Port Navas Quay and the Oysterage

As many readers will be aware, the Wright Brothers have agreed with the Duchy that they will be ending their occupation of the oyster farm. The oyster beds are being cleared of Pacific oysters and over the course of the winter, all the cages, racks and other apparatus will be removed from the river. Ideally, by the 31st March 2017 this process should be complete and all their activity on the river, quay and in the buildings will cease. If due to unforeseen circumstances the withdrawal takes longer than anticipated, we have agreed a slightly later long stop date of the 30th April.

The Duchy is considering how we best structure the use of the river for shellfish production and the use facilities at the oyster farm in the future. Although the detail of the solution has yet to be finalised, there are some principles emerging which we thought you might find of interest:

Given its long history and local significance, we are keen to retain the use of the oyster fishery in the river. Albeit aware of the risks, our thoughts are that this will only be for native oyster production. How and by whom this is to be undertaken has yet to be decided but our early enquires are very encouraging.

The extent to which any new ventures utilise the quay and buildings has yet to be worked through but irrespective, we are mindful of the value which the local community places on the use of the quay and part of the solution will ensure that the quay is returned to a condition that is more conducive to the publics use.

We don’t anticipate any changes to the arrangements for moorings over the Duchy’s estate on the Helford, which will continue to be managed by Helford River Moorings and we are working on a plan that will ensure the continuity of the management of moorings and anchorage on the river following on immediately after the Wright Brothers departure.

These various aims will be pieced together over the course of the coming months and I would hope to be able to provide an update and opportunity for discussion in the early part of the new year, before they are finalised.

Chris Gregory
Land Steward, Duchy of Cornwall