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Beach Guardian | Save our Oceans

Beach Guardian | Save our Oceans

Beach Guardian, a social enterprise based in Cornwall (UK), was co-founded in 2017 by father and daughter duo: Rob and Emily Stevenson. Aiming to engage, educate and empower against plastic pollution, Beach Guardian has organised over 200 community clean up events, with over 6,500 volunteers. They have also visited over 85 schools, engaging with over 14,000 school children and worked with some of the world’s largest companies, to help them reduce their reliance on plastics, such as PepsiCo and Nissan.

About Emily Stevenson

Emily Stevenson, 23, is a marine biologist and the co-founder of the award-winning social enterprise: Beach Guardian. Powered by passion, Emily is also a budding environmental reporter, with her weekly ‘Tune in Tuesday’ video blog reaching over a 2 million people worldwide and she also regularly features on BBC Spotlight.

Emily’s commitment to her conservation career was endorsed very early on in her journey, with a handwritten letter from her own personal hero, Sir David Attenborough himself. In 2019, Emily’s work received recognition as a Point of Light award recipient from the British Prime Minister and a Young Citizen Award from the Rotary Club in Great Britain and Ireland. Recently, in 2020, Emily was awarded the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action and humanitarian efforts: the Diana Award.

Finally, Emily is also currently studying her master’s degree at the University of Exeter, where she is researching the role of microplastics in the dissemination of potentially pathogenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

(C) Jody Daunton
© Jody Daunton

Everybody Can Do Something – Emily Stevenson

The plights of plastic pollute every corner of the Planet and have infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives; making plastic one of the deadliest plagues to ever face humanity... but this also gives us the very reason why we can fix it.

Plastic is in all of our lives, everybody can do something. It doesn't matter where you are or what you do, everybody can do something.

As an individual, carry around a re-usable water bottle or coffee cup or perhaps join a beach clean. Beach Cleaning is often undervalued as a cosmetic exercise - to just 'make a place look nicer'. However, we at Beach Guardian have seen, first hand, the difference just one hour on the beach picking up the plastics can make. Not only on the welfare of the environment, but has also been shown to equally improve your own mental health and well-being, combat social isolation, unite communities and reconnect people with nature.

Of course, there is now a much timelier threat on everyone’s mind: COVID-19. Amongst many other devastating issues, this brings with it less opportunities to join organised community beach cleaning events. So, whilst we are all out enjoying nature this Summer, why not do your own beach clean? Here are Beach Guardians 5 top tips to keeping safe whilst on a beach clean:


© Collis Creative

There are also lots of beach cleaning treasures you can keep an eye out for! But be warned, if you find any old crisp packets, you will have me chasing after you for it!


© Collis Creative

If you have any questions at all about how to avoid unnecessary plastics, would like to collaborate or just would like a general chit-chat about conservation – drop me an email!

emily@beachguardian.co.uk

Have a great Summer!

Emily x

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The Art of Jam Making

The Art of Jam Making

Saturday 25th July marks National Preserving Week, a whole week of events designed to get people preserving their own food and to encourage those who have the skills to make delicious preserves to take some time to help those that don’t. This is equally important to elderly people who may be struggling during these times of lockdown. From jams to chutneys, preserving can be a wonderfully rewarding hobby.

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Ancient, Mystical Cornwall

Ancient, Mystical Cornwall

Dancing maidens turned to stone, majestic menhirs and mystical fougous.

This week is the festival of British Archaeology and we are joining the celebration by exploring the wonderful Cornish landscape; a bountiful labyrinth of Neolithic and Iron Age sites.  From stone circles of dancing maidens frozen in time to majestic megaliths and hidden fougous. 

Let us take you on a journey through mystical Cornwall where secrets are revealed and stories of ancient man, myth and magic unfold.  But, what is a fougou?, I hear you say.

Fougous and early settlements

A fougou (pronounced “foogoo”) is an underground, dry stone structure found typically in Iron Age or Romano-British defended settlement sites in Cornwall.  One of the most famous and best-preserved Iron Age villages is Carn Euny, located near Sancreed on the Penwith peninsula.  Exposed in the 1860’s by the antiquarian William Copeland Borlase, who researched and documented many sites across Cornwall, the spectacular 65 foot fougou was restored during excavations between 1964-72. The settlement site includes nine hut foundations that were a hive of constant activity from the Neolithic period right up to the late Roman period.  Visitors today can explore this marvellous step back in time and wander underground into the fougou itself – what will you discover?

