DSC_3696Calstock Passenger Ferry 2017.


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 ( and Joe Lawrence ( 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? (

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 ( and the Director-General, Helen Ghosh (, quoting reference 100840.

Also, our local MP, Sheryll Murray ( is familiar with the Calstock-Cotehele Ferry, having written a letter in support.

Thank you.



11 thoughts on “Latest”

  1. Noelle Kumpel said:

    Very sorry to hear you can no longer run the ferry – indeed a much more pleasant and environmentally friendly way to get to Cotehele, particularly for those of us coming by train. As a National Trust member am very disappointed in its lack of support for this service, which clearly benefits it.

  2. Sorry to hear of your troubles…
    On another note, I was wondering if you might be able to tell me who your ferry was built by? She looks like a handy little boat!

  3. Very sad not to see the ferry running. TAVATA are taking applications for sustainability grants and it seems the ferry reduces the traffic flow between Cotehele and Calstock. The term crowd funding is popular through Facebook etc. But it all takes work and most of all time. We really hope there is a way to get the service back.

  4. Valerie Ribbons said:

    I think you should start a facebook petition to get this ferry trip up and running again. Link in to all the Facebook groups and get this shared and shared again. There is power in numbers, the voice of the people can maybe overturn red tape decisions. I have only today stumbled across this page when looking for the ferry times!

  5. What a great way to contribute to your community. I’m sure there are some people out there that their day is the memorable one, because of your contribution to the community.
    Hope things work out for you and your community Jonathan!

    –Azadeh Backgammon

  6. janice said:

    This news is so dissapointing, this was such a wonderful community enterprise…is there anyway it can work with community support.. without the involement of the NT (and its high priced entrance and membership fees that a lot of the community can’t afford anyway..).

  7. Donald Gregor said:

    Can you trust the national trust???

  8. hi. I was just wondering if dogs were allowed on the ferry?
    Many thanks

    …Yes of course.

  9. Gena Johnson said:

    Enjoyed a lovely day out in Calstock. The highlight was the ferry trip to Cotehele. Thanks to the skipper, and connie the dog.

  10. Jane Kiely said:

    Wonderful to have ferry back. Having been on crutches all summer it has been a lifeline to me to be able to get to Cotehele for coffee, sit on the Quay and meet people while my husband and son walk the dogs! A lovely journey back and there is Peace and Cake on Calstock Quay!

    Well done Jonathan!
    Jane K

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