Successful identification of our first heathland plant- the not-so-difficult lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica)
Searching for the elusive land quillwort (Isoetes histrix) at Kynance

 Successful identification of our first heathland plant- the not-so-difficult lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica) Searching for the elusive land quillwort (Isoetes histrix) at Kynance 

As well as this, we are compiling a final project, and preparing for a vegetative identification assessment from the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. As such, I will be focussing on the management regime at Kennack Sands, one of the only sand-dune systems on the peninsula, investigating for any major difference in the species’ present in patches which are at varying stages of management (untouched sand-dune; cleared more than 5 years ago; cleared during the last 2 years; over-winter grazed by ponies). I hope that this will put me in good stead to grade comfortably in the BSBI assessment at the end of my term! Beyond this I also hope to spend a bit of time looking at the marine and intertidal species around the Helford and Manacles, and off the Lizard rocky-shore areas in general.

Recolonising dog’s-mercury (Mercurialis perennis) amongst the scrub at Kennack Sands; and a rapt audience listens on to Rachel Holder at a National Trust Lizard Plants walk.

As I approach the half-way point of my placement, and reflecting on what I’ve witnessed thus far, I’ve seen is an immensely energetic core of dedicated experts and amateurs, employees, students and volunteers, from a whole host of organisations and backgrounds, working synergistically to do the best they can for the continued optimal management of this absolutely beautiful part of the world. If I can add to this work while I’m here I would consider it a humbling legacy, but at the very least, and with opportunities to work alongside the National Trust, the RSPB and BTO to name a few, this placement has inspired me to continue to strive for that lucrative position within conservation biology which has been eluding me thus far in my career. So thank you to all I’ve spent time with already, and here’s to the next six weeks!

Published: Jun 2016
Author: Clare McMorrow (NE)