code of conduct

Independent Guide to Gwithian and the Towans

Sand Dunes Code Of Conduct


The Cornish word for Sand Dunes is ‘Towans’

To protect the wildlife and ensure everyone enjoys their time on the Towans here are some simple guidelines.



Walk, don’t ride – no vehicles, bikes or horses are permitted on the Towans as wheels and hoofs damage the dune vegetation and erode the soil.


Take your litter home with you or put it in the bins provided. - Please don’t leave it beside the bins. The Towans are very windy and rubbish blows for miles into the countryside.


Fires, BBQs and overnight camping are not permitted – fires and BBQs seriously damage the dune vegetation killing areas for many years. During dry times the marram grass can easily catch fire. Camping disturbs the nocturnal wildlife. Camp at the nearby campsites.


Be a responsible dog owner – dog fouling is killing rare plants, changing the habitats and is dangerous to other dune users. Clean up after your dog and keep it under control.


Enjoy the wildlife – do not disturb or damage the things you see and keep to the paths. If you are quiet and considerate you will see many more interesting things.


It is illegal to…..


Damage any wild life or habitat on the Towans – the entire area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is protected by law. Damage can occur from either direct harm or destruction of wildlife, or indirectly through activities like dune boarding, all terrain skate boarding, fires or dumping of rubbish and harmful substances.


Use any type of fire arm on the Towans including air rifles – it is dangerous for other users of the Towans and damaging to the wildlife.


Ride motorcycles on the Towans – this damages the vegetation and is dangerous to other users.

If you have any concerns about activities on the Towans please contact the local police  or inform Cornwall County Council on 01872 222000


Issues on the Towans


Ragwort – it has been agreed between the Cornwall County Council and other statutory bodies that ragwort will not be pulled on the Towans unless it is directly adjacent to grazing pasture. Please refrain from pulling ragwort unless you are part of an agreed work party.


Litter – Rangers and volunteers regularly collect litter from the Towans and there are organised Litter picks throughout the year. Please feel free to contribute to these efforts by collecting any litter you may see on your walk and taking your litter home or putting it in the bins provided.


Conservation – There are many conservation and environmental activities taking place on the Towans and anyone and everyone is encouraged to get involved. Either join in with some of the events advertised or contact Surfers against sewage or cornwall wildlife trust.


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