Autumn Has Arrived. So Has The Sewage!

Following a very pleasant period of dry weather earlier in September the rains have arrived in North Cornwall.

Here is the Netweather.tv rain radar map from yesterday evening:

I suggested on Twitter that it would be prudent to consult the Surfer’s Against Sewage water quality map this morning. This is what it reveals:


Although not yet shown on the SAS map the Environment Agency’s bathing water quality map suggests not going surfing today at our local big beach break:

In related news here is this morning’s graph of the pound/dollar exchange rate:

It seems everything is going down the pan simultaneously here in Kernow, under the current Government in Westminster. Except bankers’ bonuses in the City of London of course! According to the Guardian:

The City watchdog is being urged to investigate whether leaks of Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget allowed billionaire hedge fund investors to make “small fortunes” by betting against the pound.

Tulip Siddiq, the shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, said the Financial Conduct Authority needed to determine whether it was possible for traders to have used insider information to benefit from the crashing currency.

The pound fell to an all-time low of $1.03 against the dollar overnight on Monday before recovering lost ground amid speculation that the Bank of England would raise interest rates to shore up the economy.

Perhaps we need our own currency here in Kernow? Bring back the dynar!

Camelford’s Visions of the Tory Mini Budget

I haven’t had my flowing locks trimmed by a professional since before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier today I corrected that oversight at Visions Unisex Hair Salon in the centre of Camelford:

My by now somewhat unruly coiffure was professionally tamed by Jess. Then as I was paying I couldn’t help but notice this picture of Jess, Tracey and Visions’ proprietor Kerrie:

More about the Visions’ team’s charitable activities in due course, but having pledged myself to support their current fund raising effort on behalf of the Marie Curie cancer charity we had an animated discussion about the difficulties of running a small business in rural North Cornwall in the current economic climate. By way of example Kerrie told me that it’s hard to keep your head above water in the current climate, and two other hairdressers in Camelford have closed in the last six months. Which no doubt explains why the first number I called this morning is now unobtainable.

After leaving Visions I crossed the road to record this video, which is now available on Twitter:

If I’d had more time I would have popped into the Camelford Conservative Club to ask them what their energy bills were last winter, what those bills are now, and what budget they have allocated for the purchase of energy over the coming winter.

Watch this space!

See also:The Mini Budget’s Assault on Nature



Twitter Troubles in North Cornwall

We are currently locked out of the Davidstow.info Twitter account. It seems as though one of Twitter’s illustrious algorithms has taken exception to a video I first uploaded yesterday evening.

Here it is on YouTube, with an added bonus music track:

This was the notification we received via our now “locked” Twitter account:

I didn’t delete the Tweet, because it didn’t violate any of “the Rules“!

Twitter also notified me that the account was locked via email. After the account was eventually unlocked I replied asking Twitter Support to provide an explanation for the inexplicable behaviour of their automated rule violation detection system:

Re: Case# 0288115441: Your account is suspended or locked [ ref:_00DA0K0A8._5004w2VeUf9:ref ]

Good morning (UTC),

Please can you explain what alleged “violations of the Twitter Rules” caused the problem in the first place? We have no desire to innocently post another wholly harmless video of the local landscape which nonetheless seems to fall foul of some “rule” that isn’t amongst the list on your web site!

Your initial notification wasn’t very helpful, to say the least:

Specifically for what?

Best wishes,

Jim Hunt

Watch this space!



The Autumn 2022 Wave of Covid-19 in Cornwall

The UK Government is now only updating its Covid-19 Dashboard once a week. Here’s last week’s Cornwall wide overview:

The effectiveness of the current Covid-19 testing regime is certainly open to question, but an increase of almost 25% in a week certainly gives some cause for concern.

Zooming in to North Cornwall, there is currently a “hot spot” of cases just up the A39 “Atlantic Highway” from here in the Poundstock MSOA:

There are currently fewer hotspots with a weekly case rate over 100 per 100,000 population in West Cornwall:

Recently there has also been a slight increase in Covid admissions to the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust:

This analysis suggests that hospital admissions across South West England as a whole have also started to increase:

“Implied R estimate rising towards 1.0”. We await next week’s data with much interest.

