A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

Treacle - Welsh CorgiLast week was the first time I have walked on the Lizard with a dog. Our dog is a recent acquisition: a three year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi with a lovely temperament and an impressive ability to sniff every blade of grass on a walk. Despite her little legs, she is a good walker and this was the first walk of about 5 miles in one go for her. As the avid readers of my blog contributions will know, my background as a geographer is in landscape, place, and identity. There is also a significant body of work in animal geographies which looks at the role of companion animals in our lives. So I was interested to find that my experience of walking from Lizard Point to Kynance along the coast path and back over along the road was very different with my dog along for the trot. It was a glorious day, though very muddy underfoot (not great for those of us who are low to the ground). We walked through the village down to the Most Southerly Point, with plenty of snoofling going on, then set off towards Kynance.Kynance Cove
I kept Treacle on her lead all the time, based on what I know about the possibility of other, larger, mammals grazing the coastal grassland. I was surprised, though, that many other dogs were off the lead. We came across some grazing ponies who regarded Treacle warily, although in her head all other furry mammals are dogs including everything from guinea pigs to horses and should be greeted with a bum-sniff. Luckily she didn't get that close, because she was under control. We met some people further on with a dog off the lead and mentioned that we had just passed some ponies. They were quite casual, saying that their dog was 'used to horses". This gave me a moment's pause, as I have heard not only about dogs attacking other animals on farmland but also dashing about and falling over the edge of cliffs.

Ponies on The Lizard cliffs
Meanwhile, Treacle was having a whale of a time, with many new sniffs. I enjoyed how much she relished the walk although she gave me stink eye when she had to walk through some muddy puddles. I saw steps and stiles with fresh eyes, wondering if I would have to pick up her muddy ladyship to tackle them. We had a great lunch at Kynance cafe (dog biccies for Treacle) and then walked back via the road, judging that the field paths would also be waterlogged. This is one of my favourite walks, and was enhanced even further by the presence of my own furry companion. I am looking forwards to revisiting many old haunts on the Lizard in her company, though I encourage all dog walkers to have their dogs on leads to ensure that they and other animals can share the space safely.

Published: March 2018
Author: Professor Catherine Leyshon (nee Brace)

Centre for Geography, Environment, and Society
 University of Exeter
, Penryn Campus
,Treliever Road,
TR10 9FE