Wild Penwith A major new project in West - Cornwall Wildlife Trust


Wild Penwith A major new project in West - Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Issue 109 Summer 2009


Wild Penwith

A major new project

in West Cornwall

Threatened Plant


Tubular waterdropwort

on Scilly

Protecting Wildlife for the future



Jan Pentreath


Jane King

Hon Secretary

Howard Curnow

Hon Treasurer

Hon Solicitor

Tim Atkins

Council Chairman

Howard Curnow

Council Vice-chair

Jean Smith

Committee Chairs

Conservation Strategy

Shelagh Garrard


Mark Nicholson


John Gowenlock

Fox Club

Jean Smith

Marketing & Fundraising

Keith Hambly-Staite

ERCCIS Advisory Board

Steve Crummay


Chief Executive

Trevor Edwards

Conservation Manager Victoria Whitehouse ext 211

Reserves Manager Callum Deveney ext 222

Environmental Records Centre Manager Gary Lewis ext 247

Central Services Manager Ba Whitehead ext 278

Marketing & Fundraising Manager Jasmin Brown ext 251

Consultancy Manager Phil Hills ext 225

Membership contacts (email: members@cornwt.demon.co.uk)

Membership Manager Andrea Toy ext 206

Membership Co-ordinator Kirstie Francis ext 203

Corporate member contact Serena Pettigrew-Collins ext 205

Conservation contacts

Deputy Conservation Manager Cheryl Marriott ext 210

Conservation Officer / Geo-conservation Sue Hocking ext 246

Education Officer Alison Forward ext 212

Marine Conservation Officers Tom Hardy ext 208

Ruth Williams ext 207

Abigail Crosby 07917 765581

Local BAP Coordinator Samantha Smith ext 214

Wild Penwith Project Officer Claire Rodger ext 201

Wild Penwith Ecologist Liz Cartwright ext 209

Nature Reserves Officers

Reserves/practical work:

Mid Cornwall Reserves Officer Sean O’Hea 07971 542185

West Cornwall Reserves Officer Nick Marriott 07973 954189

East Cornwall Reserves Officer Peter Kent 07899 430086

St George’s Island Summer Warden (Easter to September only)

Jon Ross 07974 293495

Volunteer contact

General volunteer enquiries Ba Whitehead ext 278

General contacts

Wild Cornwall Diary Editor Mark Dungey (01209) 860970

(email: diaryeditor.cwt@rame.eclipse.co.uk)

Local Group contacts:

Camel: Brian Wright (01208) 814138


Derek Spooner (magazine

deliveries) (01503) 265590

Carrick & North Helford: Joanna Wallis (01726) 882943

email: joannawallis@sky.com

Kerrier: Mike Thorne (01326) 563309

Friends of Churchtown Farm Community Nature Reserve:

Bob & Jackie Austin (01752)

844846; email bobjack@hotmail.co.uk

Friends of Kilminorth Woods Christine Spooner (01503) 265590,

email kilminorth@btinternet.com

Launceston: (Secretary) Mary Groves (01566)

86416; email altarnunwildlife@

hotmail.co.uk, (Chairman) Ian Nash

(01579) 370644; email ian@iannash.


Mid-Tamar Valley: Caroline Vulliamy (01579) 370411

email mid-tamargroup@hotmail.co.uk

Penwith: Jane & Nigel Haward (01736) 740991,

email: nigelhaward@hotmail.com

Restormel: Dave Thomas (01726) 861093,

email: davecarp86@hotmail.com

Tamar: Biddy Carrick (01288) 355312


Wildlife Information Service

If you have a general wildlife query please telephone Nic Harrison-White:

(01872) 273939 ext 213

Wildlife Veterinary Investigation Centre

Contact for investigation of dead specimens: Vic Simpson (01872) 560623

Marine Strandings Network Hotline

For reporting stranded dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals and other marine

creatures only: 0845 2012626

For specialist information, please see below:

Specialist Group contacts

Bat contacts:

· For grounded or injured bats in Cornwall:

Sue & Chris Harlow, (01872) 278695

· West Cornwall: Steve Marshall 07900 584900

· South East Cornwall: Kevin Witts (01752) 822512

· Natural England: (01872) 262550

· Cornwall Bat Group: Daniel Eva (01872) 276057

Botanical Cornwall Group:

Ian Bennallick (email ianbennallick@


Cornish Hedge Group: c/o HQ (01872) 273939

Cornwall Birdwatching & Preservation Society:

Darrell Clegg (01752) 844775

Cornwall Dolphin Group: Nick Tregenza (01736) 711783

Cornwall Mammal Group: Jodene Williams (01872) 273939 ext 241

Living Churchyards: Robert Moor (01872) 272929

Photographic Group: David Chapman (01736) 850287

Reptile & Amphibian Group: c/o HQ (01872) 273939

RIGS Group: Sue Hocking (c/o HQ 01872 273939 ext 246)

Cornwall Seal Group: Sue Sayer (01736) 754562

Seaquest SW:

(see also Seal and Dolphin Groups);

General enquiries to Tom Hardy (01872) 273939 ext 208

Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Five Acres, Allet, Truro, Cornwall TR4 9DJ

Tel: (01872) 273939 or (01872) 240777;

Fax: (01872) 225476;

E-mail: info@cornwt.demon.co.uk

Website: www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk




CEC Ecology CEC Landscape CEC Graphics

Page 2 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 3

Any material intended for

publication should be sent to:

Kirstie Francis

Five Acres




email: kirstie@cornwt.demon.co.uk

A meeting to review the magazine

and submit ideas for the next issue

is held shortly after publication. If

you wish to contribute or have any

queries, please contact the Editor,

Rowena Millar, 6 Stoke Terrace,

Kelly Bray, Callington, Cornwall

PL17 8EN


Deadline for items for next issue:

2 September 2009.

Publication: 16 November 2009.

The views expressed by the

contributors to the magazine are

not necessarily those of the Editor

or Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Copyright 2009

Cornwall Wildlife Trust

On the cover


Photo: Adrian Langdon

Design and origination:

Sheila McCann-Downes

(01872) 273939 ext 224


Cornwall Trust for Nature

Conservation Ltd. Trading as Cornwall

Wildlife Trust. Registered charity

No. 214929. A company limited by

guarantee and registered in England.

Registration No. 732511.

Registered Office: Five Acres, Allet,

Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DJ.

VAT Registration No. 557 3030 53.

Wild Cornwall is printed on paper

made from sustainable timber.



This issue brings news of Wild Penwith, a major

initiative to restore and link the various wildlife

habitats and watery areas of West Penwith. The

benefits will be manifold: native wildlife will escape

the limitations of being forced into vulnerable

pockets of viable habitat, damaged and polluted

areas will be allowed to regain their wild splendour

and diversity, and people will be working together

to manage the landscape in a sensitive way. All in all, landscapescale

initiatives such as Wild Penwith should benefit us all in

the long-term, from human residents and visitors, to mammals

and fish, to the tiniest plants and invertebrates... including the


Rowena Millar



Reserves news 4

Wild Penwith 6

A wetland on your doorstep 8

All aboard for wildlife 9

Voluntary Marine Conservation Areas 10

Donna Whitlock 11

Basking Shark Project 11

Pinger Project 12

Make a free Will 13

Notice-board 14

Diary of events 15

Tourism gives something back to wildlife 19

Beware of adders? 20

Your Local Group 21

Cornish businesses support the Trust 24

Nature news 26

A history of the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust: 1985–2006 32

The Threatened Plant Survey: tubular water-dropwort 33

Biodiversity on Scilly 34

News snippets 35

Calendar and Christmas cards 36

Page 6

Page 12

Page 34

St George’s Island

Reserves news

Summer is always a busy time of year on the island,

with day visitors arriving when tide and weather allow.

Work on the island continues with ongoing maintenance

as well as the preparation of Jetty Cottage for wedding

ceremonies. This year Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Looe

Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (VMCA) volunteers

and Cornwall Seal Group have joined forces to carry

out a project to learn more about grey seals around the

island. This year also marks a significant date in that

Attie Atkins, one of the sisters who left the island to the

Trust, would have been 100 years old in October.

Jetty Cottage, licensed wedding venue on

St George’s Island. Photo: Callum Deveney

Rare centipede rediscovered at

Devichoys Wood

This Easter, the British Myriapod & Isopod Group visited

our Devichoys Wood nature reserve and re-found good

numbers of the rare centipede Stigmatogaster souletina,

first discovered in the wood in 1998. This species is only

found in Cornwall and the Pyrenées.

Attie and Babs Atkins in Jetty Cottage. Attie (Evelyn

Edith Atkins) was born on 24th October 1909.

Photo: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Allet Bog pond

In a job where the results of your work can take years to

materialise, digging ponds is one of the most satisfying

tasks to do. After a bit of planning and consultation,

you turn up in a digger, make a mess for a few hours

and depart knowing that you’ve just done something

really positive for wildlife, with the results plain to see.

The pond pictured was created on Allet Bog where the

soil is rich in clay and readily holds water. It will be very

interesting to watch it colonise with wildlife of all sorts.

New pond at Allet Bog. Photo: Sean O’Hea

New bird hide at Colliford Lake

The Trust has installed a new bird hide with fantastic

views across the lake. This site is managed by South West

Lakes Trust, but Cornwall Wildlife Trust has an access

agreement so

members can visit

the site and now

use the new hide.

Rare wire-centipede, 8cm long, called

Stigmatogaster souletina.

Photo: Tony Barber

Bird hide being

erected at

Colliford Lake.


Dave Salmon

Page 4 Issue 109 Summer 2009


d in




Red Moor coppicing

The woodlands in the north of Red Moor have been

monitored for dormice for years, with a consistently

healthy population. Much of the wood is old hazel

coppice, though with the hazel becoming older and

larger it would benefit from re-coppicing. By coppicing a

small area each year over a 21-year cycle we will ensure

that there is a good age range of vegetation. Through

all stages of regrowth there will be benefits for dormice

and all sorts of other wildlife. Letting the light in will

encourage shrub growth in the first years and plants such

as bramble will provide nectar and food. As the hazel

regenerates in the coming years it will bear more fruit.

The 21-year coppice cycle was started this winter.

Freshly coppiced coupe at Red Moor. Photo: Sean O’Hea

Access improvements at Kennall Vale

Work has steamed ahead over the winter at Kennall

Vale with the help of the Friends of Kennall Vale

group. We now have new and repaired steps, a new

footbridge, safety surfacing on existing footbridges

and new handrails. The main track on site has also

been resurfaced and new revetment added. The safety

improvements were road tested recently by a group

from the University of the Third Age who gave them the

thumbs up.

Newly surfaced track and revetment.

Photo: Nick Marriott

Cabilla & Redrice Woods

Last winter Trust staff supervised the clearance of

softwoods from both Cabilla and Prideaux Woods.

The sawmill at Cabilla

has been processing

this timber and is now

manufacturing gates in

a variety of sizes. For

further information

on gates and produce,

contact Branston

Sawmill on (01208)


Gates made at Cabilla from locally sourced timber.

Photo: Callum Deveney

Phytophthora kernoviae and ramorum

discovered on two of west Cornwall’s


New leaflets for Windmill Farm and

Baker’s Pit

Our Windmill Farm and Baker’s Pit reserves each have

a new leaflet thanks to the HEATH project. The leaflets

are packed full of information on wildlife, archaeology

and history and include maps of self-guided trails to

help you explore these fascinating sites. The leaflets are

available to download from our website, at the reserve

entrances and from our offices at Five Acres, Allet.

Heathland self guided trails

Baker's Pit

Windmi l Farm was purchased jointly by the

Cornwa l Birdwatching and Preservation Society

and Cornwa l Wildlife Trust in 2001. This 75ha

(185 acre) farm is home to an array of habitats,

including wet and dry heaths, hay meadows,

pasture, wetland, ponds and arable land. This

mix of habitats means the site is home to a huge

variety of plant, bird and invertebrate species. The

17th century windmill that gives the farm its name

is a scheduled ancient monument.

This leaflet shows you what you might see as you fo low

the Windmill Farm self guided trail waymarkers around

the reserve.

The trail shown inside should take between 1.5 and 2

hours to complete. If you would like a shorte route, a

short cut is highlighted on the map.

The paths are clearly defined across the reserve but the

ground is uneven, muddy and slippery in places, so suitable

footwear should be worn. Horseflies may be present in

summer, so use of insect repe lent is advised.

Dogs are not a lowed on the reserve.

