The once popular and picturesque fishing village of Mousehole in Cornwall has apparently lost its community feel, according to locals, after being overran by tourists
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A once popular seaside UK fishing town has made way for waves of tourists – forcing some settled locals out in the process.
The quirky named Mousehole – pronounced Mowzel – was a once home to a fishing harbour and bustling community which was thriving by the waters. But now, the former pilchard port, which was similar to a picturesque postcard setting, now relies on visitors from around the country rather than fish for an economy to survive on.
As a result of its rising popularity, many of the well-known stone cottages which line the streets have been snapped up as holiday lets or second homes which has forced some locals out. The town was named after a rodent-home-looking rock formation nearby and was once home to Dolly Pentreath, the last reputed speaker of the Cornish language, the Express reports.
The Mousehole Cat, a popular award-winning children’s book written by Antonia Barber and illustrated by Nicola Bayley was set in the settlement.
Western Morning News)
Speaking about its change from fishing community to tourist hotspot, deputy harbourmaster Bill Johnson explained: “Mousehole is no longer a working harbour, it’s a resort. Pedestrianisation will never work. We have one of the best bus services in the county, which could be affected. People who stay in holiday lets often bring two cars with them – how will they get to where they’re staying?
“With the village shop now closed, people have to use their cars to get provisions. To ask them not to use their cars is impossible.”
The local council has recently commissioned a feasibility study in an attempt to make Mousehole much quieter when it comes to tourist traffic. A signification of its attempt to return to previous days.
It’s looked at improving traffic flow and parking issues. The village could be playing its part in Cornwall Council’s bid for the Duchy to be carbon neutral by 2030. Harbourmaster Royden Paynter says the income generated from people paying for their parking helps to fund the costs for the harbour.
He said: “People ain’t prepared to go the four-mile trip around Mousehole. Income from parking runs the harbour. I do know it’s a nightmare in the summer though.”
Royden was born in the village 73 years ago and knows better than most how much Mousehole, which has around 600 residents, has changed. A change that was reflected in Mark Jenkin’s BAFTA-winning film sensation, Bait, which was filmed in the village. He added: “I wouldn’t be surprised to find that 80 per cent of the properties here are second homes and holiday lets, it’s become a retirement and holiday place really.