Fougou means ‘cave’ in Cornish and they are open at both ends with a large stone slab roof and sometimes with additional entrance tunnels.  We are still not sure what they were used for however, archaeologists debate that it could be for the safe, cool storage of food and supplies to quick entrance and exit tunnels into the heart of the settlement as a form of safety and protection or even a place for ceremony and ritual deep in the womb of the earth - connecting the village folk to ancestors and mother nature.

Carn Euny, Sancreed

Carn Euny Fougou, Cornwall

(Carn Euny settlement and fougou chamber)

Stone Circles

Cornwall has a wealth of stone circles whether nestled in the heart of the moorlands to the awe-inspiring cliff tops overlooking the sea.  Dating back to the Neolithic or Early Bronze Age they vary in size but there are many common characteristics.  Circles are deemed to have been a key place for ritual ceremony and community gathering.  The stones in Cornwall are often shot with granite and it is understood that circles and any outlying standing stones (on ley lines) are astronomically positioned. The alignment with the sun and moon at key solstice or equinox points of the year is to track the movements across the landscape – the granite catching the light and marking a connection with earth and sky. 

One of our favourite and prettiest is the Merry Maidens stone circle close to Penzance where folklore states that the Cornish maids were dancing on the sabbath and turned to stone.  Musicians suffering the same plight became the large megaliths nearby called the ‘Pipers’.  The Cornish ‘Zans Meyn’ means sacred stone.

Walking up the gentle slope to the beautiful circle, the whispering wind creates a timeless feel and birdsong echoes from the hedgerows. The circle dates back to 2500-1500BC and is well preserved and can be visited easily, sitting proudly on the prehistoric landscape near Lamorna.  The regular spacing between the stones makes it truly circular in form and unusual in Cornwall with 19 stones altogether and a gap at the eastern section – common to all British stone circles.  The stones also diminish in size from the southwest to the northeast and this waxing and waning in size is believed to mirror the cycle of the moon.

The Merry Maidens is protected by ASLAN – Ancient Sacred Landscape society and Cornish heritage and still used by many for magical ceremonies and Celtic and pagan festivities such as dancing around the maypole on May Day – the Celtic fire festival of Beltane – where laughter fills the air.

Merry Maidens Circle

Menhirs

Megaliths are scattered across Cornwall’s rich landscape.  Travelling through you may have spotted a rather unusual shaped stone, tall or holed and in a wall, hedgerow, field or garden.  These menhirs are part of Cornwall’s heritage and are typically aligned to prehistoric burial sites, other standing stones or sacred places and mark a key point on a path or an astronomical connection.

‘Men’ means stone in Cornish and ‘Menhir’ is a tall, upright stone.  ‘Men an Tol’ means stone with a hole.

The former rock god and poet, Julian Cope, has explored and researched many ancient sites across Britain and meticulously recorded them in his book ‘The Modern Antiquarian’, introducing new ideas and archaeological theory also in ‘Romancing the Stones’.

One such record, details the stones in our very own parish of St. Eval.  The first large Menhir stands at 3m high x 1.5m across and sits in the hedge near a minor road just south of Newquay Airport. It is a pinky/white colour, the same as the menhir at St. Eval church which is just across the airfield.

St. Eval Standing Stone

There is a Bronze and Iron Age settlement at Trevisher, one mile to the east and it is believed there were 6 barrows around St. Eval church which were destroyed during the construction of the airfield.

Inside the church there are 7 Green Man ceiling bosses placed high in the rafters representing the connection between Pagan and Christian religions still valued and celebrated in Cornwall life today.

We hope that you have enjoyed this little insight into the beauty of Cornwalls rich and diverse archaeology, mystical and sacred today as it was 4000 years ago.

If you are visiting the land of Kernow (Cornwall) be sure to tread softly on the earth and do explore the wonder of these sacred sites.

References:

Cornwall Life - behind the legends and folklore of Cornwall, Aug 2017

https://www.cornwalls.co.uk/history/sites/carn_euny.htm

The Modern Antiquarian, Julian Cope.

https://archaeology-travel.com/archaeological-sites/merry-maidens-dancing-on-a-sunday-in-cornwall/

https://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=118

If you would like any further information please contact us at: marketing@st-eval.com.