Heathland self guided trails

Welcome to Windmill Farm Natur

Windmill Farm

Please be aware that catt

the summer and autumn

gate during your walk, p


Windmi l Farm was a d

sta f and volunteers ha

enhance existing habit

reintroduction of graz

add fertilizers to the

and scrapes and grow

food for birds. As a r

invertebrate number

In common with hea

Windmill Farm has

remains. Archaeolo

settlement (from 5

(2000-700BC), me

World War I buil

the 17th century w

Devichoys and Baker’s Pit reserves are infected with

Phytophthora (plant pathogens). This could have serious

consequences for wildlife. Treatment will include the

removal and burning of rhododendron and the spraying

of herbicide on infected bilberry. For more information

please refer to the Forestry Commission and DEFRA


Cornwa l

The windmi l is a scheduled ancient monument (centre, pictured in 1938).

11/03/2009 12:05:37

Compiled by Callum Deveney, Reserves Manager,

with contributions from Sean O’Hea, Nick Marriott

and Tony Barber

This war

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 5

One of the aims of the project is to create well linked healthy wetlands. Photo: Liz Cartwright

Wild Penwith

Liz Cartwright brings us news of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s major new project.

Before I tell you about ‘Wild Penwith’, our new five

year project, I need to mention ‘Living Landscapes’, The

Wildlife Trusts’ big plan to work at the landscape scale.

One of the main threats facing our wildlife today is

climate change, and although no one knows exactly what

the impacts will be, we do know that changes in weather

are likely. Specifically, we should expect more extreme

weather such as high winds and floods, which means our

wildlife will be facing unfamiliar conditions. The Living

Landscapes approach focuses on restoring large areas

of habitat, and creating and maintaining links between

them. Linking existing habitats is important to allow

wildlife to move around the countryside, giving it a better

chance to adapt to changes. Without such links, habitats

become fragmented and populations isolated, making

them more vulnerable to climate change.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s first Living Landscapes

project, Wild Penwith, is a five year programme funded

by the Tubney Charitable Trust and Natural England,

with further funding from South West Water pending.

The project area is in West Penwith, where we will be

working to re-connect and restore fragmented habitats

from high, rough ground and heathland, across the

wetlands of the Drift catchment and down to the coast

via the Lamorna and Penberth valleys.

We will be working with landowners, the Farming

Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) and Natural England

to encourage positive management and restoration of

habitats including wetland and heathland. Our work

will include surveying many of these habitats and

providing landowners with management advice and

guidance. We will also be helping landowners enrol

into agri-environment schemes. These are government

incentives that pay farmers to farm in an environmentally

sensitive way; they run for either five or ten years and

will help secure the long-term future of valuable habitats.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust will also administer its own

small grant scheme to help landowners with management

operations to care for their wildlife habitats.

Another aim of the Wild Penwith project is to create

a system of healthy wetlands for wildlife, and water

quality is a central issue. Drift Reservoir is known to be

affected by diffuse agricultural pollution and, as well

as habitat enhancement, the project will focus on river

catchments within the project area. We will work with

the Environment Agency to monitor water quality, and

with FWAG to advise farmers on issues such as soil and

water management, to enhance wetland health.

Page 6 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Drift Reservoir, in the centre of the project area, has had some issues with diffuse agricultural pollution.

Photo: David Chapman

The project will also help a range of Cornish wildlife.

Birds that nest on the heaths, such as the linnet and

nightjar, will gain from heathland management. Plants

like purple ramping fumitory and three-lobed water

crowfoot will benefit from the maintenance of linking

habitats, such as Cornish hedges and wet ground

respectively. Bats, too, will benefit as their foraging

habitats are enhanced through heathland and wetland

management. Healthy wetlands will also be advantageous

to wetland species such as the otter and brown trout.

The Wild Penwith project is just springing into life and is

still very much at the planning stage, but watch this space

and our website for more information about how this

exciting project is progressing.

Liz Cartwright, Wild Penwith Ecologist

Reed bunting. Photo: David Chapman

The project aims to reconnect habitats across the West Penwith landscape. Photo: Rory Goodall

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 7

A wetland on your doorstep

If you are interested in helping wildlife in your garden then think about creating a pond.

An established pond will support

a wealth of life from beetles,

pond skaters, water snails and

freshwater mussels, to mayfly

larvae, frogs and newts, so

building one could be one of the

most effective and productive

ways you’ll find to increase

biodiversity on your doorstep.

Studies have shown that the best

ponds for wildlife are those that

contain lots of submerged plants

but no fish. Plants oxygenate the

water and provide shelter from

predators and places to lay eggs.

Fish, on the other hand, predate

water fleas, and water fleas

provide an important function in

ponds, keeping the water clear

and acting as food to a range of

other animals. The BUGS project

in Sheffield found that ponds

with fish, although containing the

same range of species as ponds

without fish, had lower numbers

of individuals and were generally

all very similar. Ponds without

fish tended to be more variable.

The Sheffield Project also found

that light, shade and water clarity

affected pond life. Sunny ponds

were better than shaded ponds,

and clear water was better than

murky water. The size of pond

didn’t seem to matter too much.

Whilst larger ponds contained a

wider variety of animals, species

richness over the range of pond

sizes wasn’t significantly different.

So take the plunge and pick a

sunny spot in your garden. Here

are a few tips for creating your

pond and stocking it with plants:

around the edge of the pond.

old carpet.

Place the edge of the liner in

the trench on the bank and

backfill. To calculate the size of

liner needed use the formula:

area of liner = length of pond

x (2 x depth of pond) x (2 x

width of pond).

about 125mm thick on top of

the liner.

Building a pond for wildlife

choosing a sunny site away

from overhanging trees.

Sources of information:

shaped profile and gently

shelving sides, creating a large

area of shallow water and a

deep area with a minimum

depth of 77cm.

the surface of the hole and

tamp down the base and sides.

Native plants for your pond

Fill with water and then introduce

native plants a week later.

Peter Kent

East Cornwall Reserves Officer

Hill, F (2000). Wildlife Gardening

– a practical handbook. Derbyshire

Wildlife Trust.

Thompson, K. (2006). No Nettles

Required – the reassuring truth

about wildlife gardening. Eden

Project Books.

Submerged Floating Shallow/ledge Marsh/edge

Hornwort Fringed water lily Water forget-me-not Meadowsweet

Water-crowfoot Water soldier Water mint Purple loosestrife

Common water-starwort Potamogeton Water plantain Lady’s smock

Branched bur-reed



Marsh marigold

Pond life in a tub.

Photo: Rowena Millar

A pond full of frogspawn.

Photo: Rowena Millar

Lady’s smock (cuckooflower).

Photo: Rowena Millar

Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides)

Australian swamp stonecrop (Crassula helmsii)

Parrot’s feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)

Wetland. Photo: Jeremy Northcott

Plants to avoid at all costs

Water fern (Azolla filiculoides)

Water primrose (Ludwigia grandiflora)

Curly waterweed (Lagarosiphon major)

Page 8 Issue 109 Summer 2009

All aboard for wildlife

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company is working with both Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Wildlife Trusts to help raise funds for the Trusts and to spread the word about wildlife

conservation in our seas.

Wildlife Trust guide on Scillonian III

The Scillonian is running a series of wildlife day trips

from Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly during 2009 with

experienced guide Paul Semmens, a long standing

volunteer with Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Previous

trippers have been treated to sightings of ocean sunfish,

orcas, minke whales and harbour porpoises as well

as bottlenose, Risso’s and common dolphins. Among

the many birds you may see are Balearic shearwaters,

Arctic skuas and great skuas. For dates or to download

a discount voucher for these wildlife trips, please visit


Supporting the Isles of Scilly Marine

Biodiversity project

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company is supporting this

project with guide Paul Semmens on board the Scillonian

every Wednesday throughout the spring and summer. Paul

will talk to passengers about the amazing wildlife they

could see during their trip. All trips depart from Penzance at

9.15am and return from Isles of Scilly at 4.30pm. Surveys

of marine wildlife such as dolphins, whales and basking

sharks are also being conducted from the Scillonian in

collaboration with Marinelife, an organisation that coordinates

a number of ferry-based wildlife research and

monitoring programmes across Europe.

Bottlenose dolphins off Newlyn. Photo: Paul Semmens

Free membership

Throughout June, July and August, anyone booking

a return day trip on the Scillonian will be entitled to a

year’s free membership of either Cornwall Wildlife Trust

or the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust. So don’t forget to tell

friends and family – a form will be included with your

booking details. To book a day trip on the Scillonian call

0845 710 555.

Identification guides

When on board the Scillonian, you may notice wildlife

identification posters on display, as well as waterproof ID

guides in the back of each seat which you can take out on

deck to see what you can spot.

It is very exciting to develop such a relationship with

the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, as it will allow us

to raise much needed funds for our conservation work,

and will also help us to reach a new audience. It is often

difficult to get our wildlife message over to visitors, but

this is an important group of people with whom we

should communicate in order to help keep Cornwall, and

the Isles of Scilly, rich in wildlife.

Marie Preece, Marketing and Fundraising Manager

(currently on maternity leave)

Basking shark sighting.

Photo: Paul Semmens

Ocean sunfish just under the surface of the water.

Photo: Paul Semmens

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 9

Voluntary Marine

Conservation Areas

The incredible diversity of marine life in Looe was

recognized in 1995 by the establishment of a Voluntary

Marine Conservation Area (VMCA). This is an area

of coastline of specific wildlife interest that enjoys a

level of voluntary protection. There are opportunities

to enhance marine conservation and perception of the

environment, and to promote sustainable use of what

is also a vital economic resource. In October 2007, the

Trust successfully received Heritage Lottery Funding for

the ‘Discovering the Wonders of Looe’s Marine Heritage’

project focusing on the VMCA.

Over 12 months, this project successfully inspired and

educated people of all backgrounds and ages about their

marine environment and the pressures it faces. People

living in and visiting Looe had the chance to explore its

beautiful and varied natural world through a successful

events programme that continues to be coordinated

into next year, thanks to further funding from South

West Water. This included creating easier opportunities

for people to explore Looe Island, our marine nature

reserve. Over 30 events reached an audience of over

1,000 people. Fifteen schools were contacted, resulting

in 37 school trips and over 900 schoolchildren visiting

the VMCA in the space of six months. A volunteer group

was established and is still active, with 25 members who

run various marine conservation projects within the

VMCA. Local community members now have the chance

to gain a sense of ownership of their marine environment

and get involved in the management and planning of the

area through the Looe Working Group.

Rocky shore survey work. Photo: Dan Ransom

In December 2008, Cornwall Wildlife Trust completed the ‘Discovering the Wonders of Looe’s

Marine Heritage’ project, based around the Voluntary Marine Conservation Area in Looe. After a

successful 12 months, the Trust is now looking to the future.

We are currently developing a three-year project, thanks

to a development fund from Heritage Lottery. We aim to

increase access to all these VMCAs by establishing, for

example, trained volunteer survey groups and VMCA

steering groups. Our experience from the ‘Discovering

the Wonders of Looe’s Marine Heritage’ project is that

a number of Cornish children have never explored

their local marine environment. This project will create

opportunities for coastal and inland schoolchildren and

groups such as brownies and scouts to take part.

If this project is successful it will mean marine education

and awareness opportunities across Cornwall, from

Helford to Polzeath, St Agnes to Fowey. Somewhere near

you, a marine event will be running, so I look forward to

some of our readers popping along to a rockpool ramble,

guided walk or estuary cruise. See you there!

Abigail Crosby, Marine Education Officer

To find out more about the VMCA South West Water

funded events this summer please check out the events

pages and our website, www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.


The future

Having seen the successful outcomes of the Looe Project,

Cornwall Wildlife Trust hopes to develop our marine

education and awareness work by looking towards the

other VMCAs in the county – yes, there are more! In

total Cornwall has five VMCAs: St Agnes and Polzeath

on the north coast and Helford, Fowey and Looe on the

south coast.

A rockpool discovery. Photo: Dan Ransom

Page 10 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Donna Whitlock

We are incredibly sad to write that

Donna Whitlock, a volunteer for

Cornwall Wildlife Trust and friend

to many of the staff, died of a heart

attack unexpectedly and peacefully in

her sleep on Monday 16th February

2009, aged 60. I got to know Donna

well during my work in Looe in 2008

and enjoyed our time walking the

coastline sharing our knowledge –

me on rocky shore critters and she on

the butterflies and moths present in

the Cornish hedges. Her enthusiasm

was infectious and to this day I still

walk the same path, keeping my eye

out for a burnet moth or the migrant

painted lady. Not only was Donna

a keen naturalist, she was also a

prolific artist and musician, bouncy

and full of life; her passing is much

mourned by all who knew her.

