A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula


I am not a climate scientist, but in the course of my work I hang about with people who know all kinds of cool stuff about global mean temperature, oceanic currents and even the climate of the world just after the end of the last ice age. However, much of this research is made up of complicated mathematical modelling and at temporal and spatial scales that make it seem all a very long way from my life and where I live. A very boggy flush at PredannackNevertheless, we are all in possession of knowledge and information about our surroundings that can be used to make climate change real to us, here and now. Take those tomatoes that were still going strong in November, or the way you noticed how you were wearing your wellies more and more, even in July! As I ran across Predannack Down early on that June day, I was making note of changes to the landscape that signal a changing climate such as the effects of heavy and persistent rain. Most of us experience climate change via new weather patterns such as cooler, wetter summers and warmer, wetter winters. Those changes are now frequent enough to know that they are not one off event and we have all, in recent years, experienced the increased violence and frequency of storm events and the damage and disruption they bring. Of course, extraordinary weather events raise our consciousness of climate change for a few days, but it is in the small, seemingly insignificant patterns of change that we glimpse what is really going on.

 Herring Gull on Predannack cliffs  

Next time you are in one of your favourite places – perhaps walking the dog in the National Nature Reserve, gardening, bird watching, fishing, surfing or lazing around on the beach – take a closer look at how it is changing. Using our familiarity with every day places can really help us to understand that climate change is real for all of us, and lead us to get involved in projects which will help our beautiful landscape with its unique flora and fauna remain resilient and stay special.

Volunteering on the Lizard

Published: April 2013
Author: Professor Catherine Leyshon (Exeter University)

Click here for more articles about conservation work on the Lizard.