Local volunteers restore wetlands at Penrose
Leaky dam taking shape
A project to help restore wildlife habitats and access on the Penrose Estate near Helston that began last year has now been completed thanks to the help of local volunteers and working groups.
A partnership of conservation groups came together with the aim of improving the willow carr alongside the River Cober. The work, which was coordinated by the National Trust, included coppicing and felling small trees and building leaky dams comprised of carefully-stacked logs and brash. Sections of path were also raised and re-surfaced to improve access for walkers.
The Helford River
..... a dynamic ever changing habitat, shaped by wind and tide.
The wild weather we are having now has prompted me to write something about the dynamic nature of an estuary and the effect of the wind. Estuaries can vary widely in character depending upon their aspect and exposure to prevailing winds. The Helford Stretches from East to West, it’s wide open mouth leads out onto Falmouth Bay, exposed to winds from the East and to a lesser extent the West. ‘When the wind is in the east, 'tis neither good for man nor beast’ is a well-known country saying and certainly no one would want to be out on the Helford when a good Easterly is blowing!
A Lizard Bird Diary
Dear Friends of the Lizard,
Steve Townsend at Natural England has asked me to write and tell you about my new book, A Lizard Bird Diary: A Study of the Birds of the South Lizard Peninsula 1970-2015. Much has been written about the flora of the Lizard but apart from two breeding surveys, the birds have received comparatively little attention.
My book, which I hope in some measure will help to fill in this gap, summarises 45 years of fieldwork beginning in April 1970 with my first visit to the Lizard when I was a young 23 year old art student studying in Falmouth.
Fast‐forward to 2007 and with my shelves bulging with notebooks I felt I was ready to begin a project to synthesise all this data although I really did not expect that it would take up to November 2016 until completion and final publication.
In praise of humble weeds
The mild end to 2016 has allowed many plants to keep flowering deep into winter, despite the short hours of daylight. This photo, taken in December near Coverack on the Lizard, is of Corn Marigold, still going strong on the Winter Solstice! Corn Marigold is an arable weed; a rather unexciting name for a group of very interesting plants.
Calling All Friends of Kennack Sands
Kennack Sands on The Lizard is one of our finest Cornish beaches. It is cherished by locals and visitors alike. In order to help safeguard this precious place, and to give people a stake in the ongoing management, we are meeting to form the Friends of Kennack Sands. We are calling all with an interest in the area to come along on Tuesday Jan 17th at Ruan Minor Village Hall at 7pm.
Last summer the beach was thrown into a crisis when Cornwall Council withdrew the litter collection. Local interests worked hard to find a solution, and it was apparent how significant the beach is to so many residents. By forming the group we hope to capture some of that passion and give the local community a much greater sense of ownership of this beauty spot.
Marine life at The Manacles
In November 2013 I wrote an article for the Lizard website entitled “Marine life at The Manacles recommended for protection”. Now, over three years later, there are thirteen designated features of The Manacles Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) covering a diverse range of species and habitats, from the pink sea fan and sea fan anemone, to sedimentary habitats and rocky reef. In May this year, Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (CIFCA) completed a drop down video survey within the MCZ. The images taken during this survey capture beautifully the diversity of habitats within this relatively small site and I have included a few of my favourites for this article. Thanks to Colin Trundle and CIFCA for the images.
CIFCA Manacles 2016 pink sea fan