In accordance with her wishes,

Donna’s ashes were scattered on

St George’s Island around the old

chapel site on Thursday 5th March

2009. Claire Lewis and Jon Ross,

wardens on St George’s Island, said:

“Donna was a wonderful woman

whose generosity and enthusiasm

encouraged us to build on the

butterfly work that we do here on the

Island. We were touched when asked

if Donna’s ashes could be spread here

and honoured to accept a donation

towards further conservation work.”

In the words of her partner Rick

Connolly, “Donna told me once that

she did not want to leave Cornwall

now she will never have to”.

Abigail Crosby

Basking Shark Project

Sponsored by

Photo: Rick Connolly

Hare, by Donna Whitlock

often seen cruising the waters of our Cornish coasts.

In 2008, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

established its first effort-based

basking shark monitoring project

based on the cliffs at Carn Gloose.

Its aims were to provide a deeper

understanding of basking shark

distribution and behaviour and

encourage people to report live and

dead basking sharks. Gathering this

data allows us to provide findings

for decision makers, and to inform

conservation action including the

development of Marine Protected

Zones. Eighty-six volunteers were

involved in 71 days of surveys, and

during that time basking sharks,

Basking shark. Photo: Simon Burt

bottlenose dolphins, common

dolphins, harbour porpoises and

seals were seen, with the highlight

being the sighting of a fin whale!

With thanks to funding from

British International Helicopters,

Cornwall Wildlife Trust will be

building on last year’s success and

once again conducting surveys,

this summer from Gwennap Head.

Our volunteers will be surveying

from 1st June, dawn till dusk, for

basking sharks and other marine

wildlife, including dolphins,

porpoises, whales, seals, and

sunfish. In mid-July the project will

be joining forces with Sea Watch

South West, a project that collects

data on migratory marine species

for conservation purposes also

(www.seawatch-sw.org). The data

collected will help us to understand

the movements and distribution of

basking sharks in our waters which,

in turn, will help us to protect them.

Survey work. Photo: Lauren Davis

If you have an interest in marine life,

love the outdoors and aren’t afraid

of spending long hours in the field,

then we need your help! We are

looking for committed volunteers

to join the survey – anyone over

16 years old is welcome to join us.

To find out more see our website



email us on baskingshark@cornwt.

demon.co.uk or call Tom on (01872)

273939 ext 208.

Abigail Crosby

Marine Education Officer

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 11

Pinger Project

Pingers are acoustic deterrent devices designed to reduce

the occurrence of accidental entanglement of dolphin

and porpoise species by alerting them to the presence

of fishing nets. Since 2004 EC member states have been

obliged to make pingers mandatory on vessels greater

than 12 metres in length using gillnets. However, the

UK government is yet to implement this in our seas.

In addition, there are currently no efforts to tackle

bycatch of cetaceans in vessels which fall outside the EC

regulations (those smaller than 12 metres in length).

By working closely with Cornwall Sea Fisheries

Committee the project has found five fishermen, working

on vessels under 12 m, who are volunteering to take part

in the project. The willingness of the fishing community

to be involved in this trial is paramount to our objectives,

as we aim to make sure any bycatch mitigation measures

are also practical to those using them day in day out.

Each vessel in the trial is also deploying two (C-PoD)

acoustic monitoring devices capable of differentiating

between cetacean species. By using this combination of

acoustic monitoring devices and pingers we hope to be

able to identify any change in behaviour caused by the

presence of pingers, to measure how effective they are in

certain fisheries.

Harbour porpoise. Photo: Colin Speedie

Cornwall Wildlife Trust has been campaigning for protection of our dolphin populations for many

years and we are happy to announce that we have recently received funding from the DEFRA

Fisheries Challenge Fund, and an extremely successful public appeal, to proceed with our pinger trial.

Bottlenose dolphins. Photo: Jan Loveridge

So far, reports from fishermen involved in the trial are

positive as to the practical aspects of shooting nets with

pingers attached and we are hopeful that the trial will

prove a success. The first recording of cetaceans has been

retrieved from one of the C-PoDs, and we are confident

that valuable data will be collected from all the areas we

are monitoring.

The huge support for this project, demonstrated by the

public appeal coupled with the fishing community’s

willingness to be involved, shows that conservation of

these charismatic creatures is a priority in Cornwall.

We hope that by the end of the trial period (12

months) we will be able to show the effectiveness and

practicalities of pingers. Cornwall Wildlife Trust is

extremely grateful to the fishermen volunteering in the

project and hope that, by cooperating with Cornwall

Sea Fisheries Committee, an effective solution to the

accidental entanglement problem will be found.

Common dolphins. Photo: Jan Loveridge

Tom Hardy

Marine Conservation Officer

Page 12 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Make a free Will

Will for Wildlife is back, giving you the chance to make a free Will. We are running our Will for

Wildlife campaign during the month of October and are working with local solicitors who are

delighted to offer free Wills to Cornwall Wildlife Trust supporters.

This makes it the ideal time to update existing Wills or

even make a new Will, ensuring that loved ones are taken

care of and of course, remembering your favourite charity.

People often underestimate just how important Wills are.

If every one of our members left the Trust £100 in their

Will, this would raise a staggering £1.4 million – imagine

the wildlife conservation work we could do with that!

The solicitors taking part are:

Penzance, TR18 2QH, (01736) 364261

Truro, TR1 2PZ, (01872) 278641

Mr Anthony Earl, Earl & Crocker, Market House,

Higher Market Street, Looe, PL13 1BP, (01579) 345304

19 St Michaels Road, Newquay, TR7 1LL,

(01637) 872251

Street, Launceston, PL15 7AD, (01566) 777677

Street, Saltash, PL12 6AB, (01752) 846116

(a donation to the Trust will be requested by Nicholls

& Sainsbury).

Please note – this offer is for simple straightforward Wills

only and to claim your free Will, you must state that

you are a Cornwall Wildlife Trust supporter when you

initially book your appointment.

Thank you to everyone who has kindly remembered the

Trust in their Will. If you have any questions, please feel

free to write to me, email jasmin@cornwt.demon.co.uk

or phone me on (01872) 273939 ext 251.

Jasmin Brown

Marketing and Fundraising Manager

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 13

Page 14 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Diary of Events

August to November 2009


Five Acres, Allet, Truro, TR4 9DJ

Tel: (01872) 273939

Details of events and other Trust activities are also

available on our website:


EVERYONE is welcome to attend ALL events (apart

from Out & About Club: age 11 to 16 only, with

parental consent). Donations from non-members

would be appreciated. Please bring waterproof

clothing and footwear to all outdoor events.





Butterflies and moths

Evening get-together

Family event

Full or partial disabled access

(see event details)

Fox Club (all children welcome)


General event

Illustrated talk or film show


Out & About Club





Saturday 1


Booking essential

Allet, near Truro

10.30am to 12.30pm

Meet crabs, starfish and other marine invertebrates and

stroke them, if you dare! Afterwards, join Kirstie in making

sea creatures from recycled materials. Bring donation of £1

to cover costs. Leaders: Blue Reef Aquarium staff and Kirstie

Francis. Ring Kirstie (01872) 273939 ext 203 to book.

Organised for Fox Club to launch Marine Week 2009.

Saturday 1 to Sunday 16


Booking essential

Meet at Albert Pier, Penzance Harbour (SW477303)

Twice daily 2 and 3 hour trips (subject to weather)

Exciting marine wildlife trip on a RIB. Expert guides will point

out cetaceans, basking sharks, seals, sunfish and seabirds. Wear

weather-appropriate clothing, non-slip footwear and bring

sunscreen. Cost: call the leader for more details (10% donated

to CWT). Leader/contact: Rory Goodall (01736) 811200.

Organised by Elemental Tours for Fox Club in Marine Week.

Monday 3


Booking essential

Five Acres, Allet

7.00pm start

Take B3284 exit (signposted Truro) off A30. Take first left and

immediate right into Five Acres car park (SX792488)

The film made by Rebecca Hoskins and the BBC

Natural History Department that kick-started the plastic

bag free movement in the UK. Check out http://www.

messageinthewaves.com/. Leader: Alison Forward. Contact:

Abigail Crosby (07917 765581). Organised by Cornwall

Wildlife Trust for Marine Week.

Tuesday 4



1.00 to 5.00pm

Meet at Castle Beach, Falmouth

2 hours of beach fun and education for ages 7-16 plus

accompanying adults with Dr Jo Henley from SciArt solutions,

followed by a 2-hour sea safari with Orca Sea Safaris.

More info on www.kingharryscornwall.co.uk/ferries/orca/

education_packages. £40 per person. 10% donated to CWT.

Bring warm clothing and waterproofs. Leaders: Matt McLeod,

Dr Joanna Henley. Contact: Louise Green (01326) 214928;

info@orcaseasafaris.co.uk. Organised by Orca Sea Safaris and

SciArt Solutions.

Tuesday 4


Polzeath VMCA

11.00am to 1.00pm

Meet at Marine Centre, Polzeath (SW934795)

Explore the rock pools of the Polzeath Voluntary Marine

Wildlife Area with north Cornwall District Council and

Cornwall Wildlife Trust and see what’s hiding out under the

water and seaweeds in the pools, gullies, nooks and crannies!

Bring appropriate footwear, bucket, net, wet weather gear,

sun cream and hat. Leader/contact: Abigail Crosby (07966

518531). Organised by South West Water.

Thursday 6



West Looe

Booking essential

11.00am to approx. 2.00pm

Meet at the coastguard station, Hannafore Point, West Looe,

opposite Looe Island. Parking on road free (SX255523)

Join our marine experts and conservation volunteers for a walk

along this beautiful stretch of coastline. Suitable for children

over 11 and adults. Wear sensible clothing and footwear as

path can be steep. Drinks and picnic lunch. Binoculars also

useful. Leader/contact: Abigail Crosby (07917 765581).

Organised by Looe Voluntary Marine Conservation Area

Group to celebrate Marine Week.

Friday 7, 14, 21, 28



Kenwyn Churchyard, Truro area

2.00 to 4.30pm

Meet at entrance to Kenwyn Church on B3284, Shortlanesend

Road (SW819458)

Discover wildlife that makes its home in a graveyard and then

create something, using natural materials, to remind us of our

visit to this ‘living churchyard’. Wear suitable footwear for

uneven paths and slippery slopes and bring something to sit

on. Leader: Alison Forward. Contact: Kirstie Francis (01872)

273939 ext 203. Organised for Cornwall’s Living Churchyards

Project, with funding from Truro City Council.

Saturday 8


Booking essential

East Looe Rocks, Looe

1.00 to 3.00pm

Meet at Lifeboat station, East Looe Seafront (SX256530)

A rock pooling session with a difference; the rocks are brought

to you! Join the marine experts at our shore lab on the beach

and investigate the micro monsters of the shallow reefs up

close. A marine biologist will lead a group out onto the lower

shore to explore the rocks and seaweed. Shore lab suitable

for children of all ages, rock pool ramble suitable for ages

7+. Please wear appropriate clothing and sensible non-slip

footwear. Leader/contact: Abigail Crosby (07917 765581).

Organised by Looe Voluntary Marine Conservation Area

Group for Marine Week.

Saturday 8



Booking essential

Altarnun Church


Meet at Altarnun Church Hall, Altarnun, signposted from A30

about 5 miles west of Launceston (SX223813)

We will be walking the circular path around the beautiful

Inny Valley (about 6.5 miles) looking for plants and animals

characteristic of the valleys rolling off Bodmin Moor. Tea and

coffee (and hopefully cakes) will be available about half way.

Bring stout shoes and waterproofs, drink and a picnic lunch.

Leader/contact: Dave Groves (01566) 86416. Organised by

Launceston Group, Altarnun Parish.

Sunday 9


Stoke Climsland area

10.30 am

Meet at the Old School, Stoke Climsland village centre


Local visit, practising hedge and habitat mapping. Bring stout

shoes. Contact: Caroline Vulliamy (01579) 370411. Organised

by Mid-Tamar Valley Group.

Sunday 9


Booking essential


1.00 to 3.00pm

Discover what lives in the rockpools and learn some fascinating

facts about what you find. Wear non-slip rock scrambling

shoes that can get wet and bring water to drink, sun protection

or rain gear. Leader: Rory Goodall. Contact: Kirstie (01872)

273939 ext 203. Organised for Fox Club for Marine Week.

