A small Cornish brewery has made a big contribution to the ocean clean-up, raising £4,543 (plus gift aid of £429.25) for the charity Fathoms Free and its Clean Cornish Seas campaign.

The Driftwood Spars Brewery is located in Trevaunance Cove near St Agnes, where, alongside its fellow business and famous brewpub The Driftwood Spars, it provides a little enclave of small-batch beer appreciation on the Cornish coast.

The money has been raised thanks to a decision by Head Brewer Mike Mason and Brewery Owner Louise Treseder to donate a percentage from every sale of the brewery’s Cove range of craft beers.

Mike explained: “Working in this stunning spot, you can’t help but be protective of the precious marine environment. Plus, I’m a keen surfer and Louise is a regular sea swimmer, so we’ve both seen first-hand the sad reality of marine litter.”

Mike Mason: Head Brewer, Driftwood Brewery

Louise added: “Recently, Fathoms Free were called here to the cove. A swimmer had spotted an abandoned fishing pot with 50m of rope attached to it. It was posing a danger to marine life, with dolphins and seals at risk of entanglement, but it was also a hazard for the RNLI vessel which launches regularly from here. At sunrise the next day the dive team were here – they quickly gathered the rope and made the pot safe. It’s great to see our donations being put to work here in our own backyard.” 

Some of the cash was donated through a Crowdfunding campaign; donations made in this way were doubled thanks to Cornwall Council’s ‘Grow Nature Seed Fund,’ which helps local projects to deliver environmental growth.

Fathoms Free

The cash will be used to fund retrieval dives along the Cornish coast; the experienced team has already recovered a vast amount of ghost gear and aims to tackle 12 major sites in 2022 known to be littered with abandoned fishing equipment and marine debris. 

Luke Bullus from the charity said: “The recent donation from The Driftwood Spars Brewery means we can get more divers into the water, removing more ghost gear and marine debris than ever before. We’re extremely grateful for their ongoing support, as it means we can plan ahead and continue to focus our efforts on cleaning up the seas around Cornwall.”

Ghost Debris, Fathoms Free

Discarded nets, pots, angling equipment and other plastic causes severe damage to the marine environment and the death of countless seabirds, seals, dolphins and other sea life; by sharing photos and videos of their work Fathoms Free are helping to raise awareness of the scale of the problem and disastrous consequences for sea life.

Luke explained: “Unfortunately, the reality of ghost gear is often hidden out of sight and away from the public eye. What washes up on our shores is sadly only a tiny fraction of what’s out there.”

The eye-catching Cove range of contemporary beers is drawing attention to this pressing issue; the range consists of Stippy Stappy IPA, Seaberry Saison, Beacon Pale Ale and Midnight Skinny Dipper Milk Stout, all of which are made in small batches and feature artwork by Jago Silver.

Cove Range

The Cove range can currently be purchased online and is available in good independent bottle shops in Cornwall.

Beer sales raise over £4,500 to help clean the Cornish coast