Cornish choughs and a chirpy new print for spring

posted on January 16th, 2015 by Laura Ellis

We’ve been excitingly welcoming in beautiful new Seasalt styles over the last couple of weeks, spring is on its way! One particular print has captivated us all. Laura Watson, one of our talented designers, has created a chirpy unique print called Kissing Choughs, featuring Cornwall’s most famous bird.

Kissing Choughs the latest pattern from Seasalt designer Laura Watson

At Lizard Point, the most southerly point of mainland Britain, choughs, which were absent for many years, can now happily be found in abundance. We think Seasalt designer, Laura, has captured their cheeky personalities perfectly in this print.

The chough (pronounced ‘chuff’) is a member of the crow family, sharing the same inky black plumage. However, unlike other crows the cheeky chough has a distinctive and easily identified bright red bill, legs and feet, and a loud, ringing call. It’s this distinct call that gives the chough it’s name. However, the bird’s Cornish name, Palores, means Digger, a reference no doubt to its habit of digging away at loose soil to find invertebrates.

It’s the national bird of Cornwall and features on the coat of arms, proudly sitting on top of the crest flanked by a tin miner and fisherman. It is widely used in Cornish heraldry showing the significance of the bird on Cornish history. One Cornish legend states that King Arthur did not die but was transformed into a red-billed chough, its red feet and bill signifying Arthur’s violent and bloody end.

Sadly the increase of trophy hunters and degradation of the chough’s preferred habitat towards the end of the 18th century meant a steady decline in numbers.

Cornish chough painted by in house Seasalt Artist Matt Johnson
The year 1947 saw the last successful nesting attempt in Cornwall. An ageing pair of choughs lived near Newquay between 1960–1967 but one of the pair was found dead in March 1967. Its partner patrolled the cliffs alone until 1973 when it too, the last of the Cornish choughs, was seen no more.

For the next 28 years, choughs remained absent from Cornwall. But early in the spring of 2001, a group of three wild choughs took up residence on the Lizard and in 2002, two of the birds raised young, the first in Cornwall in more than 50 years! Happily, thanks to this pioneering duo, there are now 7 breeding pairs, and it is estimated that over 70 youngsters have fledged from Cornish nests.

In the autumn and winter months, flocks can be found performing fantastic acrobatic diving and swooping displays on the Lizard. Favourite chough nesting sites include sea caves, cliff crevices, old buildings, quarries and mine shafts – where they’re safely tucked away from the worst of the Cornish weather. So if you’re taking a stroll around the Lizard peninsula be sure to keep an eye out for the cheeky Cornish bird. If you are lucky enough to spot a chough or two you can report your sightings to the RSPB who are working to help protect them. To report your chough sightings, email cornishchoughs@rspb.org.uk or call 01392 453775.

If you’d like to find out more about Cornwall’s favourite bird this website knows all there is to know about Cornish choughs http://www.cornishchoughs.org/choughs/

These beautiful watercolour choughs were painted by our in-house Seasalt Artist, Matt Johnson.

Enjoy the last day of your Christmas break

posted on January 2nd, 2015 by Nikki Phillips

Heading back to work tomorrow? No one enjoys going back to the office after a fun-filled holiday, so to put a smile back on your face, we’ve made a list of our favourite activities for you to enjoy on the last day of the Christmas break.

  • Treat yourself – chomp your way through the last remaining biscuits, chocolates and mince pies(after all the post-Christmas healthy eating can’t start while there’s still goodies in the cupboard)
  • Grab your wellies – rather than spend your last day of freedom slouched on the sofa in front of the TV, brave the great outdoors and head to the woods, park or beach for a revitalising walk.
  • Go sale shopping – there are still some amazing bargains to be had, so wrap up warm and hit the high-street.
  • Cook – dust off those recipe books and make something delicious for tomorrow’s lunch. By packing yourself something scrummy you’ll have something to look forward to all morning.
  • Get into gardening – whether you live in the city or countryside, it’s easy to get into gardening. Pop to your local garden centre, pick up some soil and a pretty pot, plant some seeds and wait for them to bloom.
  • Craft – you could paint a mug with your favourite design to take to work, use fabrics to make a designer cover for your 2015 diary or customise a top to give it a revamp for the New Year!

Whatever you decide to do today, enjoy it!

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We Love Boats

posted on November 6th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Maritime life plays a huge part in who we are. We take our inspiration from the sea, from seaside towns and people who spend their lives on the coast. We can even see the sea from our Design Studio.

Being based in Falmouth means we are heavily influenced by the boats in around the Fal. For hundreds of years Cornish families have made their living dredging oysters in the Fal, with many of the traditional boats being made here in Falmouth. Unique Seasalt Falmouth Yacht Dot Print

Throughout the summer months many of the working boats can be seen racing through the waters, taking part in regattas around Cornwall and the rest of the country. It really is a spectacular sight to see the boats racing in full sail. Read the rest of this entry »

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

“Remember, remember, the 5th of November; gunpowder, treason and plot; I see no reason why gunpowder, treason; should ever be forgot.”

