Poldark is blasted for flooding picturesque Cornish coast with litter

‘The Poldark-effect is blighting our beaches!’: BBC drama is blasted for flooding picturesque Cornish coast with litter-dropping fans

  • Poldark has inspired a wave of visitors to its filming locations in Cornwall
  • But grumbling residents say the county’s beaches are now plastered in rubbish
  • Much of the popular Beeb series is filmed in and around seaside town, St Austell 
  • A councillor who leads a St Austell tidy-up team said litter is a ‘huge strain’

BBC show Poldark has been accused of flooding some of Britain’s most picturesque beaches with litter.

The Beeb historical drama has a cult following and has inspired a wave of visitors to its filming locations in Cornwall.

But grumbling residents say the tourism drive described as the ‘Poldark-effect’ has encouraged a host of unwelcome problems with trash.

Poldark is a historical drama based on a 1945 novel of the same name. Aidan Turner plays Ross Poldark, the star of the show.

Many other locations around Cornwall double up as sets for Poldark. Litter found is pictured

The Beeb favourite has in recent years inspired a wave of visitors to its filming locations in Cornwall. Litter discovered on the beach is pictured

The show has been accused of flooding some of Britain’s most picturesque beaches with litter. Pictured, members of the St Austell Tidy Up team including Councillor James Mustoe (centre with high-vis jacket and blue jumper)

Much of Poldark is filmed in seaside town of St Austell and James Mustoe, who is councillor in the area, leads a volunteer tidy-up team, the St Austell Tidy Up Team. 

Cornish councillor James Mustoe described the bout of over-tourism as a ‘huge strain’ on the county’s beaches which he claims are now plastered in rubbish.

He said: ‘The so-called Poldark effect means people flood the iconic historical locations made famous in the hit BBC show, and leave all their rubbish behind in the process.

‘With this massive increase in tourism comes huge strain on our infrastructure, along with an overload in littering, on our highways, on our beaches and in our seas.

‘I have lost count of the number of times I have visited the beach, stayed for the day and on leaving found the sands look like some sort of battlefield.’

He added: ‘Things clearly need to change.’

Mr Mustoe, who is councillor for Mevagissey, now leads a volunteer tidy-up team in seaside town St Austell – where much of Poldark was filmed. Littered discovered by the tidy up team is pictured

Mr Mustoe also participates in the movement ‘£2minutebeachclean’ in which people are encouraged to devote two minutes of their day to picking up litter. Some bottle tops dumped on the beach are pictured

Various locations in St Austell are used for filming such as Charlestown beach and slipway, which doubles as St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly.  

Many other locations around Cornwall double up as sets for Poldark. 

Abandoned buildings at Botallack are used as the Poldark family mines of Wheal Leisure.

Some of Poldark’s horserides along clifftops were filmed on the cliffs of Chapel Porth.

The beautiful stretch of coast owned by the Warleggan family in series 2 is represented by Holywell Bay. 

Mr Mustoe also participates in the movement ‘£2minutebeachclean’ in which people are encouraged to devote two minutes of their day to picking up litter.

Among his volunteers is Keep Britain Tidy ambassador Toni Yates who also bemoaned the Poldark effect – despite admitting she was a big fan of the show starring flame-haired Eleanor Tomlinson, 25, and hunk Aidan Turner, 35.

Various locations in St Austell are used for filming such as Charlestown beach and slipway, which doubles as St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly. Littered discovered by the tidy up team is pictured


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She said: ‘I absolutely love Poldark but unfortunately big TV shows like that do bring with them a huge flood of tourism which makes littering a huge problem.

‘That’s definitely been an issue for the locals near Pedn Vounder beach, where much of the show was filmed.

‘It means that we as locals have to work extra hard to keep the area clean and tidy.

‘However, we do understand that the Poldark effect can be really positive for our community as it brings in a lot of welcome tourism.

‘It just means we sometimes have to club together and deal with the repercussions – and we’re happy to do so.’

Various locations in St Austell are used for filming such as Charlestown beach and slipway, which doubles as St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly. Littered discovered by the tidy up team is pictured

Poldark is a historical drama based on a 1945 novel of the same name. It premiered on the BBC in 2015 and soon won a cult following in both the UK and the US, regularly bringing in between five and six million viewers per episode. Littered discovered by the tidy up team is pictured

Reports of the so-called Poldark effect emerged in 2015 as visitors flocked to the beaches made famous by the show.  Various member of the St Austell Tidy Up are pictured

Filming for the show’s fifth and final series began in September 2018. Littered discovered by the tidy up team is pictured

Poldark is a historical drama based on a 1945 novel of the same name.

It premiered on the BBC in 2015 and soon won a cult following in both the UK and the US, regularly bringing in between five and six million viewers per episode.

Reports of the so-called Poldark effect emerged in 2015 as visitors flocked to the beaches made famous by the show.

Its most famous cornish filming locations include Porthgwarra, Padstow, St Agnes Head and Charlestown.

At the time, tourist board Visit Cornwall estimated that 14% of all visitors to the county had been inspired by TV favourite.

Filming for the show’s fifth and final series began in September 2018. 

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