[Edit – September 22nd]

The case rates across the county on September 17th don’t look alarming in the least:

However the same cannot be said for hospital admissions:

What could possibly have caused that sudden spike in admissions on September 19th?

[Edit – September 29th]

His Majesty’s Government have released the latest weekly Covid-19 statistics, and they do not look encouraging for Cornwall. Let’s start with the case rates on September 24th, although as we shall see the current lack of exhaustive testing means they are a long way from the whole story:

The weekly case rate per 100,000 population has almost double in one week across the county as a whole. Here in North(ish) Cornwall the current “hot spot” is Callington with a case rate of over 200. There is also a wide area with over 100 cases per 100,000:

Things don’t look quite so bad further west, but Camborne East is also in the over 200 club:

Here is the most surprising sets of graphs. Hospital admissions and in-patients suffering from Covid-19 for the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust:

The data is incomplete for the past few days, but the most recent wave of Covid-19 in Kernow has already reached the level of the July peak.

Watch this space!

The 2022 Drought in Cornwall

For the previous article in this series please see:

The August Heatwave(s) in Cornwall

There ultimately proved to be two official heatwaves in August, but Autumn now seems to have arrived in North Cornwall. It is currently raining, but it remains to be seen how quickly the decline in Cornish reservoir levels can be reversed.

Earlier today the South West Lakes Trust updated their table of the current water levels of Cornish reservoirs:

South West Water also provide graphs for the largest two:

The water level at Colliford reduced by 3.1% of its total net capacity last week. Stithians fell by 3.2%. Our local Crowdy Reservoir declined by 2% over the week and Upper Tamar reservoir is down to 24% of its total net capacity.

[Edit – September 7th]

The recent rain in Cornwall doesn’t seem to have slowed down the decline of the water levels in our reservoirs much. South West Water have released last week’s water level data for Colliford and Stithians reservoirs, which look like this:

The water level at Colliford reduced by 2.4% of its total net capacity last week. Stithians fell by 3.0%, and is now down to 24.2% of its total net capacity.

[Edit – September 9th]

The South West Lakes Trust have now updated their table of the current water levels of Cornish reservoirs:

Thanks to the recent rains the water level at Crowdy Reservoir has stabilised at 40%. However Upper Tamar is down another 3%.

[Edit – September 15th]

Here’s the last four weeks record from the automated rainfall gauge 49104 at Colliford Lake:

Some of that rain is now making its way into Cornish reservoirs. For some reason South West Water haven’t updated their graphs yet. However the latest South West Lakes Trust table of the water levels in Cornish reservoirs reveals this :

Crowdy has increased by 1%, which is welcome news in the Davidstow area! Stithians has stabilised at 24%. However Colliford and Upper Tamar are both down another 1%.

[Edit – September 21st]

After missing last week’s update South West Water have released two weeks worth of water level data for Colliford and Stithians reservoirs, which now look like this:

With the advent of the current “Indian Summer” here in Cornwall the decline in reservoir levels has unfortunately resumed.

[Edit – September 24th]

The South West Lakes Trust have now updated their table of the current water levels of Cornish reservoirs:

Among the smaller reservoirs Crowdy is holding steady, but Upper Tamar is down another 2% to 18% of net capacity.

[Edit – September 29th]

South West Water have released last week’s water level data for Colliford and Stithians reservoirs:

It has been raining here in North Cornwall recently, but the reservoir levels are still dropping quickly:

The South West Lakes Trust have also updated their table of the current water levels of Cornish reservoirs:

Upper Tamar is looking particularly unhealthy, with a mere 16% of total net storage still available.

Watch this space!

The August Heatwave(s) in Cornwall

For the previous article in this series (which is becoming overly lengthy!) please see:

Drought for Cornwall later in 2022?