#stevalcandles

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Refreshing Summer Scents

Refreshing Summer Scents

With the summer months bringing longer days and lighter evenings, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to new summer scents to refresh your home. From reed diffusers to subtly scent a room for up to 3 months, through to your favourite scented candle to soothe and relax after a busy day soaking up the summer sunshine.

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The Delights of a Cornish Cream Tea

The Delights of a Cornish Cream Tea

No matter how you serve your cream tea – jam or cream first – there is no denying that this quintessentially British treat is anything other than delicious.

With references to a Cornish Cream Tea dating back as early as the 1930s, we have been enjoying them for almost a century! There is something particularly unique about sitting down with loved ones experiencing the delights of a cream tea. A weekend ritual many of us have been missing since the lockdown restrictions have been in place.

Whilst in lockdown some of our office team have been recreating the outings to restaurants and cafes for their families that we miss so much. Hosting an afternoon tea or Father’s Day full English breakfast for our households are just two examples, using our best plates and teapots to make it extra special. We have also seen many of our favourite chefs have been posting videos to follow along with on their social media for everyone to have a go at making their most missed dishes at home. 

Our favourite cream teas in Cornwall

When you’re in Cornwall, indulging in a proper Cornish cream tea is a must. We’ve rounded up our three favourite places for the best cream tea in Cornwall; think freshly baked scones, lashings of Cornish jam and the finest clotted cream – delicious!

 

Woods Café, Cardinham Woods Bodmin

This rustic and fairy-tale-like café in the woods is perfect for everyone and dog friendly too. There is a great outdoor seating area to enjoy on a sunny day plus plenty of indoor seating too. They also have an amazing savoury cream tea if you don’t fancy something sweet!

 
Image credit: @duchynursery

Duchy of Cornwall Nursery Café, Lostwithiel

With beautiful views down to Fowey and Restormel Castle, this is one of the largest nurseries in the South West and they are a St. Eval stockist too! Enjoy delicious cream teas and afternoon teas, with the added luxury of prosecco if you're celebrating. Freshly made and always perfect, a great selection of cakes too.

 
Image credit: Carnewas Tea Rooms

Carnewas Tea Rooms, Bedruthan Steps

Overlooking the famous Bedruthan Steps with views onto park head, this café is steeped in history originally starting its life as an old mining stable. The tearooms have been run by the same local family for 30 years and are renowned for their amazing cream teas! Perfect to fuel up before (or after) a lovely walk along this beautiful stretch of coastline.

This National Cream Tea Day, why not bring a little bit of the West Country to wherever you are and make some delicious scones for yourself and those you live with, they are wonderfully simple and especially if you fancy making a lovely treat but don’t want to wait for butter to soften! We love this recipe by Jane Hornby on BBC Good Food. 

Classic Scones with Jam & Clotted Cream

Ingredients

  • 350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • beaten egg, to glaze
  • jam and clotted cream, to serve

 Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
  2. Tip 350g self-raising flour into a large bowl with ¼ tsp salt and 1 tsp baking powder, then mix.
  3. Add 85g butter cubes, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs then stir in 3 tbsp caster sugar.
  4. Put 175ml milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and a squeeze of lemon juice, then set aside for a moment.
  5. Put a baking sheet in the oven.
  6. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem pretty wet at first.
  7. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out.
  8. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat into a round about 4cm deep.
  9. Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. You may need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four.
  10. Brush the tops with a beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.
  11. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with jam and clotted cream.
  12. If freezing, freeze once cool. Defrost, then put in a low oven (about 160C/fan140C/gas 3) for a few mins to refresh.

If baking isn’t your thing, why not enter our lovely Cream Tea Day Competition  – we have teamed up with some of our favourite Cornish companies including Cornishware, Tregothnan and Baker Tom's to help create the perfect cream tea at your home. Or why not recreate the sweet creamy scent of a lovely cream tea in your kitchen with our Vanilla and Wild Gorse candles.

We've love to hear your favourite scone recipe and favourite place to enjoy a delicious cream tea in Cornwall! Share with us on social @stevalcandles, or via email: marketing@st-eval.com. 

 

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Reuse and Repurpose with St. Eval

Reuse and Repurpose with St. Eval

Here at St. Eval, when we design our candles, we keep in mind that the product's lifetime goes beyond when the wax is finished so you are left with a beautiful container to repurpose afterwards. Here are some of our favourite ways to repurpose your St. Eval candle containers...

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