Sunday 9


Booking essential

Tehidy Country Park, near Camborne

10.30am to 12.30pm

Meet at the Visitors Centre, South Drive Car Park (SW650433)

An opportunity for families to create poetry inspired by some

of the special trees in Tehidy Country Park, including the

Twisted Beech, the Monkey Puzzle with the elephant’s foot,

and the Fallen Giant. We may borrow your work to create an

exhibition for the café. Bring pens or pencils, paper, a clipboard

or something to write on and something waterproof

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 15

to sit on. Cost: £2 per adult with up to 2 children free. Most paths

are wheelchair friendly. Book with leader Helen Jagger (01872)

323468. Organised for the Great Trees of Cornwall Project.

Monday 10


Booking essential

Kilminorth Woods, Looe

1.30 to 3.30pm

Meet at gate to woods, at far end of Millpool car park, West

Looe (SX247537)

From tiny shells to wading herons, the chance to discover

the rich and wonderful world of the estuary mud flats, from

searching for clues to digging in the mud. Children under 16

to be accompanied by an adult. Wellies (or waders!) essential

and be prepared to get muddy! Leader/contact: Abigail Crosby

(07917 765581). Organised by the Friends of Kilminorth

Woods to celebrate Marine Week.

Monday 10


Booking essential

A beach near Torpoint

Join marine experts from the Marine Biological Association

and explore the incredible underwater world. Snorkelling

equipment provided, however please wear a wetsuit and bring

personal snorkel equipment if you have your own. £10 per

child for a 2hr session. This is a parent-free event and you will

be sent a form for medical and contact details and asked for a

deposit on booking, so phone Kirstie on (01872) 273939 ext

203. Leader:Guy Baker (MarLIN). Organised for Out & About

Club (11-16yr olds only) to celebrate Marine Week.

Friday 14


Booking essential


7.00pm start

Meet at Penzance Sub-aqua Club, Albert Pier, Penzance

harbour TR18 2LL (SW477303)

Fundraising evening for CWT Marine Strandings Network.

The film made by Rebecca Hoskins and the BBC Natural

History Department that kick-started the plastic bag free

movement in the UK. For more information see http://www.

messageinthewaves.com/. Bar available! £3 entry donation.

Leader/contact: Rory Goodall on (01736) 811200. Organised

by Cornwall Wildlife Trust in association with Marine Scene

Solutions, Penzance for National Marine Week.

Friday 14


See Monday 10 for details.

Saturday 15


Churchtown Farm Community Nature Reserve, Saltash

Start 10.00am – all day event

Meet at Wearde Rd entrance to the reserve, Wearde park field


Various country crafts and stalls, children’s activities, birds of

prey, falconry display, guided walks, etc. Free entrance. Bring

appropriate footwear plus waterproofs, pocket money. Contact:

Hazel Rawlings (01752) 846407. Organised by Friends of

Churchtown Farm Community Nature Reserve.

Saturday 15


Gwennap Head, Lands End

10.00am until the evening

Meet at Coastwatch station (SW365215)

Join Cornwall Wildlife Trust and SeaWatch SW marine experts

searching for cetaceans and basking sharks as part of the

Seaquest Southwest programme. Suitable for all ages. Bring

binoculars. Leader: Tom Hardy. Contact: Abigail Crosby

(07917 765581). Organised by Seaquest Southwest and

SeaWatch SW for National Marine Week.

Sunday 16


Booking essential


Meet at Lifeboat Station, East Looe seafront (SX256530)

Join our warden for a guided tour of St George’s Island, and

see and hear about the work of Cornwall Wildlife Trust in

conserving this magical place. Suitable for children aged 11+

and adults. Costs £4.50 for children under 10, £7.50 for

adults. Cancellation may occur in adverse weather conditions.

Wear sensible footwear and clothing, bring drinks and food

(not available on island) and binoculars if possible. Leader/

contact: Abigail Crosby (07917 765581). Organised by

Cornwall Wildlife Trust to celebrate National Marine Week.

Sunday 16


Breney Common Nature Reserve

10.00am to 1.00pm

Meet at Gunwen chapel car park, Near Helman Tor


A morning nature ramble around this wildlife rich Cornwall

Wildlife Trust nature reserve to look for butterflies, dragonflies

and birds. All welcome; ideal for beginners. Bring binoculars

and nature guide book. Leader/contact: Dave Thomas (01726)

861093. Organised by Restormel Group.

Wednesday 19


Booking essential

St Agnes

10.00am to approx 1.00pm

Meet outside sewage works west of Trevaunance Cove, St

Agnes (SW717514)

Follow the water cycle with South West Water’s Environmental

Manager Martin Ross. Discover where your water comes from

and what happens to your waste water when it is flushed away.

This event will include a tour of South West Water’s high tech

sewage treatment works at St Agnes. Wear sensible walking

shoes. Contact: Abigail Crosby (07966 518531). Organised by

South West Water.

Friday 21


Triangle, Bude

10.00am to 1.00pm

Donations welcome: books, plants, produce, cakes, etc.

Contact: Penny Harris (01288) 354248, Gill Ruddock (01840)

230773. Organised by Tamar Group.

Sunday 23


Loe Pool

10.00am start

Meet at Chyvarloe: from Helston take A3083 towards The

Lizard; opposite main entrance to Culdrose take minor right

turn; after about 2km turn right, where the road bends left,

into the lane of the National Trust farm at Chyvarloe; drive

through farm and park (free) where indicated (SW653236)

Photographing flowers such as sea holly and yellow horned

poppy as well as a variety of insects. Bring camera, tripod, lunch,

suitable footwear and clothing. Leader/contact: David Chapman

(01736) 850287; please make contact the day before to make

sure trip is going ahead. Organised by Photographic Group.

Sunday 23


Booking essential (places limited to 18)

St Clement churchyard, Truro

7.30 to 9.00pm (sunset at 8.05pm)

Discover wildlife in a local churchyard. Walk with bat

detectors, weather permitting, to see if we can ‘hear’ the two

species of bats that go hunting there every night. Bring warm

clothing, something to sit on, torch and flask of something

warm to drink after dark. Leaders: Robert Moor (Living

Churchyards) and Steve Marshall (Cornwall Bat Group). Book

with Robert (01872) 272929. Organised for Fox Club for

National Bat Week.

Monday 24


Stoke Climsland


Meet at The Old School, Stoke Climsland village centre


Walk, practising habitat recording at an interesting local site.

Contact: Caroline Vulliamy (01579) 370411. Organised by

Mid-Tamar Valley Group.

Wednesday 26


Booking essential

Kilminorth Woods, Looe


Meet at St John’s Ambulance Station, Millpool, West Looe

(confirmed on booking) (SX250537)

A talk about bats, followed by an optional walk in the woods

with bat detectors. For the walk bring torch, warm clothing,

stout shoes. £2 per adult, £1 per child.

Leader: Jane Squirrell (Cornwall Bat Group). Contact:

Christine Spooner (01503) 265590. Organised by Friends of

Kilminorth Woods.

Friday 28


Booking essential (places limited)

Allet, near Truro

7.30pm to 9.00pm

Come and learn about bats from our bat expert and by

making some batty things indoors, then we’ll go on a walk

in the woods listening for bats hunting amongst the trees.

Wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear and bring a

torch. Suitable for all ages with adult help. Leader: Sam Smith

(Cornwall Bat Group) and Alison Forward. Contact: Kirstie

Francis (01872) 273939 ext 203. Organised for Fox Club for

National Bat Week.


Saturday 5


Booking essential


10.30am to 12.00 noon

Explore the rock pools with our marine expert and then use

your new-found knowledge to colour in one of the special

colouring books provided by the local, award-winning Venus

beach café. Wear sunscreen and non-slip shoes that can get wet

and bring a net and bucket, if you have them. Leader: Abby

Crosby. Book with Kirstie (01872) 273939 ext 203. Organised

by Fox Club. Funded by Venus Cafe.

Saturday 5


Booking essential (by 28 Aug: places limited to 12)

Penhale Army Camp near Holywell Bay

10.00am to 12.00 noon

Explore a military site that’s not open to the public. Our reptile

expert will show you the best places to look for lizards, grass

snakes and adders. Wear walking boots or sturdy shoes and

bring a hat and sunscreen or waterproofs, plus water to drink.

Leader: Mark Nicholson. Parent-free event; you will be sent a

form for medical and contact details on booking with Kirstie

(01872) 273939 ext 203. Organised for Out & About Club

(11-16yr olds only).

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6


Booking essential


Time of start and finish varies daily

Meet at Albert Pier & Bus and Train Station, Penzance

Harbour (SW477303)

Saturdays: marine wildlife RIB trips around the magnificent

Land’s End peninsula, on the look-out for cetaceans, basking

sharks, seals, sunfish and seasonal birds.

3-hour trip. Cost £35 adult, £25 child over 10 under15 (10%

donated to CWT).

Sundays: safari-style 4x4 land tours, taking in local wildlife,

flowers, mining heritage, ancient historical sites and CWT

reserves, all set in the stunning scenery of West Penwith. 4-hour

trip. Cost £30 adult, £20 child (10% donated to CWT).

Wear warm, waterproof clothing and boots for the land tours.

Short walks part of the itinerary. Bring cameras, binoculars,

snacks and drinks. Leader/contact: Rory Goodall, see www.

cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk, or call (01736) 811200.

Organised by Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Elemental Tours.

Sunday 6


Booking essential (max. 40)


7.30 to 9.30pm

Meet at Mawgan Recreational Hall, near War Memorial

roundabout, Mawgan TR126AD (SW702244)

‘Hear and see’ the local Helford bats with Dr Carol Williams

using bat detectors and night vision glasses. An evening talk at

Mawgan and a walk (weather permitting) at a bat site on the

south side of the Helford River. Bring warm clothing, torches,

binoculars and a hot drink, if required. Cost: £2.00. Group

members and children free.

Leader: Carol Williams. Contact: Martin (01326) 561952.

Organised by Helford Marine Conservation Group.

Sunday 6


West Penwith

12 noon to 5.00pm

Botallack Count House, Botallack, West Penwith (SW365333)

A local country fair. This year’s theme: ‘local produce’ Lots

of activities for children. Bring small change for admission.

Children free. Refreshments on site. Disabled special parking

area. Leaders/contact: Jane and Nigel Haward (01736) 740991.

Organised by Penwith group in conjunction with National


Saturday 12




Meet by the Allotments, Wearde Road (SX 418 577) for event

at Point Field, Churchtown Community Nature Reserve,


Bring kite, picnic, and camera. Dogs on leads only. Leader: Bob

Austin (Chairman). Contact: Hazel Rawlings (01752) 846407.

Organised by Friends of Churchtown Farm Community Nature


Saturday 12 and Sunday 13


See Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 for details.

Sunday 13


Trevarno Gardens

7.00 to 9.00pm

Main car park at Trevarno Gardens, signposted from B3303 at

N end of Crowntown Village, TR13 0RU (SW643303)

Watch and listen to Trevarno’s resident bats emerge at dusk,

followed by a walk to hear bats foraging in the gardens. Bring

torch, good footwear, warm clothing and a bat detector if

owned. Weather dependent. Leaders: John Paul Gilkes & Sam

Smith. Contact: Trevarno Gardens (01326) 574274. Organised

by Trevarno Gardens and Cornwall Bat Group.

Sunday 13


Tregellist Moors

2.00 to 4.00pm

Rose Cottage, Tregellist, St. Kew (SX00947750) – full

directions at www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/whatson/

An opportunity to watch and photograph butterflies and

other insects. Bring wellies and wet weather gear, if necessary.

Leader/contact: Trevor Renals (01208) 880893. Organised by

Camel Branch.

Page 16 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Sunday 13


Booking essential (places limited to 14)

Allet, near Truro

10.00am to 12.00 noon

Join us in designing and creating all sorts of sea creatures from

recycled and scrap materials. Please bring £1 per child to help

cover costs of materials. Suitable for all ages with adult help.

Leader/booking: Kirstie Francis (01872) 273939 ext 203.

Organised for Fox Club.

Monday 14




Please contact David Chapman (01736) 850287 or Adrian

Langdon (01208) 813440.

Organised by Photographic Group.

Tuesday 15



Booking essential

10.00am to 12.00pm

Meet at Events Square, Falmouth

Join Orca Sea Safaris on a 2-hour coastal discovery boat trip

and help to spot and record any seals in the area. You will

also be looking for any other wildlife around and will learn

all about the local coastline. £35 per adult. £20 children over

6. 10% donated to CWT. Bring warm clothing, waterproof

footwear and waterproofs/warm clothing for children. Leader:

Matt McLeod. Contact: Louise Green (01326) 214928.

Organised by Orca Sea Safaris www.orcaseasafaris.co.uk.

