Royal Marines volunteered their time, grit, determination and amphibious landing craft to help build a remote children’s adventure play area.
The Plymouth-based Royal Marines helped the nearby Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park when it asked for help in reaching the site by water.
The Royal Navy’s amphibious troops leapt at the chance to combine their unique skills as a way of helping the community, refine their training and to thank the estate for allowing regular amphibious training on the secluded beaches.
The project consisted of moving 38 large boulders by hand from an otherwise inaccessible beach by landing craft to another location, ready for them to form the boundary wall of the newly-built children’s community playground in the Barrow Centre.
The Marines, are from 10 Training Squadron, based at Royal Marines Tamar, in HM Naval Base, Devonport. Team leader Cpl Chris Westbury said: “After being approached by the Estate Manager of Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Ian Berry, the men of boat troop 10 Training Squadron Royal Marines were asked to support a community project. Due to the already established relationship with the park, through letting the Royal Marines train on their land, the men of boat troop were more than happy to assist.
“The task ran smoothly with military precision with men from the estate and the men from boat troop working hand-in-hand to get the job done. A challenging task over difficult terrain successfully completed is always gratifying, but more so because we, the Royal Marines, were able to aid and assist the local community further enhancing the strong ties in the local area.’’
The beaches are ideal sites for training landing craft helmsmen on the Tamar and from Plymouth Sound in amphibious landings at all times of day and night in difficult conditions, sometimes covertly.
The new play area was designed and built by Alastair Guy and Sons – using raw materials from across the park, including 200 trees at Mount Edgcumbe felled by winter storms. Using mature oak, Cedar of Lebanon and many others, the play area material was milled on-site and handcrafted by craftsmen to provide a bespoke children’s playground.
To form a safety barrier between the play area and road, the boulders for the boundary were selected from a remote beach in the park to skirt the play area and complement other natural materials used from the park. The 30 boulders came from above the high-water line in an area of swampy ground surrounded by steep cliffs. Getting machinery to the location was impossible – that is when the Royal Marines stepped in.
After a survey of the site –the Royal Marines astonished park workers by agreeing to undertake the strenuous manual exercise of extracting the huge stones and delivering them by landing craft to a beach with easier access for collection by tractor.