Sea Defence Works Updates

Update 04/01/2023

The sea defence works have now begun at the western end of Porthmellon beach and will continue into February 2023. We please ask that you avoid this area of the beach whilst works are in progress and use the access points at the eastern end of the beach,or by the gig sheds. If you need vehicular access during this time please contact Dave directly on 07834213528.


Update 20/12/2022

Please be aware that the sea defence works at the Porthloo site are nearing completion and the sand is very soft in places on Porthloo beach. This is temporary and will soon adjust with the tides. We advise that the community continues to avoid the beach until the completion of the works.

Signs have been placed at both ends of the beach and will remain in place until we consider that the beach has adjusted sufficiently for people to re-enter the area. Please also note that there will be additional activity on the roads over the next few weeks between Porthloo and Porthmellon as the surplus rock armour is transported to the western end of Porthmellon.

Construction will begin at the Porthmellon site in January so please also avoid the site at the Western end of Porthmellon beach whilst work is in progress. Signage will be updated at this location as necessary.

We held an open meeting with St Martins residents on 5th December 2022 to discuss the current sea defence proposals and how best to manage the dunes at Lower Town and Par Beach.

The meeting was well attended with just over twenty residents in total. The main topics of discussion were the Lowertown slipway, beach fencing and a localised dune management plan.  


Update 25/11/2022

The sea defence works at Porthloo are progressing well despite some unfavourable weather conditions and are now expected to complete before the end of December 2022.  We met with local residents this week to discuss the next phase of works and plans for Porth Hellick and have asked the designers and stakeholder organisations to consider the various issues raised. The track to Porth Hellick will be improved shortly for deliveries of materials and equipment to the Porth Hellick site over the next few weeks. Local users have been asked to clear the area of any possessions such as kayaks, boats and trailers. Planning proposals for the off island works have now been submitted; you can find paper copies of the designs and proposals at St Mary’s Library and the respective Island Halls if you are interested in finding out more.


Update 31/10/2022

The works at Porthloo will restart during the first week of November as the license restriction lifts, previously paused whilst boats were lifted at the end of the season, work will then continue at Porthloo until completion. It is likely that the access to the coastal path that runs along the top of the dunes adjacent to the boat park will close for a couple of weeks whilst the work is carried out safely. 

We can begin construction of the works at Porth Hellick from 15 November onwards, preparation of the path leading from the main road to the Porth Hellick site will begin ahead of this. Deliveries of materials to the Porth Hellick working compound will arrive via the quay.


Update: 3/10/2022


Today works have started to deliver rock to Porth Mellon. A barge is unloading at the beach to take advantage of the clement weather. Over last weekend some local rock was rounded up from various sites on St Mary’s, by kind permission of tenants and the Duchy of Cornwall. Construction of the rock armour west of the Porth Mellon beach accessway is expected to start this week. This will protect the road from undermining during storms, and it also protects the fibre communications link to the islands, which runs under the seaward footpath at Porth Mellon. The works at Porth Mellon are expected to take several weeks starting in October, and deliveries of materials for Porth Hellick working compound landed at Porth Mellon will start during October too.

Works at Porthloo have paused for the month of October, because our licences don’t allow working while boats are being lifted. The works at Porthloo have been left in a way that protects the existing construction from high seas. Works at Porthloo will restart in November and we can begin construction of the works at Porth Hellick from 15 November onwards.

Update: 12/09/2022

Call to remove items from slipway at Porthmellon.

As we recently announced the works being undertaken as part of the Climate Adaptation Scilly project have commenced on St Mary's. Rock deliveries are continuing into Porthloo with construction in the area beginning shortly. Rock deliveries will then commence into Porthmellon at the beginning of October, we will need the community to help us keep these areas clear. 

Removal of items from Porthmellon

All lightweight vessels, such as dinghies and kayaks, and trailers currently being stored on the west side of the access slipway on Porthmellon will need to be removed as soon as possible to enable the deliveries to take place. The Harbour Master will be contacting owners and applying notices to vessels in the area.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Update: 25/08/2022

We are very pleased to announce that rock deliveries began at Porthloo at the beginning of this week. The work to build up the volume of rock at Porthcressa will continue throughout September with rock being delivered via landing craft and kept at the north end of the beach. Once complete, rock deliveries will then begin at Porthmellon towards the beginning of October 2022. 

It is nice to see so many people taking an interest and watching the rocks being delivered to the beach, it is quite a spectacle! However, please be safe, watch from a sensible distance and be aware of any advisory signs at the site.

Update: 9/08/2022

Further deliveries are now expected at Porthloo and Porthmellon and we need the community to help us keep these areas clear. 

We'll be putting up signs relating to the works and contacting local businesses which may be affected in the coming days.

The next phase of deliveries have now been confirmed for the following dates:

19 August 2022

The first rock delivery will arrive on a landing craft at Porthloo Beach, St Mary’s .

Early September 2022

Rock will be delivered via landing craft to the east side of Porthmellon Beach, St Mary’s. The rock will then be transported to the south-west corner of the beach.

Removal of Items from Porthmellon

All lightweight vessels, such as dinghies and kayaks, currently being stored on the west side of the access slipway on Porthmellon will need to be removed before 5 September 2022 to enable the deliveries to take place.

Update: 3/08/2022

We are pleased to confirm that the first of the Climate Adaptation Scilly coastal protection works will commence this evening with the delivery of equipment via landing craft at Porthloo, St Mary's;

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

20:00 - a 30 tonne digger and a 6 tonne dumper will be offloaded at Porthloo beach, St Mary's

Thursday, 4 August 2022

21:00 - a 15 tonne digger and a 9 tonne dumper will be offloaded at Porthloo beach, St Mary's

The equipment will be stored on Porthloo boatyard for an interim period until access is made available to the laydown site. The laydown site for the duration of the works will be at the corner field adjacent to Porthloo Terrace.

If you have any questions about the project, you can email us at