Saturday 19


Booking preferred

Maningham Wood, Illogan

11.00am to 12.30pm

Meet at entrance to wood, opp. Co-op, pub and pasty shop, in

Illogan (SW672436)

Help the Friends of Maningham Wood clear any rubbish left

by the summer visitors and afterwards create natural works of

art. Prizes for the most creative use of rubbish and most artistic

rearrangement of natural resources! Wear clothing appropriate

for the weather and bring something to sit on afterwards.

Suitable for all ages. Leader: Alison Forward. Phone Kirstie

(01872) 273939 ext 203 to book. Organised by Fox Club and

FoMW for Clean Cornwall Week.

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20


See Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 for details.

Sunday 20



10.00am to 1.00pm

Meet at Baby Bay (Polzeath) (SW934795)

Help the North Cornwall District Council beach ranger clean

the beach and the sand dunes, also take in the tremendous

scenery and find out more about the dune system and local

area. Wear appropriate footwear, sun cream, warm clothing,

wet weather clothing, gloves optional. Leader: North Cornwall

District Council. Contact: Abigail Crosby (07966 518531).

Organised by South West Water.

Sunday 20


Booking essential

St Agnes area

Beachwatch is a nationwide beach clean-up and litter survey

organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). Wear

suitable outdoor warm and waterproof clothing. Suitable for

all ages with adult help. Leader: Tom Hardy (Marine Officer).

Ring Kirstie (01872) 273939 ext 203 if you want to join in.

Organised by Fox Club for National Beachwatch Weekend.

Sunday 20


Booking essential

A beach near Land’s End

3.00 to 5.00pm

Come and stroll along the beach with our marine expert,

searching for the egg cases of sharks and rays and other

treasures that the ocean has offered up. Wear suitable outdoor

warm and waterproof clothing. Leader: Rory Goodall. Book

with Kirstie (01872) 273939 ext 203. Organised for Fox Club

for National Beachwatch Weekend.

Sunday 20


Gribbin Head, near Fowey

9.30am, morning only

Meet at the grass car park at the end of the road at Menabilly

Barton (SX096511)

A walk through farmland and along the coast path looking

for a variety of bird life. Suitable for experienced birders and

beginners alike. All welcome. Bring binoculars if you have

them. Telescope available. Leader: Local birder expert, Sid

Cole. Contact: Matt Ward (01726) 815313. Organised by

Restormel Group.

Wednesday 23


Tregellist Moors

6.30 to 8.00pm

Meet at Rose Cottage, Tregellist, St Kew. (SX00947750) - full

directions at www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/whatson/

An opportunity to photograph a variety of plants and animals.

Bring camera. Leader: Trevor Renals/ Adrian Langdon. Contact:

Trevor Renals (01208) 880893. Organised by Camel Group.

Saturday 26


Booking essential

Leaving Penzance Harbour at 9.15am

Returning from St. Mary’s 4.30pm

Meet at Lighthouse Pier, Penzance

Scillonian III is the best boat for wildlife watching. Basking

sharks, common dolphins and harbour porpoises are often seen

as well as the occasional minke whale. Seabirds can include

various shearwaters and skuas. Also, we have time to explore

the islands.

Bring binoculars and warm clothing. Mention the Wildlife

Trusts when booking to receive the discounted ticket of £25

(normal day return £35). Leader: Paul Semmens, Marine

Wildlife Guide. Booking: Isles of Scilly Travel (08457105555).

Organised by Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trusts.

Saturday 26


Ladock Woods

10.00am to 3.00pm-ish

Meet at Ladock Wood car park between Mitchell and Ladock


A walk around Ladock Woods to look for mushrooms with

Pauline Penn of the Cornwall Fungi Recorders Group. All are

welcome; ideal for beginners. Bring lunch, warm drink, fungi

guide book, binoculars and hand lens. Leader: Pauline Penn.

Contact: Dave Thomas (01726) 861093 after 6pm. Organised

by Restormel Group.

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27


See Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 for details.

Sunday 27


Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre

10.30am start

Meet at The Otter Sanctuary, North Petherwin, 5 miles northwest

of Launceston off the B3254 to Bude (SX288893)

Photographing otters in captivity as well as maybe deer and

wildfowl. Entrance fee of £6 or £7 depending upon numbers;

refreshments available on site (see www.tamarotters.co.uk).

Bring camera, tripod, suitable footwear and clothing. Leader/

contact: David Chapman (01736) 850287; please make contact

the day before to make sure trip is going ahead. Organised by

Photographic Group.


Saturday 3


Booking essential

Tehidy Country Park, near Camborne

2.00 to 4.00pm

Discover the world of fungi on a foray around this country

park. If it’s pouring with rain, we’ll meet in the café and

look at some specimens to learn the difference anyway! Wear

walking shoes and outdoor clothing, bring a magnifying glass/

hand lens (some available to borrow). Leader: Pauline Penna

(Cornwall Fungi Recording Group). Parent-free event; you will

be sent a form for medical and contact details when booking

with Kirstie (01872) 273939 ext 203. Organised for Out &

About Club (11-16yr olds only).

Saturday 3


Sennen to Lands End


Meet at car park, Lands End side of Sennen Cove (SW351263)

Steep walk up Mayon cliff, easy walking to Lands End looking

at birds, late flowers.

Leaders/contact: Jane and Nigel Haward (01736) 740991.

Organised by Penwith Group.

Sunday 4


Booking essential


12.00 to 2.00pm.

Meet at Albert pier (SW477303)

Exhilarating and educational marine wildlife trip on high-speed

RIB. Cetaceans, seals, maybe late basking sharks, seasonal

birds. Plus geology, history, and fantastic scenery! Wear warm,

waterproof clothing and bring cameras, binoculars, snacks and

drinks. Cost is £32 adult, £24 child. Mention CWT for a 10%

donation to the Trust. Leader/contact: Rory Goodall (01736)

811200 / 07971 540280. Organised by Elemental Tours.

Saturday 10



2.00pm approx 2 hrs

Meet at Wearde Rd entrance to Churchtown Farm Community

Nature Reserve (SX421582)

Discovering wildflowers on the reserve. Bring appropriate

footwear plus waterproofs. Leader: Ian Bennallick. Contact:

Hazel Rawlings (01752) 846407. Sorry no dogs.

Organised by Friends of Churchtown Farm Community Nature


Saturday 10


See Saturday 26 September for details.

Saturday 10


Booking essential (places limited to 12)

Trengwainton Garden, Penzance

11.00am to 3.30pm

Our survival expert will teach you how to safely use a knife

to build a shelter and start a fire to keep you warm. Cook

your own soup and, if your fire survives, have hot chocolate

to drink in your own shelter before you leave. The gardens

will be closed to the public, and we hope to look for fox dens,

badger setts and squirrel dreys. Please bring a £10 donation per

person to cover the cost of equipment. Wear clothing suitable

for the weather and bring your own knife, if you have one,

although there will be full-tanged knives to borrow. Leader:

Gareth Wearne (NT warden). Parent-free event; you will be

sent a form for medical and contact details on booking and will

need to pay a deposit. Early booking advised: phone Kirstie on

(01872) 273939 ext 203. Organised for Out & About Club

(11-16yr olds only).

Sunday 11


1.00pm to 3.00pm.

For all other details see Sunday 4.

Monday 12




Please contact David Chapman on (01736) 850287 or Adrian

Langdon on (01208) 813440 for details. Organised by

Photographic Group.

Saturday 17


Gweek Village Hall


Meet at hall, beside the National Seal Sanctuary, TR12 6UG


Sue Sayer of the Cornwall Seal Group uses a multimedia

illustrated talk to give an enthralling behind-the-scenes look

at the private life of Cornish seals throughout the season. £2.

Group members and children free. Leader: Sue Sayer. Contact:

Paul (01326) 341030 or Martine (01326) 378028. Organised

by Helford Marine Conservation Group.

Saturday 17


10.00am to 12.00 noon

Meet at Events Square, Falmouth

Join Orca Sea Safaris on a 2-hour coastal discovery boat trip

and help to spot and record any seals in the area. You will also

be looking for any other wildlife around and learning all about

the local coastline. £35 per adult. £20 children over 6. 10%

donated to CWT. Bring warm clothing, waterproof footwear

and waterproofs/warm clothing for children. Leader: Matt

McLeod. Contact: Louise Green (01326) 214928. Organised

by Orca Sea Safaris, www.orcaseasafaris.co.uk.

Sunday 18


For details see Sunday 4.

Sunday 18


Tregellist moors

2.00 to 4.00pm

Rose Cottage, Tregellist, St Kew (SX00947750) Full directions

at www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/whatson/

Life in a pond and guidance on how to build and maintain

wildlife ponds. Bring wellies and coat, if necessary. Leader/contact:

Trevor Renals (01208) 880893. Organised by Camel Group.

Sunday 18


Booking essential (limited places, book into a time slot by 9


Allet, near Truro

11.00am to 12.30pm & 1.30 to 3.00pm

Make a bat box for your garden. Bring an adult to help with

sawing and hammering. All materials and equipment provided,

but £4 donation request on booking to cover the wood and

nails. Leader/booking contact: Kirstie Francis. Suitable for

children aged 7 yrs and above. Organised by Fox Club for

Make a Difference Day.

Sunday 18


King’s Wood, near St Austell

10.00am, morning only

Meet at car parking area under trees by caravan /outdoor

store, just south of London Apprentice, between St Austell and

Pentewan (SX007497)

Join a local tree warden to gather seeds from over 12 species to

grow your own trees. Plenty of interesting bird life too! Ideal for

children – tips on growing seeds provided. Bring seed gathering

bags and binoculars if you have them. Leader/contact: Matt

Ward (01726) 815313. Organised by Restormel Group.

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 17

Monday 19




Meet in Griffin Hotel, Newquay, downstairs in cellar


Our short AGM will be followed an illustrated talk by wildlife

photographer Adrian Langdon on a winter visit to Iceland with

landscapes featuring ice patterns, glaciers, waterfalls, etc. Also

wintering whooper swans and harbour seals. CWT Christmas

goods on sale. Also a visit to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons

National Parks in Wyoming in autumn. Plenty of fall colours,

the elk rut, bison, moose, otters, etc. There will be a collection.

Full bar and parking facilities. All are welcome. Leader/contact:

Dave Thomas: (01726) 861093 after 6pm. Organised by

Restormel Group.

Sunday 25


Golitha Falls

10.00am start

From the minor road between Doublebois and Minions turn

left at Redgate and immediately left over a bridge; car park on

right (SX228689)

We will join Camborne/Redruth Camera Club for a walk

around the falls, looking specifically for fungi to photograph.

Bring camera, tripod, lunch, suitable footwear and clothing.

Disabled access limited to one section. Leaders/contact: Reg

and Mary Poad (01209) 714557. Organised by Photographic


Sunday 25


11.00am to 1.00pm

For all other details see Sunday 4.

Sunday 25


Booking essential

Allet near Truro

11.00am to12.30pm

Meet at CWT HQ, Five Acres Office (SW794486)

Celebrate this bountiful season by collecting seeds from our

nature reserve to plant in your own pots and then return to

the wild when grown into a young tree. We will also have

creative fun using leaves and seeds found on out nature walk.

Please bring £1 donation to cover cost of pots and compost.

Leaders: Alison Forward & Kirstie Francis. Book with Kirstie

on (01872) 273939 ext 203. Suitable for all ages. Organised by

Fox Club for Seed Gathering Sunday.

Friday 30


Booking essential for reduced entry rate


Fun, fact-packed tour around the aquarium, identifying

creatures, their habitats and unusual features. Includes a

rockpool encounter! Cost £3.75 per adult/child (to be paid on

the day) – no unaccompanied adults. Leader: Matt Slater (Blue

Reef Aquarium aquarist). Book with Kirstie (01872) 273939

ext 203. Suitable for all ages. Organised for Fox Club by Blue

Reef Aquarium.

Saturday 31


Booking essential (just 10 places, for individual tuition)

Woodland near Camborne

10.00am to 12.00pm

Learn how to take photos showing the woods at their glorious

autumn best! Bring your own camera and something to kneel/

sit on and wear warm, outdoor clothing and footwear suitable

for muddy conditions. Parent-free event; you will be sent a

form for medical and contact details, so book with Kirstie on

(01872) 273939 ext 203. Phone the leader, David Chapman,

on (01736) 850287 the day before to check for possibility of

cancellation in poor weather. Organised for Out & About Club

in preparation for National Tree Week.

