8. Maenporth

Maenporth is an easterly facing cove lying on the south coast between the Fal Estuary to the east and the Helford Estuary to the west. 

It has a wide and gently sloping beach with soft sand up to the backshore dune, which is levelled for car parking.

The cove is approached by two valleys. The northern one contains a wetland and pool. The outflow from the pool discharges into a tunnel, beneath the road and emerges through a portal within the cliff rock, onto the beach. The southern valley is low-lying, below the level of the road and levelled sand bar.

There is a narrow strip of dune between the car park and the road. There is low-lying wetland behind the road.

There are no coastal defences other than the car parking area. This is presently a bare sand surface.

Walkover report and photos of 10 November 2021


Coastal squeeze, erosion and inundation threatens locally critical transport links and potential impacts on habitats.
Potential Actions
Innovative managed realignment schemes required to enable roll back, and increase extent of backshore, to deliver habitat improvement and to make transport links more resilient to coastal change.
Community Groups
Residents' Association
Key Stakeholders

  • Café and car park
  • The Cove Restaurant
CCMA potential

Shoreline Management Plan
SMP Management Area: MA13
SMP Policy Unit: PU13.4
SMP Policies:
  • Present - Hold the Line
  • Transition - Managed Realignment
  • Target - Managed Realignment
Link to SMP Chapter 4 assessment for Management Area 13

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