and, at this time of the year, it needs to have a closer eye on it as the hole thrives on bad weather," he said.

"We need a permanent solution."

Cornwall Council's Environment Service said staff had carried out surveys "to help try to establish the cause of the problem and understand how best to mitigate it".

"We have already tried a couple of ideas that have either been unsuccessful, or only successful for a short period," the council said.

"We will continue to monitor until the problem is dealt with and would ask beach users to keep clear of the fenced-off area."