21. Perranporth

Perranporth Beach is a westerly facing beach on the north west coast of Cornwall.

The beach is wide and gently sloping with a well-developed and extensive dune system behind. The dunes were stabilised in the 1980s by marram grass planting, which has led to large open sand slopes becoming vegetated.

The sand is soft and fine grained with a large proportion of shell fragments.

The active dune face is healthy but mobile and experiences some cliffing after winter storms. The back dunes are relatively healthy and stable with vegetation and bare hollows.

The beach is also the confluence of two rivers, the Perrancoombe Stream draining from the west and the Bolingey stream from the east.

The built-up area on the southwestern side is protected by vertical sea walls. The central car park area is protected by a vertical sea wall. The northern development is protected by stone walls and gabions.

The beach is highly managed for amenity and leisure purposes. This includes the moving of sand to clean the beach and provide an artificially level seating area, which can result in cliffing after intense storms.

The area around the “Watering Hole” and Surf Life Saving Club hut are also managed to provide lifesaving access and amenity for events.

There are high recreational/tourism pressures on the system.

Walkover report and photos of 23 August 2021


Upper beach constrained by seawall and car parking. Flood risk due to excessive wave run-up. Presence of amenity assets in the active beach area adjacent to Penhale SAC.
Potential Actions
Create additional width and resilience through relocating beach-side parking and encouraging sediment retention and dune formation on newly reclaimed upper beach area. Link work in this area to dynamic dunes at Penhale and relocation of amenity beach assets (SLSC etc.) as part of an integrated sediment strategy for whole frontage, to deliver resilience not just to community and properties, but SAC and habitats.
Community Groups
  • Beach management sub-group of Parish Council
  • Perranporth Marine Conservation Group
  • Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club.
Key Stakeholders
  • Perranzabuloe Parish Council
  • The Watering Hole
CCMA potential

Shoreline Management Plan
SMP Management Area: MA30
SMP Policy Unit: PU30.3
SMP Policies:
  • Present - Hold The Line
  • Transition - Managed Realignment
  • Target - Managed Realignment
Link to SMP Chapter 4 assessment for Management Area 30

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