The Lizard in Cornwall to becomes one of the largest National Nature Reserves in the South West

177487smNatural England, The National Trust, and Cornwall Wildlife Trust are pleased to announce that the Lizard National Nature Reserve will be extended from today (31st August 2016).

The Lizard Peninsula is one of the best locations in the country for wildlife, with a wealth of rare plants, invertebrates and habitats that make visiting the area is a must for nature lovers.

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New EP captures sounds of Marconi’s Lizard

TRUDD169_300ppiA new four-track EP ‘Marconi and the Lizard’ by musician and producer Joe Acheson is being released today following a week-long National Trust sound residency on the Lizard staying in the aptly named Wireless Cottage, in Cornwall in August 2015.

The first-ever Trust sound residency, which was based at the hut where Guglielmo Marconi broadcast the ship-to-shore radio transmission on the beautiful south Cornish coast, was part of the ‘Sounds of our Shores’ project that ran during the summer of 2015.

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Thousands of pink bottles washed up on Cornish coast

Pink bottles Poldhu beach - 5 1 15 - Credit Poldhu Beach Cafe

On January 4 2016, thousands of bright pink detergent bottles have been washed up on Poldhu beach on the Lizard Peninsula, part of the West Cornwall coastline cared for by the National Trust. 

Justin Whitehouse, National Trust Lead Ranger on the Lizard Peninsula, said: “We were alerted to the bottles yesterday and started collecting them straight away, with the aid of our staff and volunteers including those from the Friends of Poldhu Community Group, to remove them from the coastal environment as quickly as possible.  We urge people not to pick up any bottles without using protective gloves, keep animals away and avoid swimming or walking in the area until any risk from the detergent to human or animal health has been assessed. Continue reading…

Take part in tomorrow’s Coast Path Challenge on the Lizard

Kynance Cove, Cornwall.  Photographer: Chris Parker.

Kynance Cove, Cornwall. Photographer: Chris Parker.

The South West Coast Path Challenge in October 2015 is a new fundraising event, which aims to set a new record for the number of times people can walk or run the Coast Path in one month. Participants can create their own challenge or join one of four organised 10 mile challenge walks – every miles counts!

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Frogs eager to breed in Cornwall

Frog spawn on the Lizard

Frog spawn on the Lizard

The common frog Rana temporaria is a familiar sight across the UK. In any shallow standing water you are likely to come across tell-tale clumps of spawn, and tadpoles and froglets vying for survival, not above eating their siblings if needs must!

But just when can you expect to find frogspawn and tadpoles in your local pond? The simple answer might be spring for spawn, and summer for tadpoles, but delve deeper and this doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny.

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Volunteers celebrate new chough chicks at Lizard Point.

BlueBackground_newSP_Pair

A team of National Trust and RSPB volunteers have been watching on tenterhooks to see if the legacy of choughs on the Lizard would continue. The long wait is over, and it is good news!

As you may have heard, in 2013 volunteers witnessed the dramatic end of the original pair of choughs who had pioneered the natural return of choughs to Cornwall since 2001, raising 46 chicks. In late May the original male bird died defending his territory against a young incoming male, who then paired up with the existing female. Two weeks after the take over, she too disappeared, leaving the young incoming male to raise the chicks on his own. After a month of hard, lonely work the younger male managed to successfully raise the youngsters who fledged in July last year. Continue reading…

Southernmost farm seeks tenant…

We are offering a unique opportunity to the right person to help care for mainland Britain’s most southerly farm at Lizard Point in Cornwall.

Tregullas farm, sitting on the tip of the Lizard was acquired by the National Trust in the early 1990s and is closely linked to the local community of the Lizard as well as providing much of the feeding ground for the first breeding pair of Cornish choughs in the county. Situated either side of the footpath to Lizard Point, hundreds of thousands of visitors pass through the farm on their way to the most southerly point

Tregullas is no ordinary farm and comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges. The new tenant farmer, who can choose between an initial 10 and 20 year tenancy needs to be someone who wants to be a part of the community, and understands the importance of the farm for people as well as wildlife and who can run a successful business.

Alastair Cameron, The National Trust’s property Manager for the Lizard explains “The farm is on the edge of Lizard village and so when the previous tenant left, the Trust took the time to listen to what the local community wanted from the land on their doorstep and to give them an opportunity to be involved in its future. We found that most people wanted a working farm, that wildlife, access and views were important and that people were really interested in being able to buy local food, so now we are looking for a new tenant who wants to work with the local community and ourselves to help make the most of this opportunity”.

The Trust has been working with three local groups set up as a result of this consultation, one looking at a community food growing scheme, another looking to find new uses for the old buildings and a third looking at the wildlife potential of the new tenancy [1]. Alastair says “it has been great working with the local community and trying to develop these new projects. It’s not all been successful but we’re hoping that the partnership approach can continue with our new tenant and we can move forward with projects that benefit the people of the Lizard as well as our tenant”

The Trust has been very involved in this area of the Lizard for over 20 years and has carried out a number of access, landscape and nature conservation projects aimed at making theLizard Pointarea better for people and wildlife. Such work includes a new footpath between the Lizard andLizard Point; under-grounding of overhead wires; restoration of historic buildings such as the Lizard Wireless Station and the Polbrean Youth Hostel; and landscape improvements such as removing poorly sited buildings. Conservation improvements have helped the re-establishment of a population of choughs inCornwalland protected and improved habitats in the area.

An estimated 200,000 people visit theLizard Pointeach year, all of whom will walk, cycle or drive past the farmhouse and through the farm to reach their destination, this iconic stretch of Cornish coast. The Trust’s intention with much of its access and landscape work has been to make the Lizard a more enjoyable experience and encouraging repeat visits. The Trust has been careful in all its work to not upset the balance of businesses within the community and has sought to complement and not compete with existing enterprises.

Justin Whitehouse, Head Ranger for the Lizard said: ‘ We want Tregullas farm to be a ‘flagship’ farm for the Trust, demonstrating that farming with high conservation standards can achieved in a  profitable and sustainable way, benefiting wildlife, the community and visitors and producing quality local produce”. 

Tenancy of the 96.6 hectare Tregullas Farm includes a house and buildings and the farm, which has a Higher Level Stewardship agreement, needs to be managed as an arable and livestock farm.

For further information on applying for this tenancy please click here

This land is your land

The National Trust on the Lizard peninsula is pioneering a community-style approach to some of our decision-making about the landscapes we look after, starting with asking people for their views on Tregullas Farm.

Tregullas farmland lies south of Lizard village from Bass Point to Lizard Head, and includes over 200 acres of farm and cliff land, fertile soil, footpaths, rare plants and breeding choughs. Our tenant here has left to concentrate on his own holding, but instead of routinely selecting a new farm tenant to carry on with beef and arable farming as before, we decided to stop, and ask people what they thought was special about this place and to hear their ideas for how the land and the buildings might be used. Meanwhile, the farmland and house will be let on short-term tenancies.

After two meetings, over 70 responses, and input from Natural England, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Cornwall AONB and the National Farmers’ Union, some clear priorities are emerging: a working farm, preferably livestock and arable; local food production and availability; wildlife; views, access, tranquillity; any redundant buildings converted to craft workshops or business units.

Opportunities like this don’t happen often – maybe just once in a generation – so this is your chance to get involved. Even if you don’t live on the Lizard but you know and love the place, we want to hear from you too: visit Visit tregullasfarm.org.uk and come along to the next farm open day on 12 June, which is being run in conjunction with the LEAF national Open Farm Sunday event.