Saturday 31


Kilminorth Woods, Looe

10.00am, approx. 2 hours

Meet at gate to woods, the Millpool, West Looe (SX246537)

Search for autumn fungi, with an expert on hand to identify

them! Bring stout footwear. Donations appreciated. Leader:

Matt Lewis, National Trust Warden. Contact: Christine

Spooner (01503) 265590. Organised by Friends of Kilminorth


Saturday 31


12.30 to 2.30pm.

For all other details see Sunday 4.


Wednesday 4


St Blazey


Meet at St Blazey Football Club, Station Rd, in rear meeting

room (SX069547)

Illustrated talk by wildlife photographer Iain Stewart on the

wildlife of Tanzania and Himalaya. CWT Christmas goods on

sale. Full bar facilities and car parking. All are welcome. There

will be a collection. Contact: Dave Thomas (01726) 861093.

Organised by Restormel Group.

Saturday 7



2.00pm for approx. 2 hrs

Meet by the allotments, Wearde Road (SX418577)

Cleaning flotsam and jetsam from beach area. Bring rubber

gloves, please wear appropriate outdoor clothing and stout

footwear; bring camera. Leader: Keith Rawlings. Contact:

Hazel Rawlings (01752) 846407. Dogs on leads only.

Organised by Friends of Churchtown Farm Community Nature


Saturday 7


2.00 to 4.00pm

Meet at Events Square, Falmouth

2-hour boat trip where you will be looking for seals along

the coastline and winter waders along the banks of the

Carrick Roads and River Fal. Learn all about the coastline

and local fascinating facts. £25 per adult. £15 children over

6. 10% donated to CWT. Bring warm, waterproof clothing,

waterproof footwear. Leader: Matt McLeod. Contact: Louise

Green (01326) 214928. Organised by Orca Sea Safaris www.


Saturday 7


Booking essential, places limited


10.30am to 12.30pm

Guided walk through woods and fields looking for hidden

wildlife such as slow worms and field voles, and meet the

centre’s resident wildlife: meet Tod & Lady the foxes, learn

falconry (fly a barn owl, a European eagle owl, a grey heron

and a Harris hawk), hold Chewie the grass snake and meet his

friends in the classroom. Just £4.50 per child! Wear suitable

clothing and footwear. Leader: Gary Zammit. Book with

Kirstie (01872) 273939 ext 203. Organised for Fox Club.

Monday 9




Please contact David Chapman on (01736) 850287 or Adrian

Langdon on (01208) 813440 for details. Organised by

Photographic Group.

Saturday 14


Booking essential


10.00am to 3.30pm

Meet at Chacewater Village Hall, Chacewater, near Truro.

Follow brown signs in village for ‘Village Hall’ TR4 8PZ


Learn all about the Trust’s Living Seas marine conservation

work at the 2009 Discovery Day. AGM starts at 10am (open

to Trust members only) then a range of exciting talks, open to

all, start at 10.30 focusing on Cornwall’s marine wildlife. Fun

activities provided by Fox Club will keep your children busy

whilst you enjoy a day learning how your support helps us

protect Cornwall’s marine wildlife for the future. £5 per adult

for whole day, £2.50 for half day, children free, lunch £5.50

per person. To book use booking form in magazine or contact

Carolyn O’Hagan (01872) 273939 ext 204. Organised by

Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Saturday 14




Meet at Mawgan Recreational Hall, near the War Memorial

roundabout, Mawgan TR12 6AD (SW702244)

Local diver and underwater photographer Tony Sutton will

bring to us through his captivating photographs the beautiful

underwater worlds of the Bahamas and the Helford River,

and their intriguing marine creatures. £2. Group members and

children free. Leader: Tony Sutton. Contact: Rhiannon 07710

956734 or Keith (01326) 340547. Organised by Helford

Marine Conservation Group.

Saturday 14




Meet at St Mary’s Church Hall, Launceston, opp. Methodist

Hall and attached to the Church tower in central Launceston


Our annual fundraiser – a challenging and enjoyable quiz, a

chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, and a

review of last year’s recording efforts. The AGM will also take

place with election of the 2010 committee. Tea and coffee (and

hopefully cakes) available. Contributions to refreshments or

raffle always welcome. Small charge to cover costs and support

the Group’s work over the year. Leader/contact: Dave Groves

(01566) 86416. Organised by Launceston Group.

Sunday 15


Booking essential (places limited to 14)

Allet, near Truro

10.00am to 12.00pm

Join us in creating all sorts of minibeasts from recycled and

scrap materials. Please bring along £1 per child to help cover

the cost of materials. Leader/booking: Kirstie Francis: (01872)

273939 ext 203. Suitable for all ages. Organised by Fox Club.

Saturday 21


Booking essential



Phone for directions: (SW504331)

Discuss this years’ events – plan for 2010. Seasonal

refreshments. Bring contribution to funds/food welcome.

Leaders/contact: Jane and Nigel Haward (01736) 740991.

Organised by Penwith Group.

Sunday 22



12.00 noon start

Meet at main car park in Porthcurno (SW384226)

We will be photographing one of the most beautiful stretches

of coastline in Cornwall between here and Logan Rock.

Please note the later than usual start to allow us to stay at the

location until dusk if the weather is appropriate. Bring camera,

tripod, lunch, suitable footwear and clothing. Leader/contact:

David Chapman (01736) 850287; please make contact the day

before to make sure the trip is still going ahead. Organised by

Photographic Group.

Sunday 29


Booking essential (numbers limited to 20)

Near Looe

10.30am to 12.30pm

Come and hunt for ancient and other interesting trees in this

lovely ancient woodland. We will measure and record trees

for the Ancient Trees Project as well as hunting for wildlife

signs. Sensible footwear and clothing essential. It could be

very muddy in places. Leader: Christine Spooner (Friends of

Kilminorth Woods). Suitable for children aged 6yrs and above.

Book with Kirstie on (01872) 273939 ext 203. Organised for

Fox Club to celebrate National Tree Week and the Ancient

Trees Project.

COPY DATE for the next diary is 2 September 2009

The next diary covers the period from December to early April 2010.

Advance notices of later events can be included to increase the chances of publicising them, but if the diary is a large one these

may not be published. Wild Cornwall no. 110 will be published on 16 November 2009, but bear in mind when planning dates

of events that hand-delivery in your area may take several days.

Please send details of events (these MUST be submitted on forms available from Trust HQ to:

Diary Editor, Mark Dungey, 10 Rame Croft, Rame Cross, Penryn, TR10 9NB; Tel. (01209) 860970

Email diaryeditor.cwt@rame.eclipse.co.uk

Page 18 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Summer day at Sennen Cove. Photo: Sheila McCann-Downes


gives something back to wildlife

Living in Cornwall you can’t fail to notice how the

population swells during the summer. The vast number

of tourists who come to enjoy our beautiful county totals

over 5.5 million. Although we may grumble about the

roads being busy and the beaches being full, tourists

provide our economy with £1.6 billion, and 22% of

all jobs in Cornwall are within the tourism industry.

At Cornwall Wildlife Trust, in partnership with local

businesses and CoaST (Cornwall Sustainable Tourism

Project) we are tapping into this income. We have set up

a number of ‘visitor gifting schemes’ where visitors are

able to make a donation to the Trust via the businesses

they use whilst on holiday.

For instance, Higher Menadew Farm Cottages have eight

holiday cottages, and ask for a voluntary donation of £2

per booking from their guests. Coriander Cottages near

Fowey donate £1 for every holiday booking made. Then

there are the five St Austell Brewery pubs that donate 5p

for every hot drink sold, which adds up to thousands a

year. We currently have nearly 30 schemes set up, with

more coming on board every month.

Some businesses choose to donate to a specific area of the

Trust’s work. Orca Sea Safaris ask for a donation of £1

per ticket for their marine wildlife trips, and the money

goes towards our marine conservation work. Venus Café

at Tolcarne beach in Newquay donate 5p from every cup

of tea and ice-cream flake sold, and the money goes into

our education work.

All schemes set up are a great way to engage visitors

with the work of the Trust and help them think a little

more about the impact they have when they visit. Many

visitors are only too happy to donate to the Trust,

knowing their money is being spent on keeping Cornwall

a wild and wonderful place to visit. We also encourage

businesses to join the Trust as Business Members, so they

are putting their own money into wildlife conservation,

whilst also encouraging their guests to do the same.

A special thank you must go to the team at CoaST who

work with hundreds of tourism businesses every year and

encourage them to set up schemes to support the Trust

and become more sustainable. Working in partnership

with organisations like CoaST will only strengthen

Cornwall’s sustainable tourism industry, ensuring

Cornwall’s wildlife is able to thrive whilst still welcoming

millions of visitors every year.

To find out more about our Business Supporters scheme

and the visitor gifting schemes we have set up visit

cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/business_support or contact

Serena Pettigrew-Collins on serena@cornwt.demon.co.uk

or (01872) 273939 ext 205.

Jasmin Brown, Marketing and Fundraising Manager

Working with

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 19

Beware of adders?

Or adders beware?

For me there can be no more delightful Cornish wildlife sighting than that of an adder. Strikingly

marked, fascinating in its life history, and with a slight hint of ‘danger’, the adder never fails to

excite. But lack of knowledge and understanding of this creature can lead to less enjoyable


Never forget that we are much more dangerous and scary

to adders than they are to us. We are comparatively huge,

with big, plodding, crushing feet and access to many

weapons of wildlife destruction. All the adder has in its

armoury is a venomous bite that, though highly effective

against its small prey, has a relatively limited effect on

animals of our size.

We mustn’t minimise the risk from that bite, as in some

cases it can cause extreme pain, illness and – very rarely

– death. But to put it into perspective, many people

are bitten by adders in the UK each year and the last

time one of these bites proved fatal was in the 1970s.

Statistically, you are far more likely to die from a bee

sting – or to win a million on the National Lottery.

To avoid meeting adders, you need to do the opposite

to me. I seek out large areas of open, sunny habitat,

with good ground cover, which provide reptiles with

a combination of shelter and easy access to basking

hotspots. Heathland is ideal. So are most ‘wild’ grassland

areas – particularly in dune systems.

I especially visit those areas at times of year and times

of day when there is sufficient sun to make basking

worthwhile, but not sufficient heat to make the adders so

warm and active that they can flee rapidly as I approach.

A basking adder that’s quite cool and slow-moving is

the one that people might stand on or dogs might sniff

or chase – with unpleasant consequences. The best times

of year to see basking adders in this ‘dopy’ state are (in

Cornwall) March/April/May and September/October. The

best times of day are morning and late afternoon.

My advice to dog walkers is to avoid letting dogs run free

in adder habitats unless the weather is cold or wet, so

adders remain below ground, or nice and hot, so adders

are warm, alert and able to escape quickly. Within any

given day you will probably find a time when conditions

are hot enough, cold enough or wet enough for a safe

walk. Stick to paths – with your dog on a lead – and you

will reduce the risk at any time, as adders on paths are

easy to see.

Should we put up ‘beware adders’ signs where adders

live? We might equally say ‘beware bees’. Just keep in

mind that you are – thankfully – in an area that supports

this protected species, and follow the advice above. If

you want to see adders, send me your email address via

Cornwall Wildlife Trust HQ, info@cornwt.demon.co.uk,

and I’ll add you to the Reptile and Amphibian Group

mailing list.

Mark Nicholson

Volunteer, Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group


The adder: enjoy it or avoid it, but always respect it. Photo: JB&S Bottomley

Page 20 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Your local group

A great way to feel more personally involved in the work of Cornwall Wildlife Trust is to join

the local groups at their many walks and events. See the Diary of events on the centre pages, visit


is happening near you.

Mid-Tamar Valley

February saw the formal end of the Stoke Climsland

Wildlife Project. Cornwall Wildlife Trust has produced

and distributed its final report. Achievements included a

biodiversity audit, volunteers trained to Phase 1 Habitat

Survey standard and trained to carry out the Hedge

Importance Test. With bat detectors given to the local

group to provide information on local bat populations,

the planned (County Wildlife Site) survey visits and the

Hedge Importance Tests, new information has been and

will continue to be provided for ERCCIS, the County

Wildlife Sites Project and the online Hedge (& Wall)

Importance Test survey.

April was an ideal time to look for spring flowers.

Danescombe near Calstock had a fantastic bloom of

daffodils growing in secondary woodland, re-establishing

itself from original ancient woodland cleared for mining

in the nineteenth century and then planted up as market

gardening in the 20th century. The daffodils were

displaced during World War II for potato crops.

In May the group was involved with Open Air

Laboratories (OPAL), at a survey event managed by

Bethan Stagg, OPAL’s community scientist. We learned

about the earth literally under our feet and the worms

that live there at Deer Park Farm near Callington,

which is overlooked by the scenic Kit Hill. The findings

will contribute to the first ever distribution map of

earthworms in England.

