Plans to reinstate the Calstock Passenger Ferry on a trial basis are well under way for launching (pun intended) next Spring! Scheme Manager Will Darwall collected the new electric ferry from Yacht Haven Quay in Plymouth and sailed it down the Tamar to Calstock, to much excitement. It will now be stored in Calstock Boatyard whilst being fully kitted out to meet the Maritime and Coastguard Agency certification requirements.
Over the last few months, the Tamara team have been beavering away behind the scenes to source and buy the electric powered boat that will become the new Calstock passenger ferry. It will operate on a trial basis between Ferry Farm on the Devon side of the Tamar and Calstock on the Cornish side. This will of course enable people to walk the Tamara Coast to Coast Way without needing to take the train from Bere Ferrers to Calstock. We also hope to operate routes to Cotehele and potentially to Ward Quay opposite Cotehele, enabling a wonderful circular short walk along both banks of the Tamar. There may also be potential for bird watching trips as the boat, being electric powered, is extremely quiet so can sneak up on the birds without frightening them away.
Will Darwall, Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme Managers explains:
“We hope to have the boat fully licenced and operational as a passenger ferry in Spring 2024. We will then operate the ferry for a two year period as a feasibility test to see if it can be run as a commercially sustainable operation. Our next steps will be to recruit a skipper to run the ferry under a 2 year concession and to contract someone to restore/replace the ferry landing platform at Ferry Farm on the Devon side of the River Tamar under the viaduct.”
Funding for this project has come from the National Lottery Heritage Fund as well as the Tamar Valley AONB, which secured additional ‘Access for All: Removing Barriers in Protected Landscapes’ grant funding from Defra. The capital funding is designed to provide access improvements to make our protected landscapes more accessible to people of all ages and abilities and from all backgrounds.
The Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund is working with farmers, landowners and communities to manage and enhance landscapes that are rich in wildlife, as well as cultural and historic heritage. Projects will help improve access to special places and to promote ways for people to enjoy the landscape whilst improving their health, wellbeing and providing training opportunities.
More information on this project will continue to be posted here in our news and blogs section, as well as the Tamar Valley AONB’s social media pages.