Lying behind Hayle’s famous ‘three miles of golden sand’, the sand dunes from Hayle to Godrevy comprise the second largest dune system in Cornwall. Only the Towans at Perranporth are more extensive.

The Friends of the Towans

The Friends of the Towans is a charity developed in recent years to enable the local community, both residents and visitors, to become directly involved in the conservation, protection and management of the towans.

The History of The Towans

Towans is Cornish for sand dunes…

The dunes mainly comprise broken-down seashells which have been blown onshore. They are calcareous and support lime-loving plants rarely found in Cornwall, which is predominantly made up of acidic granite. It is the richest botanical site west of the River Fal, supporting a quarter of all the plant species ever recorded in Cornwall.

A nature reserve

Many rare and scarce invertebrates occur on the towans, including one fifth of the UK’s most protected butterfly species.

Silver-studded blue butterfly

Rare wildlife

Scarce and declining birds including Skylark, Linnet and Stonechat breed on the towans.

stonechat at gwithian towans

Flora and fauna

The towans area from Hayle River mouth to the Red River is designated as nationally important for flora and fauna.

Vipers bugloss at Gwithian-towans

Towans is Cornish for sand dunes…

The dunes mainly comprise broken-down seashells which have been blown onshore. They are calcareous and support lime-loving plants rarely found in Cornwall, which is predominantly made up of acidic granite. It is the richest botanical site west of the River Fal, supporting a quarter of all the plant species ever recorded in Cornwall.

A nature reserve

Many rare and scarce invertebrates occur on the towans, including one fifth of the UK’s most protected butterfly species.

Silver-studded blue butterfly

Flora and fauna

The towans area from Hayle River mouth to the Red River is designated as nationally important for flora and fauna.

Vipers bugloss at Gwithian-towans

Rare wildlife

Scarce and declining birds including Skylark, Linnet and Stonechat breed on the towans.

stonechat at gwithian towans

A team of volunteers

The Friends of the Towans was formed to help local people get involved with the management and preservation of Gwithian Towans. Volunteers undertake practical habitat management work through the year, although the main focus is during autumn and winter, when scrub vegetation such as gorse and brambles, is removed from the grassy areas to improve the habitat.

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burning on the towans
volunteer gwithian towans

Interested?

Get in touch and see how you can help the Friends of the Towans.

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