As the weeks have passed the answer to that question seems increasingly likely to be “Yes”. Hence we’ll begin August 2022 with the current water levels of Cornish reservoirs provided by the South West Lakes Trust:

South West Water also provide graphs for the largest two:

As you can see the water levels in both Colliford and Stithians reservoirs are already below their lowest levels last year. Colliford is also well below its level at the beginning of August 1995, a particularly dry year for Cornwall and other parts of the United Kingdom.

Continue reading “The August Heatwave(s) in Cornwall”

Drought for Cornwall later in 2022?

It seems as though summer has finally arrived here in North Cornwall. This is the Met Office weather forecast for the next week:

The Met Office has also issued a heat-health alert for the coming week, although it is seems unlikely that a “heat wave” will officially be declared in Cornwall:

Apart from the potential impact on human health, long periods of hot weather also mean reduced rainfall and increased demand for water. According to the BBC:

Continue reading “Drought for Cornwall later in 2022?”

The Omicron Variant of Covid-19 in Cornwall

Hospital admissions due to Covid-19 here in Cornwall have been reducing, but it looks as though that is about to change. Compare admissions into Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust hospitals over the last 3 months:

with those across South West England as a whole:

Admissions across the West Country are now at their highest level for over 12 months, and the (delayed) numbers in Cornwall have now started to rise as well. As indeed have the nationwide figures:

[Edit – March 21st]

The comments below show the continuing increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations over the last couple of weeks. After a break over the weekend today’s data has just been released. Here are the nationwide numbers:

Here are the rolling weekly case numbers per 100,000 population across Cornwall as a whole:

As you can see, cases in Cornwall 5 days ago are currently running 50% higher than the current nationwide average. Zooming in further several MSOA’s have case rates over 1,600, and the rates in both Saltash and Par are over 2,000:

Further west the case rate in Helston is now over 1,800 :

Watch this space!

Big Surf at Crackington Haven

Yesterday afternoon I packed my bodyboarding gear into the back of Lisa the LEAF and headed for Crackington Haven. I decided not to don my 5/4/3 winter wetsuit and head out into the pounding surf. However my trip was certainly not wasted:

https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1498255510642073605
https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1498259587140575233
https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1498299679221686276

According to the Wikipedia article on the “Geology of Dartmoor National Park” :

The Tavy Basin comprises an upper Devonian and Carboniferous sequence of mudstones and sandstones, together with chert. The Kate Brook Slate Formation is of Famennian age and consists of greenish-grey and black slates representing an outer shelf facies. The Crackington Formation which is a Namurian age turbidite deposit consisting of dark grey shales with sandstone layers.

Shelter from the Storm

I spoke to Graham Skinner at the Davidstow Flying Club earlier this evening, in the middle of a hailstorm. Graham has promised to send me much more detailed information on this incident, but for now here is my initial investigation into the recent arson attack on one of the flying club’s hangars and the aircraft inside it:

https://twitter.com/jim_hunt/status/1496947365399302151

’Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood

When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud

I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form

“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

Bob Dylan

[Edit – February 26th]

Graham has sent me some of the Flying Club’s photographs of the damage caused by the arson attack. Here’s what used to be a secure shelter for some microlights:

and here are all that’s left of two of the club’s microlight aircraft:

As Graham put it in his email to me:

The fires made holes in the hangar roof and then the recent extremely high winds destroyed that hangar.  The club over time had spent several  thousands of pounds on it. Now in ruins.

Very sad times for Davidstow Flying Club, but we are such a strong enthusiastic group this will NOT deter us from pursuing  our love of aviation.

I have also been informed that subsequently a twin axle Ifor Williams trailer was stolen from the damaged hangar. Here’s a picture of it:

It seems that it has been seen in the Camelford area since the theft. Whilst such trailers are not uncommon around here this one is obviously not in factory fresh condition, and hence has some identifying characteristics.

If you spot it please contact the Police.

Watch this space!