David Baldock

Administration Volunteer

Worm surveying. Photos: Rowena Millar


The branch party in Penzance in February was a great

success. We all enjoyed good food and company, some

‘serious’ quizzes and a very pleasant evening. Thanks to

Liz and Roy for their hospitality. In March, about 20

walkers went from Marazion to Perranuthnoe looking

at geology and coastal erosion. The weather was good

and after some refreshments at Perranuthnoe we walked

inland (looking more closely at some daffodil fields than

we would have liked!) but saw some dolphins in the bay.

Sadly, due to the tragic flash flood and severe weather

conditions at Zennor, we cancelled the April walk. We

can only hope that the problems with the coast path

(closed as many bridges were washed away) will be

shortlived as the walking season approaches.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s initiative to trial ‘thank you’ tea

parties for the ‘hidden’ workers of the Trust in Penwith

was a really excellent idea. We met lots of supporters and

a fundraising garden opening at Wheal Darlington near

Marazion was a spontaneous spinoff and resulted in a

super afternoon. Thanks to Gerald and Jenny for their


Jane and Nigel Haward


Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 21


I recently had a very close view of a fine pale-coloured stag.

On reporting this to Tim Dingle, he said that he had seen a

similar stag (probably the same one) about seven miles away

cross country. Tim called the stag white, but I thought it

was beige. On both occasions the stag was accompanied by

females. Tim defined this deer as a red deer.

Swallows came back to my area on April 1st this year

(no, really), a good three weeks earlier than last year.

They are setting up their nests, as usual, in my garage,

an old barn, and in a small cob store in my yard. As they

were here long before me, I welcome them and park my

car outside until September.

Friends of Kilminorth Woods

The Friends of Kilminorth Woods welcomed Karen

Varnham as guest speaker at their AGM. Karen formerly

lived in Looe. She is an expert on rat eradication on

islands, and described entertainingly her experiences in a

variety of locations, including Canna, Tristan da Cunha,

and the Trust’s St George’s Island. We learned that one

of the problems on offshore islands is that rats are strong

swimmers and can soon recolonise after a successful

eradication programme, as the Trust has found out.

In April we were visited by David Chapman, who

conducted photographic workshops and shared his

experience with us. He also judged a photographic

competition, awarding first prize to Matt Nott’s

atmospheric photograph of a wading heron. In the junior

section the winner was Leia McMurdie’s picture of a

nuthatch on the bird table at the entrance to Kilminorth


Other spring events have included the annual Dawn

Chorus walk, which again totted up over 30 species. We

were joined briefly by a surprised badger, which clearly

was not expecting to meet 13 people on the bridle path

at 6am! We also had great views of a roe deer, and of a

raven family at its nest.

Those of you who have been members of The Tamar

Group branch for some years, will be sorry to hear

of the unexpected death of Maurice Rayner in April.

Maurice was our chairman for a number of years

and a most enthusiastic member. Maurice retired as

chairman when his wife, Caroline was diagnosed with

multiple sclerosis and looked after her until recently;

he also worked very hard fund raising for MS and the

Merlin Project. Our sympathies go out to Caroline,

who is now settled at a care home, Burdon House, in


Gill Ruddock


The Group now has its own website (www.

friendsofkilminorthwoods.co.uk). Plans are afoot for

an environmental film evening later in the summer, in

partnership with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Looe Film

Society, to show ‘The Age of Stupid’ (about climate

change), plus ‘Cornwall – the Wild Peninsula’ by Peter

McMurdie, some of which was shot in Kilminorth


Derek Spooner


Nuthatch. Photo: Leia McMurdie

Heron in the West Looe River. Photo: Matt Nott

Kilminorth fox. Photo: Peter McMurdie

Page 22 Issue 109 Summer 2009


Dormice have dominated our agenda recently since our

autumn walk along the Camel trail. We have discussed

the possibility of a more accurate survey aligned with the

use of tubes and nesting boxes. We are due to meet with

the Camel trail ranger and hope to be able to target sites

along the 18 mile route that hold dormice in order to

ascertain their ideal habitat.

The colder winter seems to have taken a toll of the

vulnerable bird species, with coastal stonechat numbers

being much reduced. In the rivers the kingfishers seem

to have been hit as well, although both the Rivers Camel

and Fowey appear to have good populations of dippers

and grey wagtails, with pairs breeding at the majority of

regular sites.

We have organised several field trips to take place at

Tregellist near St. Kew on the land of keen naturalist

and professional biologist Trevor Renals. We hope to be

discovering the secrets of the very rich flora and fauna of

his fields.

Pair of dippers. Photo: Adrian Langdon

We have also continued to monitor the Treraven

marsh wetland project and are still seeking ways to

keep dog owners from causing disturbance in the

pools area.

Camel committee members have been to several meetings

on behalf of the branch, including the Wadebridge Town

Forum and planning meetings for major schemes that

are thought to have an impact on wildlife habitats or

environmentally sensitive areas.

Grey wagtail. Photo: Adrian Langdon

Camel committee


The Restormel Group welcomed spring with a walk

along the Camel estuary from Wadebridge. Sid Cole

led a group of about 20 people on a gentle stroll along

the river, spotting various birds feeding on the outgoing

tide. Plenty of redshanks and curlews, as well as a few

greenshanks and a pair of wigeon were followed by

the sight of hundreds of golden plover flying over the

estuary. Shelduck were also feeding on the mud, along

with a variety of gulls. The day’s surprise appearance

came in the form of a fox, sunning itself on the beach

on the far shoreline. Our thanks to Sid Cole for leading

an excellent meeting.

Dave Thomas


River Camel birdwatch. Photo: Matt Ward

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 23

Beverley Dobell accepts The Greenbank Hotel’s Business Supporter certificate from Jasmin Brown.

Photo: The Greenbank Hotel

Cornish businesses

support the Trust

Even during a recession Cornish business are standing strong and continue to support wildlife

conservation in Cornwall. We have had a number of new Business Supporters join the scheme

recently and plenty of activity from existing supporters:

Whipsiderry Hotel is a family

run business located just seconds

from Porth Beach, Newquay. Its

owners are dedicated to reducing

its environmental impact and are

awaiting grading for their Green

Tourism Business Scheme Award.

With a resident badger family and

deer frequenting the fields opposite,

the enjoyment of wildlife comes hand

in hand with staying at the hotel. The

hotel owners are also helping their

guests donate to the Trust by giving

£1 per person from every evening

fishing trip taken throughout the

summer. www.whipsiderry.co.uk

Badgers are a common sight on the

lawn at Whipsiderry Hotel.

Photo: Lisa Burbridge

The Greenbank Hotel overlooks the

stunning Falmouth Harbour and

the owners believe it is important

to care for their surroundings

and community, whilst providing

exceptional service for their

customers. They are currently

undertaking actions to improve their

environmental performance and

are awaiting grading for the Green

Tourism Business Scheme Award.

As an official Business Supporter

of Cornwall Wildlife Trust, The

Greenbank Hotel is making a

commitment to protect wildlife. Lena

Martin, Receptionist, said, “Our

guests’ involvement is important to

the Hotel and we encourage guests

to read our ‘Visitors’ Charter’ to see

what they can do to be a greener

visitor.” www.greenbank-hotel.co.uk

The Port William Inn is nestled

into the cliffs at Trebarwith Strand,

Tintagel. With stunning views across

the bay, there are regular scenes

of amazing marine life, including

dolphins, seals and the occasional

basking shark. The Port William is

dedicated to providing information

about, and encouraging sensitive

treatment of, its unique location.

Assistant Manger, Ashley Sharp

said, “We feel that it is imperative

to work together with Cornwall

Wildlife Trust to help preserve the

area’s natural beauty, and also to

encourage the growth of Port William

as a sustainable business. We believe

there is no limit to what the Trust can

achieve and feel privileged to work in

one of the most spectacular settings in

the world.”


Atlantic Coast Holiday Park

(Coastdale Parks), boasts peace and

tranquillity, nestled against Gwithian

Towans at Hayle. Offering holiday

home ownership, holiday hire and

a touring area, the park is proud to

have guests who return year after

year. Wildlife plays a vital role in this

David Bellamy Gold Awarded park,

with new areas planted to encourage

insects and butterflies, as well as

pictorial nature signs to view. Guests

can use the park’s wildlife diary to

record their findings at the park or

in the neighbouring sand dunes. The

park managers hope to pass on their

enthusiasm to their guests, and by

becoming Business Supporters of

Cornwall Wildlife Trust they now

have a wealth of information at

hand. www.atlanticcoastpark.co.uk

Page 24 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Farm and Cottage Holidays, one of

the largest holiday cottage agents in

the South West, is delighted to be

working with The Wildlife Trusts

in two ways: first, by becoming a

Business Supporter in each of the

counties it has properties in: Devon,

Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset, and

second, by making a contribution

from each holiday booking made.

The investment will benefit vital

wetland projects across the region.


British International Helicopters,

who fly from Penzance to St Mary’s

on the Isles of Scilly, are proudly

sponsoring the Trust’s 2009 Seaquest

Basking Shark Project through their

carbon compensation fund. The

company understand their activities

have an impact on the environment

and as well as working to reduce

their carbon emissions, they have

created a carbon compensation fund

to support projects that involve

climate change research. Read more

about the Seaquest Basking Shark

Project at cornwallwildlifetrust.org.


and on page 11 of this magazine.


Rosemullion Homes win

Housebuilder of the Year Award

Rosemullion Homes, a Trust

Business Supporter, scooped five

awards at the What House? Awards

2008, including the main award

of ‘UK’s Housebuilder of the Year’

and the bronze award for the

‘Sustainable Developer of the Year’.

The team were led by the firm’s

co-founder Bruce Brooke-Smith.

Bruce sadly died in February 2009

after a brave battle against cancer.

Rosemullion’s Managing Director,

Roger Carson said, “Bruce was a big

man in stature and in character. As

well as being a very close personal

friend, he was such an integral part

of Rosemullion Homes’ success.

He touched so many people’s lives

for the good, as well as being an

extremely effective Land Director.

We shall all miss him dreadfully”.

Jasmin Brown,

Marketing and Fundraising Manager

For more information on our

Business Supporters Scheme please

contact Serena Pettigrew-Collins,

Marketing and Fundraising

Coordinator on (01872) 273939 ext

205, serena@cornwt.demon.co.uk.

For website addresses of our

Business Supporters please go to



Our Business Supporters





Holiday Park, Hayle

Company Ltd, Truro

St Austell

Camping Park, Penzance



The Lizard

(SEA), Saltash


St Austell

St Austell

Restaurant, Menherion




Centre, Truro


Alie and John Linsey of Atlantic Coast Holiday Park proudly receive their

Business Supporters certificate. Photo: Jasmin Brown

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 25


New County Geology Site at Carclaze

The latest County Geology Site (the geological equivalent

of County Wildlife Sites, previously known as RIGS

sites) is at Carclaze, just north of St Austell. The site

is the southern face of Carclaze Old Tin Pit, which

was worked from Tudor times. Carclaze was one of

Nature news

The latest from our ever-active specialist groups. For contact details see page 2.

the largest open pit tin stockworks worked in the

18th and early 19th centuries and provided a uniquely

informative location for early geologists, including some

of the founding fathers of geological science, to develop

concepts concerned with the alteration of granites and

metalliferous mineralization. The pit was a ‘must see’

site for 18th and 19th century travellers and there are

many descriptions and lithographs of the site; the earliest

accounts were by scientists from France and Germany.

The pit also shows how mining technology from the open

pit tin mining industry was used by the early china clay

industry. The site may also be the location for the earliest

underground canal in Britain, possibly built as early as

1720 by John Parnell of St Austell, although nothing can

be seen of this at present. The site is owned by Imerys,

who have given a verbal assurance that, if and when the

Ecotown proposal at Baal is developed, the site will be

preserved. A paper recently published on the site can be

accessed via the Cornwall Wildlife Trust website: find the

‘Cornish Geology’ section and look in the related links

on the ‘Granites’ page.

The picture to the left is an engraving by Thomas Allom

(1831). Water issuing from adits on the right is powering

three waterwheels driving stamps which crushed the ore

in order to release the tin.

Engraving by Thomas Allom (1831)

Colin Bristow, Cornwall RIGS Group

Photographic Group

By the time you read this message we will have another

new exhibition in the Meetings Room at Five Acres.

This is free to anyone who wants to come along and also

provides something for us to look at during committee

meetings! Please phone to check the room is free before

travelling specially to see the photos.

