The Cotna Vision

Our philosophy at Cotna is to lead a low-impact, sustainable way of life in harmony with the elements, the land and our local community. This includes producing green energy, vegetables, fruit and preserves that are delicious, seasonal and organically grown.

Dave Readman

Having spent his life in the West Country, Dave trained as a Plant Biochemist at Bath University. He has mainly worked in the field of conservation and ecology and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of plants!

Dave has trained many young people over the years in countryside skills and woodland management, and more recently has been working with older volunteers on walking and cycling for health and fitness schemes.

A qualified Homoeopath, Dave is also an ardent plantsman, gardener and composter! He loves growing and eating food and being in the woods coppicing and harvesting fuel-wood. He says it’s all about moving healthily, eating well, keeping warm and dry and knowing how to get well when it goes wrong!

Sara Readman-Smyth

Sara was a teacher, trainer and examiner of EFL / ESOL in London before she came to Cornwall. She has travelled extensively in both Europe & Asia, particularly in South India. She has always loved contact with other cultures through work and travel, and has integrated this into life at Cotna through her overseas links and interest in international cuisine.

She brings a reflective side to life at Cotna through yoga, meditation and encourages the use of the studio for solitary retreats. She is a Homoeopath, has trained in Ayurveda and teaches students with Dyslexia at Falmouth University.

Although life as a smallholder has been very new to her, but she has embraced the sowing and growing of seeds.  A self-confessed foodie, Sara delights in creating Artisan bread and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.


Our working cocker spaniels, Kuti and Billy are our official welcome committee, rabbit management and resident shoe-thieves.

You may run into our cats, Ziggy and Kiwi prowling around the farm.  Our chickens love your food scraps and during Easter we usually have new chicks .  Up on the field you’re welcome to visit Bos and Elderflower our horses.

What We Do: Seasonal Leaves

We are renowned for our salad leaves.  This is Cotna’s speciality! We grow a variety of different lettuces, rocket, watercress, oriental leaves and spinach. We are famous for our beautiful seasonal salad bags, which contain a mix of leaves, herbs and flowers. We supply these to local people through farm shops, pubs and restaurants.

Vegetables & Fruit

We also grow a considerable range of vegetables and fruit.  These include sweetcorn, tomatoes, aubergine, courgette, squash, beans, peas, celery, cucumbers, apples, strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, redcurrants and quince. We supply these to our guests, friends and the local community when they are in season.

Hand-made Produce

We make range of hand-made produce. At present this includes; pesto (basil, watercress or rocket), chutneys, jams, marmalades, fruit vinegars, cordials, salad dressings, granola, hummus and harrissa.

Better Than Organic!

Most food in Britain is grown on minerally depleted land, which minimises the mineral and nutrient level available for the food. Most ‘fresh’ food in the UK has travelled hundreds of miles over a considerable amount of time to get to the consumer. The combination of these facts ensures that generally the food we eat is lacking in a number of essential factors.

Our soil is mulched with compost and organic matter. Our vegetable beds are weeded by hand (minimising the use of petro-chemical machines on the land). Our food is carefully sown, grown and picked by hand and locally delivered. This is why Cotna food is even better than organic!

Brief History of Cotna

Cotna was historically known as Cruckcorner. The area of ‘Cotna’ occupies an area of about 60 acres on the west side of the valley below Gorran Churchtown. The area is thought to be an ancient site – in 1846 earthenware pots were found, which were identified as bronze-age funerary urns.

A number of holdings have existed in the area – Cruckcorner Wollas, Cruckcorner Wartha and Cotna Brake. Nowadays the local land is divided into Cotna Barton, Cotna House and Sentries (named after Sentries Mill).

It is believed that the name Cruckcorner was introduced onto the tithe map of 1841 by Charles William Peach – one of the well-educated persons of the parish. It was spelled Cruck Corner, which was the way he heard it pronounced. The name was probably originally ‘crakkya-conna’, meaning steep, or literally break-neck – referring to the very steep hill rising from the original Sentries Mill in the valley.

About the Area

Cotna is just outside Gorran Churchtown, on the south coast of Cornwall & near the Roseland Peninsula, the stretch of coast from Gorran to St Mawes. It is in an area of natural beauty and is characterised by gentle rolling countryside, dramatic cliff and coastal scenery and unspoiled beaches. There are no major roads and Truro, the nearest town, is about 12 miles away. The area is off the beaten track, a lovely place to live, and a good place for a holiday at any time of the year.

Cotna itself is within walking distance of the sea and near the south west coastal path. It is ideal for walking, cycling or beach holidays standing at equal distances between the beaches of Gorran Haven, Port Mellon and Caerhays, within walking distance of all three by public footpaths.

Getting Here

Directions from St Austell to Cotna Barton, Gorran PL26 6LG

Take the Pentewan Road from roundabout at B&Q / Macdonald’s. Drive through London Apprentice & past Pentewan caravan-park. At the brow of the hill, turn right towards Lost Gardens of Heligan. Drive past there, to Gorran. Turn left just after the church, opposite PO & Barley Sheaf Pub. Go down bumpy track around back of church, footpath signposted Galowras Mill. At mown Oval field turn right down track. Cotna Barton is at the end!

Nearest Station: St Austell

Bus Service: from Trinity Street St Austell to Gorran at 11.40, 12.50 & 16.00 (ask driver for Gorran Churchtown outside Barley Sheaf Pub) Walk through Churchyard and turn left down bumpy track around back of church, footpath signposted Galowras Mill. At mown Oval field turn right down track. Cotna Barton is at the end!

Hemmick beach as seen from the coastal path, 1.5 miles from Cotna


Gorran Haven habour (picture from


Bookmark and Share
cotna, cotna barton, cornwall, accommodation, seasonal fruit & veg, chemical-free, organic, salad bags, watercress, local delivery, picked to order, hand-made, tomato passata, pestos, granola, jam, chutney, fruit vinegars, WWOOFing, wind power, solar panels, spring water, bees, honey, dog-friendly, people-friendly