I reluctantly had to withdraw the Calstock-Cotehele Ferry last year, because the service would never succeed without the guaranteed support of the National Trust (NT) and staff at Cotehele. I would like to express my gratitude to all those who helped in making the ferry such a success – it could not have happened without them.
I re-started the ferry because I wanted to contribute something to this great community by doing what I enjoy best – being on the water – and the only grant aid I received was one payment of £500 from the AONB. My total profit has been about £1500 (including the grant) which would have been swallowed up by this year’s full boat survey (every 5 years) and the demand from the NT to increase my Public Liability Insurance from £5 million (which they had already increased from the £3 million my insurers require) to £10 million.
The managers at Cotehele, Iain Beaumont (Iain.Beaumont@nationaltrust.org.uk) and Joe Lawrence (Joe.Lawrence@nationaltrust.org.uk) say their hands are tied by NT policy – as the NT is a registered charity (which has received over £100 million in grants) I have looked through the Charity Commission website but have not found anything which excuses their setting up a small enterprise to fail, maybe you can? (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission)
If anyone wants an explanation as to why the NT do not support community enterprises (from which they benefit and that require absolutely no financial help from them), and why they withdrew their own river trips last summer, I would suggest they contact the National Secretary, Paul Boniface (email@example.com) and the Director-General, Helen Ghosh (DG.Customerenquiries@nationaltrust.org.uk), quoting reference 100840.
Also, our local MP, Sheryll Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org) is familiar with the Calstock-Cotehele Ferry, having written a letter in support.