Getting from one Place to another with the power of unwanted chip fat
Plaice and chips has taken on a new meaning on the Roseland peninsula in Cornwall after transport on one of the area's ferry crossings underwent an innovative makeover.
After a major refit over the winter, the new-improved Place Ferry — one of the South West Coast Path's essential links — is now powering along its route across a river estuary using chip fat from a nearby hotel as fuel.
The innovative energy system on the Cornish built Cygnus 19, which is run by Cornwall Ferries and links St Mawes and Place, was unveiled at an official ceremony in St Mawes.
The Cornish built Cygnus 19 is now powered by waste chip fat.
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Tim Light, managing director of Cornwall Ferries, said: "Like many companies in Cornwall, the environment and sustainability is extremely important to us and our visitors.
"With a number of initiatives already in place to help people reduce their car usage and carbon output we wanted to take things to the next level.
"When we decided to replace the Place Ferry we had the perfect opportunity to do something different, and we did this by ensuring that it can now run on waste chip fat."
The work on the boat was carried out by Fawley Marine at Cury, near Falmouth, during the winter. The waste chip fat will be supplied by a number of local businesses including the St Mawes Hotel.
Mr Light added: "It's great to get the support from local businesses helping us in this venture, and I quite like the idea of having the chips and then enjoying the trips. Once we have proved the system we will consider using waste vegetable oil for the St Mawes to Falmouth ferries."
The new ferry was launched by Eric Wallis MBE, secretary of the South West Coast Path Association. It has been names Livingstone in honour of David Livingstone-Hodgson, chairman of the King Harry Ferry Company, who died earlier this year at 79.
Mr Wallis, who was awarded the MBE for services to the South West Coast Path Association, has walked the whole path three times using the ferry on each occasion.
He said: "There are several small ferries like this on the coastal path and they are vital to walkers and everyone using it.
"Use of ferries and in particular the Place Ferry was one of the highlights of my trips when I walked the South West Coast Path.
"I think a ferry that runs on chip fat is a wonderful idea, and I'm sure will create a great deal of interest in this beautiful location."
A new pontoon will greet ferry passengers as they disembark after the short journey to Place Creek from St Mawes, part-funded by the Defra and EU Rural Development Programme for England.