28. Porthcothan

Situated on the north coast between Newquay and Padstow.

Porthcothan is a west facing beach backed by a small dune system.

The beach is wide and gentle with a gradient break above Mean High Water. On the left hand side (south) water drains out of the sand during ebb tides.

Sand on beach is coarse but finer on the dunes.

The dunes at the back of the beach are high and healthy but constrained by the road.

Scrub is present in the area in the low-lying area between the dunes and the road.

On the right hand side (north) the Porthcothan Stream flows beneath the road (Photo 10) and onto the northern part of the beach. Reed vegetation around stream appears to be helping to stabilise dune sand.

The left hand side (south) has residential properties close to the cliff edge. There is no sign of coastal defences.

Walkover report and photos of 8 March 2022


Closed system/sediment starvation. Poor ecological condition. Coastal squeeze. Recreational pressure. Poor interpretation.
Potential Actions
Deliver dune restoration works.
Community Groups
Beach Guardians
Key Stakeholders

None yet identified
CCMA potential

Shoreline Management Plan
SMP Management Area: MA33
SMP Policy Unit: PU33.6
SMP Policies:
  • Present - No Active Intervention
  • Transition - No Active Intervention
  • Target - No Active Intervention
Link to SMP Chapter 4 assessment for Management Area 33

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