Coastwatch Plans On Scilly Likely To Go Ahead

John Davis (left) and Richard Hews of Coastwatch

It appears likely that the islands will have a Coastwatch lookout station.

Twelve islanders attended a presentation at Tregarthen’s Hotel last night and eight said they’d join.

The group need twelve but organisers feel they will be able to tell their national trustees there’s enough support.

Most attendees were retired and Boscatle Coastwatch boss, John Davis says they don’t usually attract younger volunteers, as they don’t have as much time to spare.

NCI trustee Richard Hews told the meeting that it would be a “keen and interesting station.”

Peter Laverock, who has offered access to the roof of his home in the Telegraph Tower, said there’s been discussions about starting a group for around seven years.

Peter says the building is almost ready and John said you could go there now with a set of binoculars and almost begin watching.

Richard says they’re not trying to fill gaps left by the downsizing in Government agencies. He says they’re simply providing an additional lookout service and contact the Coastguard if they spot anything amiss.

Although the national group will make a £500 donation and a loan to the new group in Scilly, the islands’ group will still need to bring in around £3000 a year to meet costs.

Last night's meeting at Tregarthen's Hotel

The mainland model for that includes Flag Days and supermarket collections.

Boscastle raises much of its running costs from tourists.

John thinks Scilly is a popular destination and there should be enough visitors who will help with the running costs.

He says there isn’t much needed at first, just binoculars, marine charts and radio. They could add radar later if funds were sufficient.

Richard says he doesn’t know of any other lookout in Britain that has the all-round vision offered by the Telegraph Tower, which he described as “magnificent.”

However, there are blindspots and John said it may be possible to use cameras on St Martin’s to cover the area that can’t be seen.

A committee of 5 or 6 will be needed but it was felt that, whoever that is, it can’t be someone who holidays for an extended period.

They will also need to appoint a Station Manager, Treasurer and Secretary.