And that includes the fantastic legacy of the Partnership, which may even begin to meet face to face again as restrictions lift.
It includes looking at the new challenges ahead, and knowing that our strength lies in our ability to collaborate, to communicate, and to adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
And it includes learning about how we can become more resilient, like considering how to embrace and use new thinking, like doughnut economics, which gives us a frame to make sure that whatever we do economically, no-one is left behind, and at the same time, we don’t breach our planetary boundaries.
2: our people: access to all our places for one and all
There’s lots said about equal acccess, and making sure we have a fair society. But the truth is that our society does not make it easy for everyone to share what we have. If we want to see our place, our home, our community, as a shared asset, something for all people to live in and also visit, then we need to constantly make sure we’re not leaving people behind. It’s no good if we have fabulous places that people come to visit from afar, but we have forgotten to make sure our own communities can do so to; or if we make sure you can come and enjoy this place, as long as you have no disability that makes it impossible, and you can’t even let us know about it.
That’s how we keep life less than it could be, for everyone. Which we definitely don’t want to be doing.
So we’re working on a plan to collaborate with Disability Cornwall, The Sensory Trust, local social prescribers, local volunteering charity Volunteer Cornwall, community members and businesses and attractions to see how truly accessible we are and make it even better. We have trampers to see the landscape, and National Trust volunteers to help people use them; and we have clear signage and a warm welcome; but you don’t know what you don’t know, as they say. So we’re going to find out.
And we’re going to be working with local community members with a range of conditions to test what we do, to makes sure we DO know what we didn’t know about access. Watch this space.
Photo: Perran Tremewan
3: our decisions: deciding together how to manage our place for the common good
We know there’s a lot of interest in places like ours. Things like new routes that are part of a wider cycling or walking route, new extreme sport proposals, film companies, theatre companies, books, articles and programmes on wild swimming or fly/overnight camping or “hidden” beaches – and more. To keep it a thriving community in a spectacular place, we need to manage that interest. So the Partnership will work to make sure that local community members are informed about interest that could have a negative impact, on our people, our place, our habitat and our economy, so we can consider and decide ourselves, and manage our place, together, as a community.
The question we must always ask ourselves is how the Partnership can provide support for the local community impacted by the promotion of our place, by any commercial or promotional activity. This is often lead by organisations and businesses from outside of the area, who may not be aware of local infrastructure pressures and the aims of sustainable tourism.
What we aim to be is the community-run body with strategic clout to ensure that any promotion of our place means that our community, environment and wildlife come first. What we’ve learned is how to do that via sensitivity testing, good honest communication amongst small and larger players, Visitor Charter messaging, working hard to manage our local roads and parking and resident access, relentless promotion of Countryside codes and Marine Codes, and constant reflection. The lessons continue.
As noted by one community member (who speaks for community members in every single community that has a tourism industry):
❝"Before you open your comm's channels, camera lens, app, laptop or mouth.... work with us to think about putting our community first.... "❞
As the wise woman said, tourism can warm your home, or it can burn down your house. We are absolutely going to make sure our homes, and these wonderful places, are warmed by our visitor economy, and that we share that warmth, and wonder, with the fantastic people who visit us. So it can keep being a home, and keep being wonderful, for everyone.
Thanks for reading this short summary of over two years of hard graft, unexpected catastrophe, and underpinning resilience.
If you want to contact us, you can do so by emailing us at hello at tin coast dot org dot uk. We’d love to chat.