The Helford River is a very special place for a wide range of marine wildlife, for the people that live and work alongside it and the many visitors who enjoy its scenic beauty. Its richness was officially recognised in 1987, when the Helford Voluntary Marine Conservation Area was designated to help protect the diverse marine life of this beautiful estuary.

The Helford Marine Conservation Group is a voluntary organisation working to safeguard the marine life of the beautiful Helford River, to increase its biological diversity and raise awareness of its marine interest and importance.

A wide-ranging programme of exciting events gives people of all ages and abilities a chance to explore and learn more about the many facets of this very special place. Activities include seashore safaris, wildflower walks, photography days and conservation cruises.

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Shoresearch is a citizen science project run by Cornwall Wildlife Trust that aims to improve our understanding of marine life within and around Cornwall’s Marine Protected Areas. Volunteers are provided training on shore identification and are encouraged to take part in organised events and to run their own surveys.

See what we found in rook-pooling on Helford Passage beach at Christmas:

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Helford River Rockpooling

A hint of warm weather and we flock to the beach and where nicer than the little beaches around the Helford where the dog can come too and there is a wealth of fascinating wildlife to see in our rockpools. 

Spiny starfish. Image: Ruth Williams.
Spiny starfish. Image: Ruth Williams.
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  • Sun 6 May 2018
    10:00am - 1:00pm

    Wildlife Ramble – Bosahan Woods

    Constantine, Falmouth (Meet at the junction of Fore Street and Well Lane under the notice board, across the road from the Spar Shop) SW 731 291

    Free for Under 18’s and HMCG Members £4 for others

    A guided walk through Bosahan Woods to enjoy the wildflowers and look for mammal tracks and signs.  This is is an atmospheric mixed woodland with a disused quarry at one end and the remains of a mill at the other and a river running through it.  Great for wildlife!

    Booking: Sue Scott 01326 340961

  • Sun 13 May 2018
    3:30pm - 5:30pm

    Conservation Cruise

    Ferryboat Inn Jetty (Ferryboat Inn side) TR11 5LB SW 764 269 (allow plenty of time for parking and embarking!)

    Adults £12 Children £6

    Come with us on our annual conservation cruise down the river, in and out of every creek to take in the wildlife, geography, geology and history of the estuary with our own local experts.  We will also have displays and children’s activities.  Warm clothes and water proofs just in case! Binoculars useful.

    Booking via Eventbrite or Sue Scott 01326 340961 for tickets and payment details.

  • Tue 29 May 2018
    10:00am - 12:00pm

    Wild Foods Walk-SOLD OUT

    Meet at Helford village carpark

    Leader: Caroline Davey from Fat Hen.

    Free for Under 18’s and HMCG Members £4 for others

    Join local expert Caroline Davey on a guided wild food walk to identify edible spring plants found in the hedgerows and woodland around the Helford. Learn about the culinary and medicinal uses for these plants, historical facts and how to forage sustainably, legally and safely.

    Booking via Eventbrite. Low tech? call instead, Sue Scott 01326 340961

  • Sat 16 Jun 2018
    5:00pm - 8:00pm

    Sunset Paddle Board up the Helford

    Durgan: Park at Bosveal National Trust Carpark (£2)

    Leader: Jenn Sandiford, this is a Cornwall Wildlife Trust Event, with SUP instructor Laurence Smith from Ocean High.

    Join the Your Shore Beach Rangers for a Sunset SUP Session on the Helford.  Setting out from Durgan Beach, relax and float along the river looking out for the beautiful local wildlife, explore this exquisite bit of Cornwall from a different perspective.  Followed by a BBQ on the beach to discuss our finds.

    Cost £20 per person, £10 for under 24’s subsidised by YSBR.

    Booking: Jenn on 07973728775.

    Strictly for those with prior experience of stand up paddle boards only, but Ocean High are offering 1 hour SUP lessons for £20 prior to this event, call for more details. Spaces limited and booking essential. Sorry no under 11’s, under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult, or complete a consent form.

