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Donations allow repair of cliff-top fishing cottage

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 02, 2013

  • Porthcurnick beach is just one of the Coast Path locations to have benefited from extensive repair work

  • The early 19th century fisherman's cottage before and after repair work

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A tiny cliff-top cottage built more than 160 years ago has been repaired during works to improve a stunning section of the South West Coast Path.

The works on Cornwall's Roseland Peninsula were carried out thanks to funding raised through the Great South West Walk and cash from the Rural Development Programme for England.

They included sensitive repairs to Mallet's Cottage, the remains of a stone and cob building which, with no roof, has suffered from significant erosion.

Emma Shepherd, one of the National Trust rangers who worked on the project, said: "Repairing Mallet's cottage had been a 'wish-list' project for some time, and only now made possible through collaboration with the South West Coast Path team and invaluable financial input from RDPE.

"It's great to know this little cottage will weather the storms of a few more generations, to keep fisherman Mallet's story alive."

The tiny dwelling was originally built by a man named Mallet who pursued his trade as a fisherman from the cottage on the cliffs, returning to Veryan – and his wife – at weekends.

He kept a boat in the inlet beneath his home, hauling it up clear of the waves when not in use. In the 1840s he emigrated to Australia, leaving his wife behind.

Further work was carried out at various locations to renew several flights of steps at busy sections of the path, including the popular beach at Porthcurnick, situated close to the village of Portscatho, which is well used by locals and visitors alike and home to the popular Hidden Hut beach cafe.

Along with providing the low tide route for the coast path, the main access to the beach is via a long flight of concrete steps which have now been recast.

The Great South West Walk took place earlier this year to celebrate the South West Coast Path Association's 40th anniversary.

It raised more than £500,000 and identified 90 much-needed improvement projects around the entire 630-mile route.

Association secretary Steve Church said: "The association is delighted to have been able to allocate funding from our Great South West Walk to enable these projects.

"The Roseland length of the coast path is simply beautiful, and these works have not only brought about practical improvements but have also enabled repairs to a picturesque and historic feature of great interest to all those who walk this stunning coastline."

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