17. Harvey Towans

Harvey Towans lie on the right (east) bank of the Hayle Estuary, within St Ives Bay on the north coast. 

It forms the eastern corner of the mouth of the estuary, with the western dune facing westward toward Lelant Towans, and the eastern end facing north-east.

The southern extent of the dunes is limited by development in progress. The landward extent of the vegetated dunes is limited by an industrial estate and residential properties along the northern side.

The north-east facing beach is wide but stepped, with the backshore seemingly high and level then sloping steeply to a relatively gently sloping intertidal zone.

At the northern limit of the beach, there is a high sand area separated from the cliffs by a dry gorge or channel. 

The sand is soft and medium-grained with a high shell content. The sand becomes coarser-grained toward the eastern end of the north facing beach. Along the northern facing beach, seaward of the active face, are a line of young marram grass vegetation attempting to establish within dune ripples. This might indicate an earlier position of vegetation and the active face.

The active face is relatively healthy, though under immense pressure. The north facing dunes to the east have segments of dune and bare rock. There is a lot of rock scree coating the active face in places, possibly indicating recent erosion of the upper rock material.

On the eastern shoulder of the estuary, there is a line of cobbles and small boulders within the material at the toe of the active face. These may have been placed, or eroded structures, as there are brick and concrete elements.

Walkover report and photos of 26 January 2022

DW17_Harvey Towans_2022-01-26.pdf

Erosion. Risks to local transport routes.
Potential Actions
Develop better understanding of magnitude of future coastal change and dune migration.
Community Groups
Save Our Sands (SoS) – Hayle Community Action Group.
Key Stakeholders

None yet identified
CCMA potential

Shoreline Management Plan
SMP Management Area: MA27
SMP Policy Unit: PU27.7
SMP Policies:
  • Present - Managed Realignment
  • Transition - Managed Realignment
  • Target - Managed Realignment
Link to SMP Chapter 4 assessment for Management Area 27

A link to the Harvey Towans page on the 'Let's Talk Cornwall' website will appear here in due course.