Case Studies

Beach Guardian Dunes Project – Constantine, Treyarnon and Porthcothan Dunes

Project Detail

This Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) grant recipient was awarded funding to develop and deliver activity plans to engage the local community in the management and care of the dunes.


Volunteers planting Christmas Trees on Porthcothan Beach to stabilise the dunes.
Volunteers planting marram grass on Constantine Dunes to stabilise an area suffering from severe erosion.
Volunteer workforce on Constantine Dunes, including Rob Stevenson, Beach Guardian CIC director and Community Engagement Officer, second from left.

Beach Guardians are a Community Interest Company (CIC) based in Constantine, north Cornwall, who have established themselves as a credible and high-profile community champion – leading beach cleans and doing out-reach work with schools and through social media to connect people with their environment.

They have recently trialled a new activity with dune restoration work at Constantine Bay and are now diversifying their activities to conserve and enhance sand dune habitat across three dune sites at Constantine, Treyarnon Bay and Porthcothan Bay on the North Cornwall Coast. Work on the dunes needs to be structured and planned in order to balance the need to improve the ecological habitats on the dunes with the need to stabilise them to ensure their survival and resilience to storms and changing weather. The project will develop a work plan for volunteers to follow in order to deliver on these aims, whilst engaging the community – schools, locals and visitors – in discussions and events to raise awareness of the importance and fragility of these habitats.

The beneficiaries have received funds to pay for:
Staff time – Community Engagement Officer – 0.5FTE for one year. This person will be one of the current Beach Guardians team, providing the required FiPL additionality by undertaking an entirely new project guided by a work plan to ensure the focus is on dune stability and ecology rather than their existing core business around beach litter – they will also engage landowners in discussion about sand dune roll-back.
Education events – to support schools and adult groups in education events on and relating to the dunes.
Expenses to support schools in travelling to visit the dunes.
Equipment for events – strong beach shelter and flags.
Volunteer training and equipment – to support diversification into new areas eg: scrub management with PPE, hand tools and bespoke training.

This project has been developed in partnership with Making Space 4 Sand – a Cornwall Council project to support communities in adapting to changing landscapes around sand dune mobility and conservation. The project will support the landowners in the management of the dunes.

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Our Primary Purpose is to conserve and enhance Natural Beauty.

Our priority is to lead and support projects which deliver under these four key categories.

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benefit to people


There are more opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape.
There are increased opportunities for more diverse audiences to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape.
There is greater public engagement in land management, for example through volunteering

benefit to place


The quality and character of the landscape is reinforced or enhanced.

benefit to nature


There is a greater area of wildlife rich habitat.
There is greater connectivity between habitats.
Existing habitat is better managed.
There is an increase in biodiversity.

benefit to climate


The landscape is more resilient to climate change.

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Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) is a 4-year programme providing grant-funding for Farmers and Landowners designed to deliver for People, Place, Nature and Climate. The programme is funded by Defra and delivered locally by Cornwall AONB.

The programme focuses on the key challenges facing farmers, land managers and communities in Protected Landscapes – helping to address the climate and biodiversity crisis, improve people’s engagement with the landscape, and support sustainable farm businesses and communities.The programme is running until March 2025.

Value of Project£24,862
FiPL Funding Awarded£24,862
Quote from Landowner/ Funding RecipientRob Stevenson, Beach Guardian says: ”This project represents another chapter to the evolving services that we provide through Beach Guardian.
It’s incredibly important that we protect and enhance dune systems as they have a value beyond that which can be seen. We look forward to working with the FiPL programme and MS4S project to help make a positive difference. 
At Beach Guardian we love people of all ages helping us to protect where we love and to be able to get young people from schools and colleges down to the beach to understand the value of our landscapes and to work alongside volunteers of all ages is really important.
We appreciate the support in facilitating this existing project for our community.”
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