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T he popular belief that living in Cornwall guarantees invigorating clean sea air has been blown away by new scientific evidence which shows that Cornish air quality is amongst the worst in Britain. Results released by Friends of the Earth who measure air quality of Bodmin Moor in August show that air pollution levels in Cornwall broke international health guidelines - but people were told that the air quality was " good " based on the information from a Department of Health monitoring site in Devon.

Ground level ozone is the main component of summertime smog and it forms when sunlight reacts with air polluted by exhaust emissions. The South West has had the highest ozone levels in Britain apart from rural Nottinghamshire. It is now the fashion to regard ozone as harmful. It irritates the mucous membranes of the respiratory system causing coughing, choking, impaired lung function and it aggravates asthma symptoms. Other common symptoms include headaches, eye nose and throat irritations and chest discomfort on deep breathing.

T he Goodaver farm, which features in many Beast reports, stands upon an old straight track beside the River Fowey, behind it lies the Goodaver stone circle. There is no public right of way to the circles, paths up to it are obstructed by barbed wire and the "wild cats keep out" signs that feature in news reports. During our visit to the circle this summer, we found in the field below, the freshly chewed-off leg of a sheep. There was no other sign of the injured animal.

It's not unusual to find the corpses of sheep in the many ancient stone circles on Bodmin Moor. Whether they have died naturally, or have been the victims of sacrifice rituals, or fallen prey to the Beast, is unclear.

The Goodaver circle has ley alignments with Brown Willy, the biggest hill in Cornwall, and is a focal point for many other resonant sites. We are informed by visiting Irish people that "Bodmin" means smooth penis and "Bodmin Moor" means long smooth penis. What is remarkable in the folklore in the area of the Big cat sightings, is not a Big Dick connection, but the many links with the legends of King Arthur - which you'll find in any tourist guidebook.

The Arthurian tales of chivalry were largely a 19th century invention, a spin on old folk tales invented to give a bit of glamour to the sour-faced old royal act. This was no great novelty, the same set of folk-myths were also hornswaggled by Hister's crew in Germany, and again to launch the new age economy in the psychic matket town of Glastonbury,a nd again to start Camelot's National Lottery in Tintagel. So we'll give King Arthur a miss.

A t the end of the Goodaver road we come across the tourist trap Jamaica Inn which cashes in on its reputation made by Daphne du Maurier's book and Alfred Hitchcock's film. The Inn also now houses Walter Potter's Museum of Curiosities, formerly based in Sussex.

school for bunnies
The Rabbits' Village School, Tableaux by Walter Potter, 1888

This collection is one of the only existing examples of a complete Victorian Museum. The curiosities include preserved specimens of animal 'freaks' such as Siamese pigs, archaic musical instruments and opium smoking paraphernalia. The most famous exhibits in Potter s Museum are the animal tableaux, made up of preserved animals posed in glass cases as if taking part in human activities. As disquietingly necrophiliac as a Turner prize show, a list of some of the tableaux gives the flavour: The Happy Family, A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed, Athleti c Toads, The House that Jack Built, The Guinea Pigs' Cricket Match, The Sporting Party and The Kittens' Wedding.

The Kitten's Tea and Croquet Party has 37 little kittens having tea, or playing croquet, with onlookers and waitresses. Walter Potter shows great attention to detail, two kittens appear to be reading a time-table, another is brushing its hair. A social gathering of some importance seems to be taking place, a courteous young kitten is offering a plate of 'mouse tarts' to his neighbour.

The guidebook points out "All the kittens came from a farm at Henfield . . and were NOT killed especially for this case! . . . Young visitors may like to know that nothing was ever killed especially for the museum as Potter was a very kindly man . . . It is an interesting fact that there is not one black cat to be found anywhere in the museum. In bygone days they were thought to be connected with witchcraft, and therefore it was deemed unlucky to keep them as pets . . . and . . . the museum has been filmed by Walt Disney".

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