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
Keep it Clean
With Christmas and the New Year approaching it’s time to start thinking about New Year resolutions. How about committing to ‘keeping it clean’ for wildlife?
Garden birds bring great pleasure to millions of people across the UK, and for some it’s the only contact with wildlife and nature they have. I too am a great lover of garden birds and I love watching them come to the feeders in my garden. Doing the BTO’s garden bird watch survey throughout the year has helped me recognise the early signs of sick birds.
‘Affective qualities’- the ability of place to inspire strong feelings
As regular readers of this blog will know from my previous contributions, I am a runner. I run all over the place: coastpath, roads, field paths, in rain or shine. I have enjoyed some spectacularly wonderful runs on the Lizard, including the tough miles from Muliion to Lizard village, from Lizard point back to Gunwalloe, from Coverack to Lizard Point.
I have enjoyed moments of complete elation, dark moments of exhaustion, fear in the fog, joy in the sunshine, I have been too hot, too cold, wind blow and rain lashed – sometimes all this in the course of one run.
Last Chance for a Marine Conservation Zone at Carrick Roads
The famous deep-water anchorage in West Cornwall is a magnet for wintering birds. Black-necked grebes, in particular, are drawn to Carrick Roads’ mild and tranquil waters, with one of the UK’s largest flocks a regular sight in winter.
Black necked Grebe - Ferran Pestaña via Wikimedia Commons
Currently the black-necked grebe gets no protection at all in the UK and this is one of its most important sites, which deserves the best protection we can give it. And making black-necked grebe a designated feature of a new marine conservation zone (MCZ) in Carrick Roads is the surest way to do that.
World War Two airfield building finally gets its wings.
The World War Two Light Anti-aircraft Crew Hut at Windmill Farm had to be repaired several years ago to make it safe. Whilst carrying out the repairs it was modified to hopefully provide a suitable roosting site for barn owls and bats.
Barn Owl chicks being ringed at Windmill Farm - Richard Moore
Occasionally the West Cornwall reserves team stick their head through a broken window to see if any of the desired species have taken up residence, over the past year we have had the pleasure of seeing adult barn owls roosting.
Wrecks and wrecking at Gunwalloe: fact and fiction
As a maritime archaeologist and a novelist I’m fascinated by the shipwrecks of the Lizard Peninsula, a place where I’ve dived extensively over the past couple of years. The number of wrecks known makes this one of the richest areas of seabed archaeologically off England, and has led me to establish a research programme - in collaboration with Mark Milburn, of Atlantic Scuba in Penryn – to locate, monitor and investigate wrecks of historic significance in these waters, under the aegis of Historic England.
The church headland at Gunwalloe from Jangye-ryn (David Gibbins)