I mentioned the Loe Bar in my recent post, Porthleven and this is a follow-up to explain what the Loe Bar is all about.
The Loe or Loe Pool is the largest body of fresh water in Cornwall and hides what was once a valley formed by the estuary of the River Cober. When sea levels rose during the Holocene period, the Loe Pool formed when the estuary became blocked by a the actions of the sea that created a bar of sand and shingle creating a natural dam, blocking the estuary. At least that’s one theory as to the age and creation of the pool..
The drowned river valley, a geographical phenomenon known as a Ria, extends several miles out to sea. The bank of sand that blocked the estuary leading to the formation of the Loe or Loe Pool is known as the Loe Bar. It is thought that Longshore Drift plays an important part in the maintenance of the Bar, with a strong current flowing to the south-east from Porthleven to Gunwalloe, depositing shingle along the Bar. The ebb flow is not a simple reverse flow and is not strong enough to remove all the deposits. Yesterday, I had an appointment with my printer to view some proofs and with the Penrose Estate not very far away, it was the perfect opportunity to go and take a look.
70mm f/10 1/200 sec. ISO-100
The Penrose Estate and the Loe Pool are beautiful and I have Laura to thank, one of the National Trust rangers at the Penrose Estate, and Countryside Mobility South West, for making it possible for me to see it. Countryside Mobility South West are a National Lottery funded charity, working to make the countryside more accessible to disabled people. One way they do this is to provide Tramper mobility scooters to organisations willing to join the scheme. They also have specially adapted boats on several lakes around the county that allow for a wheelchair to be wheeled aboard.
The tramper scooters are the mobility scooter equivalent of an off-road 4×4 and are able to handle pretty much whatever you throw at them in terms of rough and steep terrain. This makes it possible for disabled people like myself to gain access to places our wheelchairs wouldn’t allow use to get to normally.
With an eye-watering top of 4 miles per hour I set off for the Loe Bar. The trail was rough and fairly steep in places but I suspect my wheelchair would have handled the trail but with it being so rough, I think it would have drained my battery fairly quickly and the worry of running out of juice is not one you want when you’re out to enjoy a beautiful spring afternoon in a very beautiful place. I had no such worry with the tramper.
The Loe Pool is long and thin as you would expect from a flooded valley, and as you follow its banks you’re treated to some beautiful views. I could smell the sea however and I was itching to get to the Loe Bar. This is what I saw when I got there..
52mm f/14 1/160 sec. ISO-100
Cornwall produces tons of daffodils for distribution around the country and for export and at this time of year and particularly in this part of Cornwall, you see many fields of daffodils just waiting to be picked, just like in the pictures below..
24mm f/13 1/250 sec. ISO-100
With the Easter holidays starting this week, is was nice to see people out enjoying the fine weather. These boys on their bikes were racing ahead of mum and dad, dawdling behind..
24mm f/11 1/250 sec. ISO-100
On occasion, to prevent flooding in up river Helston, the bar has been breached, a practice known locally as ‘cutting’, to allow much more of the fresh water to flow out to sea. The bar has always naturally resealed itself.