Over the years we have done a huge range of projects thanks to friends and supporters who have come to us for help. As well as these, check out the work on the larger projects Trawlshare and Newquay Cleaner Seas. Plus the beach cleaning projects under Beach Care. SO many projects! As always, these were done because NMG volunteers are grafters and give their time so generously. 

  • Eels!!

The group have been heavily involved in surveying eel populations in Newquay. Mainly concentrating surveys around the boating lake, we have collected data over the last 3 years watching eels go in and out of the lake. Newquay Zoo are also involved including the college students – we want to know how these eels are doing. We have evidence that large eels travel up towards Nansledan (if they haven’t been caught by the zoo’s otters!) but are they able to get out of the lake to begin their mature journey back to the Sargasso Sea for breeding? Equally, are the baby eels (Elvers) able to traverse the many obstacles in their way? We are working with Cormac and the Environment Agency to put eel passes in along the river that travels through the gardens and we  will continue montitoring them. If you have any eel stories or want to get involved please do contact us. 


  • Beach Rangers

We began a collaboration with Cornwall College and Seachangers to set up Beach Rangers, a group of marine students based on Towan Beach during the summer to engage with tourists and locals alike, about the wonders of the Newquay coastline. The project lasted 2 years and included activities for all ages for example: rockpool bingo, arts and crafts and a ‘show and tell’ table.

beachrangers leaflet


  • Harbour Heights

Harbour Heights is a terraced viewing area with seats, perched on South Quay Hill overlooking the harbour. It also provides steps down to the harbour area (and up!).

The view is superb from here, across the bustling harbour where you may even spot a resident seal or two and out into Newquay bay. The view takes in all the boats and surfers and activity on Towan Beach. It has always been a popular area for locals and tourists and a great spot to eat fish and chips, or to just rest a while and take it all in.

However, this area has been neglected and has recently fallen into disrepair. With money awarded by Cornwall Council and the generous help and expertise of CORMAC, a regeneration project began in earnest in the summer of 2018. The flooring was installed by Oltco, the benches were removed and restored plus a group of volunteers joined forces to give it a good lick of paint. Newquay in Bloom helped us with some vegetation clearing and the planting of lots and lots of flowers!! Interpretation boards were written and installed with the help of the Newquay Museum and Historical Society. The place looks amazing!

The collaborative effort was recognised, winning an award at the 2019 It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards presented through Britain in Bloom and hosted by Newquay in Bloom and Newquay Town Council.

The whole team and partners recognise that the area gets shabby after a tough winter like we had in 2019-2020. Work will be ongoing to ensure this area is kept as gorgeous as possible. The higher level needs some structural work and we will give it a refresh as often as we can.


  • Refill#RefillCornwall and #RefillCornwall.

Single-use plastic bottles are expensive to produce, use up valuable natural resources to make and transport and create mountains and mountains of waste once we’ve gulped down the contents. And recycling’s not the answer either, here in the UK an estimated 800 plastic bottles a MINUTE are either ending up in landfill or as litter, which will too often make its way into our waterways and out to sea.

Refill aims to reduce this huge number one bottle at a time! A national campaign, Refill is a practical tap water campaign that aims to make refilling your own reusable bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing refill points on every street. Friendly cafes, shops, hotels and businesses are welcoming you in to refill your water bottle – for free!

Participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses simply put a sticker in their window – alerting passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to come on in and fill up their bottle – for free!


Since Refill was launched in Newquay in 2018, there are over 50 businesses that have signed up. 

If you want to top up your bottle (any bottle) then have a look at the Refill App for your nearest station. Or when you are walking around town, have a look for a blue sticker in a window.

If you want to be a refill station. Give us an email! We have free materials for you (posters, leaflets, stickers) and we can add you to the list and add you to the App. 

We have bottles for sale! If you need a refill bottle or you are a business and would like to sell the bottles in your shop then give us an email! 

  • The Litter Campaign

Also in collaboration with Seachangers, (who have been really supportive over the years) we wanted to work with Newquay Businesses to use more sustainable packaging to reduce the amount of litter on our streets.

We sent out a letter and had a chat with quite a few business owners about packaging, purchasing, bulk order and what is classed as good packaging! The conversation is more complicated than black and white – good and bad. We did some publicity about it. Newspaper and magazine articles as well as radio interviews. 

The story went viral and we have had interest from a range of people including our MP and the Executive Director of the Foodservice Packaging Association. 

Its not about shaming – its about understanding the reasons behind and problems with the packaging we use – in the hope we can start talking (as a community) about options and ways of doing things better so that the coast and beaches are as litter free as possible… 

If you have any questions or stories or queries – please do contact us. A copy of the letter we have sent out can be downloaded here… Polystyrene Letter-2

However, what did happen as a result of this as well as the wonderful Blue Planet series on BBC1, was the set up of a new group – Plastic Free Newquay. of which we are hugely involved and we will try and work with them really closely from now on. Land and Sea is the CIC set up by Plastic Free Newquay and we will share events and look to collaborate with them a lot! 

The Litter campaign didn’t really go anywhere – the conversations showed us that we don’t know enough and the packaging industry needs to be clear about what options are available and what materials are used. We are still talking about it and the plastic issue is now mainstream which is fabulous. 

  • Dog Pooh Signs (April 2015).

Newquay Beach Care and local artists KARANDAVE (Arts and Crafts Studios in Mawgan Porth) produced 30 pooh signs which were put up at local beaches and coastal footpaths from Mawgan Porth to Watergate Bay. The signs were skilfully laser cut from wood and say; ‘There’s no such thing as the dog pooh fairy’. It is hoped, they may help to reduce the number of pooh bags found in these areas. 

  • Trawling for Microplastics

Newquay Marine Group  formed a coalition with St Agnes Marine Group, Polzeath Marine Conservation Group, The Cornwall Seal Research Trust and Newquay Sea Safaris and Fishing. We have called ourselves Cornwall Marine Microplastics Researchers(CMMR). This is an incredible project and you can read more about it on the Trawlshare Project Page. 

  • The Whipsiderry Whale.

In June 2018 this sand sculpture highlighted the rubbish in our seas. It was made during National Marine Week.

Please see this amazing film 

Newquay Marine Group joined forces with local businesses and volunteers to highlight the dangers marine wildlife face because of plastics in our oceans. Artist Pete Tidmus from EcoTide drew a 4metre sperm whale on Whipsiderry Beach after reading the true awful story about a whale that died after ingesting 80 plastic bags.

Volunteers from Newquay Marine Group and Plastic Free Newquay joined in, bringing plastic and rubbish found on our beaches to highlight the issue we face.
We hoped that by seeing a life size whale and actually what 80 bags and balloons look like,  will hit home and cause people to stop and think about how much plastic end up in the ocean and how they can reduce their own use.
Thank you to Checkered Photography who took the amazing photos and drone footage that day.

  • Boat Trips

In 2019, we were awarded some money from Your Shore Beach Rangers and the National Lottery. We organised a series of boat trips for school groups from Oak Tree School, a lot of who had not been to the sea, never mind on a boat. The groups joined us at Newquay Harbour, met the skipper and learned about the boat before having a ride out to look at the wildlife and experience life on the water.