Bonfire Night was originally celebrated as a commemoration for foiling the grizzly plot to blow up King James I of England and other Parliament Members. Guy Fawkes, along with several others, had devised a plot to blow up the King and the Members of Parliament by setting light to gunpowder hidden beneath the Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »

A Room With A View

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Tucked away behind the nineteenth century chimney at the summit of Cape Cornwall is a little white building with spectacular views across the ocean. It’s the National Coastwatch Lookout Station for Cape Cornwall and it’s a fascinating place.

The station’s open 365 days a year, whatever the weather and manned entirely by volunteers. There are 24 active watch keepers at Cape Cornwall looking out for anyone in danger around the local coast, for flares and sailors in distress. We met Jonathan Rothwell, the Station Master for the Lookout Station to find out a little more…

Around midday there’s a handover to the second watch keeper to share any points of interest and the watch continues. Visitors are welcome and there’s often wildlife to spot – a pair of seals are frequently sighted at high tide enjoying the waves, with the warmer months bringing basking sharks and huge sunfish closer to the shore. Gulls, puffins, choughs and kestrels soar through the skies. At the end of the day, the logs and reports are filed and the coastguard notified that the station has closed. And as for the most unusual sighting? ‘A difficult choice between the Dawn Treader ship from the Narnia films or the JS el Carno a distinctive four masted Spanish schooner!’

The station’s day starts just before 8am when the first watch comes on duty to open up and declare facility status to Falmouth coastguard station. After phoning through a weather report to BBC Cornwall, all the marine vessels that pass by are logged. The station’s equipped with radar, online GPS tracking equipment, radio and a pair of custom made binoculars with an impressive  25 times magnification power. The watch keeper keeps an eye on all the local marine traffic, from huge container vessels right down to small lobster fishing boats and kayakers. They communicate any significant sightings or concerns by phone with other lookout stations and Falmouth coastguard station should any rescues be needed.

 

The Great British Beach Clean

posted on September 22nd, 2014 by Laura Ellis

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The Marine Conservation Society has put together a campaign to help keep British beaches clean. Last Friday Seasalt headed to Swanpool Beach in Falmouth to take part in the ‘Great British Beach Clean’.

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We met with several members of the public who came to help, including possibly the youngest member of any beach clean yet!

Armed with gloves, bags and grabbers we scoured the beach picking up rubbish.

We want to say a heartfelt thank you to those who turned out to help, and a huge thanks to Swanpool Beach Café for supporting us and for the yummy hot chocolates!

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The youngest member of our beach clean team

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We were horrified at the amount of rubbish we found.

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We marked down everything we collected

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Some well deserved Hot Chocolates

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Well done, team!

Have fun this August bank holiday in Cornwall!

posted on August 22nd, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski

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Would you believe that it’s nearly the end of August already? We can’t either. If you’re lucky enough to have some time off this Bank Holiday weekend, but aren’t sure what to do, here are our recommendations for getting out and about to make the most of the last of the summer sunshine. There’s plenty to do in Cornwall!

Mullion Scarecrow Spectacular – Friday 22nd until Tuesday 26th August

Every year, the Cornish village of Mullion hosts its annual ‘Scarecrow Spectacular’ weekend. For 2014 the theme is ‘proper job’ and each scarecrow will represent a different trade or profession. You can enter a competition to see if you can guess all 68 of the scarecrow jobs correctly!

Jubilee Pool Food Festival, Penzance – Saturday 23rd August from 10am – 5pm

If you’re a fantastic foodie, pop along to the Jubilee Pool Food Festival in Penzance on Saturday.  Your entry ticket includes a draw to win a lovely Cornish hamper stuffed with goodies, and you can sample some amazing food from local producers as well as a barbeque and live music. All proceeds go to ‘Save our Lido’ fund, in order to restore the much loved pool which was destroyed by the floods earlier in the year.

Cornwall Folk Festival, Wadebridge – Friday 22nd – Monday 25th August

It’s a packed programme this year at the festival, with lots of different artists playing in many venues across Wadebridge. Get your dancing shoes on!

Newlyn Fish Festival – Monday 25th August

Newlyn’s annual celebration of fishing and seafood is back: there’s a fish kitchen with live demonstrations, harbour demonstrations as well as music and activities for the kids.

If you’d like a slightly more relaxed weekend:

Go for a walk on the South West coastal path

There are many miles to choose from – stroll leisurely around the Lizard, or take in the dramatic scenery of Cornwall’s north coast.

Go fruit picking

Blackberry picking season has just started, and once you’ve finished your foraging, why not give our apple and blackberry crumble recipe a go?

Our Favourite Cornish Views

posted on July 25th, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski

St Michaels Mount

Here in Cornwall, we often come across some stunning views around the coast. Here are some of our favourites from West Penwith, the area which inspired the work of Denys Val Baker.

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The Seasalt guide to rockpooling in Cornwall!

posted on July 12th, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski

Seasalt guide to rockpooling in Cornwall

The summer holidays are nearly here, and it’s time to get out and about on the beach.  As well as the usual activities of building sandcastle, taking a sea swim and playing some beach tennis, Cornish beaches are great places to go rockpooling.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Seasalt team explore West Cornwall

posted on June 18th, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski

Kitty, Matt and Jacqui from our marketing team went to explore West Cornwall, the inspiration behind our next season.  It was a gorgeous day so they took lots of lovely pics as well as sketching the beautiful landscape.

Here’s a teaser – see if you can name any of the places that they visited!

Seasalt team visit to West Penwith

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