A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

Heathland Management Course at Windmill Farm Nature Reserve


This July saw the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly run a Heathland Management Course at Windmill Farm Nature Reserve. The highlight for me was standing in Ruan Pool and the surrounding muddy trackways with course leader Ian Bennallick who every few steps would identify rare or uncommon plants such as Pigmy rush, Yellow centuary, Chaffweed, Pillwort, Lesser marshwort, Lesser Water-plantain, Shore-weed, and Alternate-flowered Water-milfoil.

Heathland restoration and re-creation on The Lizard

On The Lizard we can still enjoy relatively large expanses of heathland on a truly landscape scale. They are world famous for their unique assemblage of plants and animals and have been on the botanist's 'must see' list at least since John Ray, the 'Father of English botany', made the first botanical record here in 1667. He discovered 'Juniper or Firre-leaved heath (Cornish heath) by the wayside going from Helston to Lizard Point'.

An area of previously dense conifer plantation that has been felled to allow the restoration of a mosaic of heathland habitats including heath, scrub, tracks and ponds.An area of previously dense conifer plantation that has been felled to allow the restoration of a mosaic of heathland habitats including heath, scrub, tracks and ponds.

Help Protect the Nature you Love

Rare prostrate asparagus (NT photo library)On the Lizard we are lucky to have one of the most protected landscapes and habitats in the country. The whole peninsula is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we have a large National Nature Reserve, lots of Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas of conservation and more....
These designations, set up by European directives as long ago as the 1970s have helped protect many really special plants, animals and places from potential damage, development or neglect. Skylark - S BuryHowever, these laws are coming under threat as a review set up by the European Commission could potentially weaken their integrity.
These wildlife areas really do matter, they help protect our water supplies, pollinate our crops and they give all of us places where we can get closer and be inspired by nature.
You can help voice your opinion by completing the Nature Alert Survey www.naturealert.eu/en

Published: June 2015
Author: Alastair Cameron (General Manager, The Lizard and Penrose)

Help record the 'Sounds of our Shores' this summer

 Sounds of the shore logo

I’m really very excited about the new 'Sounds of our Shores' project that launched just last week. Find out what we are up to and how you can get involved by clicking on this audio clip or by reading the blog below:

Children recording coastal sounds at Birling Gap, East SussexAs part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Neptune Coastline Campaign National Trust are working with National Trust for Scotland and the British Sound Library to create the first ever coastal sound map; an archive of new and old coastal sounds from across the UK. We can’t do this alone, we need your help.
Over the next three months we are asking you go out to your local coast or a new stretch of coast and to discover and record the sounds that you hear there. You can then upload them to the 'Sounds of our Shores' audio boom channel.

Historic Boundary Hedge Restoration at Teneriffe

Teneriffe Farm on the west coast of the LizardPredannack Cliffs and Teneriffe Farm on the west coast of the Lizard are an extremely diverse historic landscape. There is the coastal grassland and heathland of the National Nature Reserve, and the ancient and unchanged coastal fields where the boundaries have always remain untouched. And then there are the slightly inland fields, which are a little more productive, and the arable fields of Teneriffe. Every field is different. Stone hedging forms the boundaries, some is ancient and some not quite so old.

Historical Data of the Lizard to Support Local Flora

This article will expand on an area of research currently being carried out on the Lizard, mentioned in my previous entry.

The area of research I will expand on is the FARM (Farming and Resilience Management) project. The FARM project is an initiative led by myself and PhD student Timothy Walker from the University of Exeter, supported by Roskilly and Camel Farms, in conjunction with the Environment and Sustainability Institute.

Aim

LogN1000The aim of the FARM project is to determine areas of the Lizard most suitable to conservation management. Using this information we will discuss the potential for implementing management schemes with local farmers. We hope to determine which management schemes are both suitable and realistic within the farming framework.

Example of a GIS map of Ellenberg Indicator Value change, using Nitrogen as an example.Diagram:- Owen Greenwood and Julien Macetteau

How would we cope without them?

Volunteers

The very simple answer to that question is we couldn't. Here at the Lizard National Nature Reserve we have over 5000 acres of land to manage and we wouldn't be able to achieve anywhere near the amount of work it takes to keep the NNR in favourable condition without the help and support of our volunteers. Some statistics were produced last year for Natural England that showed that on all of the National Nature Reserves managed directly by Natural England, volunteers carried out over 23000 man days of work worth over £2.4 million.

Invisible Stock Fencing!! We ARE Living in The Future!!

Caerthillian Cove Caerthillian Cove on the south west tip of The Lizard peninsula is a site of botanical splendour. It is winter grazed by ponies to conserve its wonderful floristic diversity. In recent years the animals have been contained within temporary electric fencing. Despite being minimalistic this is still labour intensive, inconvenient for walkers, and detracts from the glorious landscape. This winter we are experimenting with an invisible fence system –and at the moment we are still holding our breath!!