    Bring: Wetsuit, wetsuit boots or old trainers, all SUP equipment provided

  • Sun 15 Jul 2018
    12:00pm - 2:30pm

    The Big Seaweed Search

    Prisk Cove: Meet at Mawnan Church, Old Church Road, Mawnan TR11 5HY SW 788 272

    Free Event

    Come and join in with the Marine Conservation Society’s Seaweed project.  We have a permanent recording transect set up in 2017 and will be searching for the fourteen species of Seaweed required.  A great start to learn your Seaweeds and how to undergo a simple survey. Leaders Angie Gall and Sue Scott.

  • Sun 29 Jul 2018
    10:30am - 1:00pm

    Wildlife Treasure Hunt

    near Constantine, Falmouth

    Free for Wildlife Watch and HMCG Members

    A beautiful, low input organic farm, with meadows, woodland, pond and the remains of an iron age round all leading down to the banks of the Helford.  A perfect spot for a wildlife treasure hunt.  Prizes for winning teams and best wildlife finds!  Why not bring a picnic and have lunch afterwards?  Event in partnership with Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Watch.

    Book via Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

  • Thu 30 Aug 2018
    1:30pm - 3:30pm

    Rockpool Ramble

    Prisk Cove: Meet at Mawnan Church, Old Church Road, Mawnan TR11 5HY SW 788 272

    Free for Under 18’s and HMCG Members £4 for others

    Investigate the fascinating rock pools at Prisk Cove and discover the hidden world of crabs, fish, sea anemones and strange shellfish with marine expert Ruth Williams. Please wear non slip rock scrambling shoes that you are prepared to get wet, wellies or wetsuit boots.

    Booking via Eventbrite. Low tech? call instead Sue Scott 01326 340961

  • Sat 1 Sep 2018

    Bats of the Helford

    Mawnan Church, Church Rd TR11 5HY

    Leader Dr Carol Williams of Bat Conservation Trust

    Carol will give a brief talk to introduce you to the cast of bats that make this part of Cornwall their home. The talk will include an introduction to being a bat detective using bat ultrasound as our key clue to identity. Tea, coffee and cakes. We will then put our new skills into practice with a walk to look for and listen to bats using detectors that allow us to hear their nightly activity.

    Booking via Eventbrite. Low tech? call instead Sue Scott 01326 340961

  • Sat 15 Sep 2018
    3:00pm - 6:00pm

    Snorkel Safari and Barbeque

    Durgan Beach Helford River SW 773 272

    Our end of summer barbeque and get together on the beach.  If you like to snorkel join the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Marine Experts on a guided tour of the Helford Eelgrass beds then warm up with a tasty BBQ.  Snorkelers must bring their own equipment including wetsuit, snorkel, mask and fins.

    Barbeque £5

    Booking Essential (snorkel places limited) call Sue Scott 01326 340961

  • Sat 10 Nov 2018

    How we do it: the work of British Divers Marine Life Rescue in Cornwall

    Gweek Village Hall, TR12 6UG

    Free for Under 18’s and HMCG Members £4 for others

    British Divers Marine Life Rescue is a nationwide charity set up in 1988 that trains people how to respond to marine animals in distress reported to their 24hr hotline.  One of the busiest areas in the country is Cornwall, where the local team have faced some of the most difficult, and sometimes surprising, situations over the years.  Here, Welfare Development and Field Support Officer Dan Jarvis will be sharing some of the most memorable and heart-warming, or sometimes heart-breaking, stories that can be told of their experiences in marine animal rescue, with a special focus on the Lizard Peninsula, Helford River and surrounding area.

  • Sat 19 Jan 2019

    The Plight of the Bumblebee…and other pollinators

    Gweek Village Hall, TR12 6UG

    Free for Under 18’s and HMCG Members £4 for others

    Prof Juliet Osborne and Dr Pete Kennedy have been studying bumblebees, honeybees and other pollinators for over 20 years.  This talk will cover the ecology and conservation of these important insects, and highlight what is being done to protect and promote their populations in Cornwall

© Helford Voluntary Marine Conservation Area