A year in the life of a National Trust pony
Grazing the heath at Beagles
The National Trust has had ponies here on the Lizard for over 20 years, grazing the coastal heaths and grasslands for the benefit of wildlife. Our original herd, now aged over 30, is still going strong, proving a life of sea air does you good! These purebred Shetland ponies came to us from Arlington Court, a National Trust estate in north Devon, where some of their old pals still live today.
Responsible Wildlife Watching with the Cornwall Marine and Coastal Code Group
The Cornwall Marine and Coastal Code Group are tackling the issue of marine and coastal wildlife disturbance county-wide, and are calling on the public to help us monitor and manage this important issue.
This winter seems never ending. Rain and high winds have been forecasted once again for this weekend, and rather than do our weekend trip to the beach we think about huddling away by fires and cooking roast dinners with friends and families.
Stirring up a storm
The seas around Gunwalloe are home to the wrecks of the Santo António, a Portuguese ship wrecked during a storm almost 500 years ago, and the San Salvador, a Spanish ship wrecked over 300 years ago. Inspired by recent stormy weather I headed down to Dollar Cove at Gunwalloe to see if anything interesting had been washed up (although note I was neither expecting or hoping for a ship). Before I even got down to the beach I noticed that sea foam had been blown up to the footpath. Sea foam is created by the agitation of seawater, which is why it is often associated with stormier sea conditions.
Marbled Rock Crab: a new colonist?
In July 2015, while torching some rock pools at night east of Lizard Point, I noticed a crab that was unfamiliar, but also familiar. I secured a record shot with the help of Luke Marsh, which was essential for the next steps, and released the crab.
As I started to research the identity its familiarity dawned on me as a rock crab species, a family that I, and anybody who has visited the area, will be familiar with as being found on the Atlantic Islands. The Red Rock Crab is a large and obvious species there, along with the smaller Marbled Rock Crab. I checked over the features and sent in the record for verification.
Historic Boundary Hedge Restoration at Teneriffe
Predannack 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.
Winter storms - El Niño?
As 2016 gets underway, many communities in the north of England and Scotland are beginning the long clear up after repeated bouts of flooding, with the possibility of more to come. The Lizard, like many places in the southwest, seems to have escaped the worst of the flooding so far, though Storm Frank ushered in the New Year in Cornwall with high winds and heavy rain. Stormy weather is a feature of our winters, but when one storm after another makes landfall on our shores – as in 2013-14 and now in 2015-16 – we start to wonder aloud what the causes are.