A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

On the last Saturday of June I woke up bright and early, put on my rain coat and tracked down the hum of generators through the early morning drizzle at Poltesco. The night before local moth expert, Mark Tunmore, set up half a dozen moth traps. For an awe-inspiring hour or so Mark identified over 100 different species of moth for those of us who braved the wet summer morning. I can’t think of a more fitting way to conclude a series of wonderful events than to marvel at some of the creatures the newly expanded Lizard National Nature Reserve (NNR) will continue to protect.

[L-R] Eyed, Small Elephant and Privet Hawk-moths“A ‘definitely-not-staged’ picture of the stars of the show: [L-R] Eyed, Small Elephant and Privet Hawk-moths.”

In 2016 the Lizard NNR, first established in the 1970s, and managed by Natural England in partnership with graziers, was expanded to include an additional 470ha of wildlife rich areas cared for by the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Cornwall Bird Watching and Protection Society; for two months throughout the summer, the organisations and their dedicated volunteers celebrated its expansion with a series of events focusing on the unique natural environment on display across the peninsula.

Birdringing“Kids learning about local birds at a bird-ringing demonstration held at Windmill Farm.”

Over 500 people, locals and visitors, amateurs and enthusiasts, came out to more than 40 events to absorb what the NNR stands to protect: birds singing their hearts out to the sunrise, little critters swimming or skating across ponds, wildflowers, bees, butterflies, bats, reptiles, all just to name a few. Cliff-top nature walks, whirring nightjars and family fun at the rock pools were particular highlights.

Group walking in the countryside“Learning how to navigate through nature, one of the kids-orientated events.”

The events celebrated the start of the next chapter for the Lizard, now one of the largest National Nature Reserves in the country. Going forward, the conservation partnership will continue to pool together its expertise and deliver what’s best for the Lizard’s wildlife and natural environment.
LogosPublished: Dec 2017

Author: Calum McIntosh – Assistant Ranger, Lizard National Trust