In Brief

Poldark's popularity sparks National Trust parking row in Cornwall

Decision to charge at site of Levant Mine disaster branded "insensitive" by locals

The National Trust has been accused of being "insensitive" for charging visitors to park near the site of the Levant Mine disaster in Cornwall after the BBC's Poldark boosted the location's popularity.

A new ticket machine will be fitted at the mine after a group of vandals pulled the first one out of the ground.

However, locals say the National Trust is profiting from the growing numbers visiting the site, where 31 men were killed in 1919, and have called the move "insensitive", says the Daily Telegraph.

In an open letter on Facebook, resident Ian Cooke says: "We don't want Levant Mine to be treated as a Poldark attraction.

"The National Trust have still not taken on board public feelings about the new charges as applicable to Levant, but hope they eventually see sense and abandon this policy as it applies to the very special case of Levant due largely to the disaster of 1919 when 31 local miners were killed in a shaft less than 100 metres from the car park."

The National Trust said the parking fees would help maintain the site.

A spokesman said: "A terrible tragedy happened in 1919, where 31 men lost their lives there.

"We know people still come to pay their respects, those that descend from the miners that lost their lives, and we don't want to prevent that from happening in any way.

"Those people are able to park for free and while they're with us we want to hear their stories and hear their memories of the place."

Visitor figures have risen by 50 per cent since the new version of Poldark first aired in 2015, says the conservation charity. Around 100,000 people have gone to the site in the past two years.

Poldark, which is based on novels by Winston Graham, tells the story of Ross Poldark's efforts to make his family's Cornish copper mines work.

The National Trust offers Poldark Walks, which take visitors past sites used in the series as well as areas "rich in mining and Cornish history".

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