A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

The 2018/19 winter season has been full of brilliant woodland and tree work across Penrose. With the help of many dedicated volunteers this winter existing woodland and orchards have been improved whilst new woodland strips and parkland trees have been planted.
We started the woodland season in Shadywalk Wood burning large piles of now dry laurel felled out the previous year, processing other timber and continuing the progress through the woods removing invasive species and thinning the densest areas to allow in more light. Already, this spring, we’re seeing the benefits; lots of new wildflower growth is slowly spreading into these areas.

Volunteers burning last year’s laurel in the woodVolunteers burning last year’s laurel in the woods

In the first couple of weeks of the New Year lots of woodland management was completed by the Woodland Volunteers, Conservation Volunteers and Lizard and Penrose Rangers in the woods behind the Walled Garden. The work focused on the removal of dangerous trees and invasive rhododendron, cherry laurel and hydrangea as well as clearing around an historic archway and thinning of sycamore regrowth. Lots of the brash has been neatly constructed into windrows offering good habitat to birds, mammals and insects.

Windrows in the late afternoon sunWindrows in the late afternoon sun

The Woodland Volunteers installed a tree guard - made from chestnut posts milled from a large chestnut tree which was blown over at Tremayne on the southern Helford - in the Penrose parkland. In the centre of the guard a Lucombe oak has been planted. Lucombe oaks are hybrids of Turkey and Cork oaks, two of which were planted at Penrose in the 1770s, around ten years after the hybrid was first discovered.

As a semi-evergreen tree the young tree still clings on to last year’s green leaves whilst new leaves are bursting from their buds.

Penrose Woodland Volunteer planting the Lucombe oak in the ParklandPenrose Woodland Volunteer planting the Lucombe oak in the Parkland

To top off a great season, at the end of January, National Trust volunteers were joined by Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Wild Cober volunteers to plant a section of new woodland alongside Penrose Stream (on a very, very wet day!). A mix of native tree species were selected each with beneficial characteristics for the site. A damp edge was planted with alder and willow to help slow the flow and filter out nutrients in run-off from nearby sloping fields; native English and sessile oaks scattered amongst rowan and hawthorn all to benefit wildlife with shelter and food whilst providing a vital link between neighbouring existing woods.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust volunteers join NT volunteers for a (very rainy) day of planting treesCornwall Wildlife Trust volunteers join NT volunteers for a (very rainy) day of planting trees

Published: March 2019
Author: Calum McIntosh, National Trust Ranger, Penrose