A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

Lizard farmers win a national ‘Farming with nature’ award

Rona and Nevil AmissOne of our local farming families were awarded one of the food and farming industry’s highest honours, a National Trust Fine Farm Produce Award at BBC Countryfile Live earlier this summer, with the Lizard’s Tregullas Farm, the most southerly farm on mainland Britain, winning the National Trust’s first-ever ‘Farming with Nature’ award.

Lizard Heathland re-wetting project

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust in Partnership with the MOD, Natural England and The National Trust are in the process of installing a number of pipe dams on Windmill Farm Nature Reserve and the neighbouring Predannack Airfield.

Local volunteers restore wetlands at Penrose

 Leaky dam taking shape

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.

Lowland Point (Coverack)

Mention The Lizard, and you may think of the wild west coast, with its serpentine cliffs and iconic coves, or the open expanse of heathland at Goonhilly. Delve a little deeper though and there are many less well known treasures waiting to be explored.

One such place is Lowland Point, forming the northern edge of the bay in which the east coast fishing village of Coverack sits.

Springtime thrift and sea campion, and the view back to Coverack - Rod Allday - geograph.org.uk

Whichever way you choose to approach, it’s no short walk in. Consequently Lowland is a tranquil spot, especially since adjacent Dean Quarry has been silent for almost two decades, having previously produced road and other stone, much of which was shipped out from the quarry’s now abandoned jetty.

Both Dean and Lowland are underlain by gabbro, part of the Lizard suite of rocks, but lesser known than its more unusual neighbour serpentine. Lowland is aptly named, as viewed from afar it is indeed low land. Geomorphologically speaking, this flat coastal platform, just a few metres above sea level, is a raised beach, formed during the last ice age when sea levels fell. The ‘cliffs’ are now ¼ mile inland, and clothed in heath and elm woodland. The raised beach supports an interesting mix of wet willow woodland, and flowery pastures, with at least one seasonal pond adjacent to the coastpath.

Lowland viewed from the relict cliffs above - Dereck Voller - geograph.org.uk

Main Dale

If you are lucky enough find yourself on the road that leads to Roskilly's, for lunch or a delicious ice cream, you will probably be driving through an area of "wild land" known as Main Dale, this is part of the Lizard National Nature Reserve managed by Natural England.

You will see the land is strewn with Gabro boulders known locally as crusairs, how these boulders got here is a matter of great debate and geologists argue amongst themselves that they are either the result of soil erosion around the boulders or they slid here during the last ice age.

Marine life at The Manacles recommended for protection

As well as the many shipwrecks found under the waves around the treacherous set of rocks off The Lizard Peninsula called The Manacles, there lies a huge variety of rich rocky reef communities, bright pink maerl beds and other sedimentary habitats. All of these support a diverse marine fauna including spiny lobsters, sea fan anemones, tiny stalked jellyfish and slow growing pink sea fans.

Jewel anemones on The Manacles-Angie Gall   Pink sea fan and bloody Henry starfish on The Manacles-Angie Gall

People who are lucky enough to have dived in and around The Manacles will appreciate why its high quality reefs were one of the reasons why this site was recommended as a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) last year. Intertidal habitats, including its rocky shore communities, were also proposed for protection in this site.
The Manacles reef-Rob Seebold Natural England

Military off road driving creates an opportunity for habitat creation on the Lizard

Military land rovers as habitat creaters - Nick MarriottThe Cornwall Wildlife Trust manages over 100 hectares of heathland on the MOD's Predannack Airfield, near Lizard Village. This spring RNAS Culdrose's driver training officer asked if he would be allowed to train Royal Marines in off road driving on the heathland under our management.

Millennium Seed Bank Partnership

Seed Bank t-shirt design

Next year we are going to embark on an exciting project working with The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership to collect plant samples and eventually seed from some 50 + species of plants growing on the Lizard, and we will need some help with this important work.