Our annual competition is just around the corner. As

usual this event is to be held at our November meeting

and entries are invited on or before the date of our

October meeting. Having mentioned the competition I

would like to stress that we are not a competitive group;

rather more a supportive one, but the competition

evening does allow us all to sit and look at some of the

wonderful photos taken by all of our members recently.

photographs. We will also enter their competition as

a group. The standard of the photography in previous

years has been exceptionally high so it is with some

trepidation that we make this first step; but it is only

through pushing ourselves and raising the bar that we

will continue to improve. More on this in the next issue,

but for now have a look at the website of the IFWP at


David Chapman, Volunteer

This year we have decided to join the International

Federation of Wildlife Photography (IFWP). This is

a truly international organisation and we will be the

only British representatives. Some of our members will

be going to their annual convention in Switzerland in

September. During this convention delegates will be

taken to various wildlife locations in the country to take

Cotton wool flower. Photo: John Evans-Jones

Page 26 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Cornwall Seal Group

Once again the European Cetacean Society accepted

Cornwall Seal Group’s (CSG) submission for a poster

presentation at their annual conference. This featured

CSG’s photo identification work tracking the movements

of 29 grey seals around our coast from Morte Pointe in

north Devon, down to the Isles of Scilly and round to

Nanjizel in the south.

Notable seal movements included:

trip from St Ives Bay to Newquay and back in

12 days.

the Isles of Scilly and back in 12 days, taking only

two days on the return leg!

(‘Ghost 2’ from Morte Point in 12 days) and west

(‘Wriggle’ from the Isles of Scilly).

Only one seal has been identified at three different

locations so far: ‘Tail Scar’, seen in St Ives Bay, Treen

and on the Lizard. He’s a tough old male, who’s been

struggling with a significant wound on his face since 2004.

For the first time, we’ve managed to recognise pups

born on the mainland haul out beach returning after

their post weaning dispersal (when they explore the

open oceans). Both Curly (female) and Rocket (male)

returned 17 months after leaving the beach of their birth!

It is wonderful to know they are thriving, particularly

as Rocket had a traumatic first few days! See www.

cornwallsealgroup.co.uk for more information.

Sue Sayer, Volunteer

Curly on her return in March 2009. Photo: Sue Sayer

Seal movements map.

Cornwall Mammal Group

Wetlands are havens for mammals. Cornwall Mammal

Group (CMG), ever in pursuit of mammals to record, has

led a range of monthly events visiting some wonderful

wet places around the county. Mud is a marvellous

medium for finding records, from the tracks of a tiny

shrew to the webbed track of an otter. Sarah Hodge led a

small mammal safari at Stithian’s Reservoir and a harvest

mouse hunt in wetlands near Penryn. Tea and cakes

were provided on both occasions. Tracker Angie Nash

tempted people out of bed early in the morning with

breakfast cooked on an open fire, after seeking mammals

and their signs at Woodland Valley Farm near Ladock.

Mammals on wet moorland did not escape our attention

and Dave Groves organised a small mammal trapping

event at the Beacon on Bodmin Moor. In contrast, Cathy

Turtle sought mammals in the open dunes of Penhale. We

always hold our AGM in the first week of July, during

National Mammal Week, and this year Nick Jones broke

with tradition and organised this event mid week and

at night! Nick and Derek Lord led an intriguing greater

horseshoe bat event near New Polzeath.

Water (Pennon Environmental Fund with Viridor Waste).

Volunteers will be trained to look for and identify nuts

eaten in the unique dormouse way. Old sites will be

monitored and new sites surveyed. It’s simple, fun and

will provide invaluable information to help determine

the status of this rare mammal and secure records for

our Mammal Atlas. Training and support is provided,

not least by two top ‘nutters’, Jenny Stuart and Cheryl

Mills. If you would like take part in the Great Nut Hunt,

or hear about other mammal events, please contact the

CMG secretary: Jodene@cornwt.demon.co.uk.

Kate Stokes, Volunteer

Future events will focus on another small, special, elusive

and under-recorded mammal: the dormouse. CMG and

Devon Mammal Group have teamed up and we are

supporting the People’s Trust for Endangered Species

national dormouse survey by taking part in the third

Great Nut Hunt. We are delighted to have secured the

support of Westcountry Rivers Trust and South West

Dormouse in hand. Photo: Paul Gregory

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 27

Seaquest Southwest

Winter is generally the quieter time for spotting marine

wildlife, but we have had reports of bottlenose dolphins

and harbour porpoises every month. Common dolphins

were only reported five times, but in groups of between

20 and 25, and we had a couple of sightings of Risso’s

dolphins too. Two minke whales were seen in November

and a fin whale, the second largest whale in the world,

was reported off the Isles of Scilly in February 2009. The

last basking shark of 2008 was seen off The Runnelstone

on November 6th and the first for 2009 was on 11th

February off Pendeen.

Other creatures recorded include a lumpsucker fish,

which was landed at Newquay, and a rare wrinkled

swimming crab, Liocarcinus corrugatus, which was

found trapped in a prawn pot in the River Fal in

February. It was taken alive to the Blue Reef Aquarium,

Newquay, much to the delight of the curator, as the last

record for this species in Cornish waters was in 1984,

and only 11 have ever been recorded, nine of which were


We are hoping that 2009 will be a bumper year for

marine wildlife sightings. As well as our dedicated

Basking Shark Project which will be running all

summer, we would like to encourage you all to send

in records of anything you see whilst out and about

around the coast. Keep your eyes peeled and tell us

what you see!

Ray Dennis, Volunteer, and Ruth Williams,

Marine Conservation Officer

Fox Club Corner

Our younger members have been out in all the

glorious spring and early summer weather, enjoying

the bluebells and sound of birdsong, learning about

plants and the geology beneath them, and then

investigating minibeasts, the contents of an owl’s

dinner and the inhabitants of dormouse boxes and

rockpools – all before the end of the school term!

The next season of events is likely to be even

busier as we celebrate Marine Fortnight, Bat Week,

BeachWatch Weekend and National Tree Week, as

well as helping the environment with events during

Clean Cornwall Week and on Make a Difference Day.

If you have an interest in any of these subjects, or

just fancy having some fun learning about them,

have a look at the Fox Club and Out & About Club

events diaries and come along and join in.

If you don’t want to miss out on all this excitement,

just fill in the form below and send it off to Kirstie


Hope to see you soon!

Alison Forward

Education Officer

Wildlife needs friends

If you are already a member,

please pass this form

to a friend

or relative.

You might

like to know

that Cornwall

Wildlife Trust now has a family

membership category which

includes Fox Club.

These youngsters were measuring trees in hugs for

the Ancient Trees of Cornwall Project.

Photo: Alison Forward

MEMBERSHIP FORM (Cut out and send to Fox Club, Five Acres, Allet, Truro TR4 9DJ)

Name .......................................................................................................................

Date of birth ..........................................................................................................

Address ....................................................................................................................


School .....................................................................................................................

Please enrol me as a member of Fox Club

(I enclose a cheque for £8 made out to Cornwall Wildlife Trust)

Please send me a Cornwall Wildlife Trust leaflet

Tick as appropriate

Registered Charity Name - Cornwall Trust for Nature Conservation Ltd. Registered Charity Number - 214929

Page 28 Issue 109 Summer 2009


Despite the awful weather during the 2008 season, 40

Seasearch surveys were reported by volunteers recording

335 different species, including both well known and

nationally rare species such as the pink sea fan, maerl,

yellow cluster anemone, trumpet anemone, ling and

eelgrass. There were also numerous records of maerl and

eelgrass from our specific eelgrass monitoring projects.

This year has also seen the completion of our Pink Sea

Fan Project. The pink sea fan (PSF) is one of only two

gorgonian corals found in UK waters, and as such is a

Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species and is also one of

the very few marine species which is protected under the

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Although nationally

rare, PSF are widely distributed in south-west Britain

and are associated with rocky seabed habitats in depths

down to 60m. During the three year project a total of

878 fans were measured and recorded around the coast

by volunteer Seasearch divers. Results showed a healthy

and larger than expected population of PSFs around the

Below the kelp. Photo: Angie Gall

Cornish coast (a copy of the full report is on our website:



So far this year we have completed our first Seasearch

training course in Cornwall and one has also been

completed on the Isles of Scilly as part of the Isles of Scilly

Wildlife Trust’s Marine Biodiversity Project. We are also

aiming to start a long-term monitoring project in the Fal

SAC (Special Area of Conservation), looking at the effect

the ban on mobile gear (dredging equipment) is having on

benthic marine life, and specifically PSF populations.

If you are already a qualified diver and interested in

getting involved in Seasearch in Cornwall, please contact

me: tom@cornwt.demon.co.uk.

Bloody Henry. Photo: Angie Gall

Tom Hardy

Marine Conservation Officer

The Lost Gardens of




This mysterious estate has been

beautifully restored to offer

over 200 acres for exploration.


Victorian Productive Gardens

& Pleasure Grounds,

a sub-tropical Jungle,

Wildlife Project and beyond...


The Heligan Barn Owls at


Free admission to Heligan

Tearoom, Shop & Plant Sales

Pentewan, St Austell, Cornwall

PL26 6EN Tel: 01726 845100


The year to date. . . .

A new pair of barn owls have taken up residence in

the purpose built nest box at The Lost Gardens of

Heligan, and have been spotted bonding, preening

and mating.

The female barn owl will remain incubating the eggs

throughout the evening and night to ensure an

adequate ‘cache’.

Watch the unfolding drama online at the dedicated

wildlife page on www.heliganwild.com, or live

Gardens of Heligan, where the nest box images are


Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 29

Page 30 Issue 109 Summer 2009

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 31

A History of the Isles of Scilly

Wildlife Trust: 1985–2006

Part 4: A new Director

Mike Gurr continues his historical saga

In 1994, the first director, Peter Murrish, retired.

As the Trust took its first hesitant steps, he had

contributed significantly to its establishment, through his

organisational abilities and financial management. What

was lacking was a clear sense of what constituted good

public relations and any expertise in nature conservation.

A second director was in post only a few months and the

third, Andrew Gibson, came to the Trust from a position

as Warden of Lundy Island and so was able to begin to

give the Trust some leadership in conservation.

By this time, however, the finances were pitifully inadequate

to entertain any ideas of habitat management on a scale that

was envisaged by the original management plan and that

was needed by the Islands. It is interesting to note that the

body that could have helped enormously at this stage, in

terms of expertise, if not in funding, was the then Cornwall

Society for Nature Conservation, later Cornwall Wildlife

Trust. Although the possibility of approaching colleagues in

Cornwall had been given passing mention in the minutes,

there is no record that such an approach was ever officially

made. English Nature (now Natural England), because of its

duty of care for the two dozen or so SSSIs (Sites of Special

Scientific Interest) in Scilly, had primary responsibility for

nature conservation in Scilly and an important development

for the Trust was entry into the Reserves Enhancement

Scheme (RES) in 1995. Beginning in 1996, another

important initiative was the Countryside Stewardship

Scheme (CS), administered by MAFF (Ministry of

Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, now DEFRA, Department

for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). This provided

modest funds for the management of specified areas of

land in accordance with very precise guidelines, until 2006.

By the end of the 1990s, three relatively secure sources of

funding for environmental management by the Trust had

become established: RES, CS and a grant from English

Heritage for habitat management around seven scheduled

monument sites on Trust-leased land.

Funds did not allow the Trust to employ the number of

staff needed to manage over 1,000 hectares of land. The

practical solution had to be the efficient use of volunteers

and it did not seem practical to find such volunteers from

within the resident population. In Scilly, recruitment of

staff or volunteers from the mainland has always been

limited by the availability of suitable accommodation.

The Director proposed that a long-disused naval gun

battery on ‘The Garrison’, a fortified hill on St Mary’s,

could be adapted to provide volunteer accommodation.

A substantial grant toward this conversion was obtained

from MAFF with small inputs from other sources. As

the scheme developed, the Trust was obliged to use a

significant proportion of reserves laid down in its early

years, leaving it in a somewhat precarious financial

situation. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that the facility,

though costing the Trust dearly, has enabled it to attract

many first-rate volunteers who have enabled it to carry out

far more conservation work than would otherwise have

been possible.

Mike Gurr

Teän Sound, St Martins. Photo: Angie Gall

Page 32 Issue 109 Summer 2009

The Threatened Plant Survey:

tubular water-dropwort

Rosemary Parslow highlights a rare and threatened plant

The Threatened Plant Survey is a

Botanical Society of the British Isles

(BSBI) initiative that commenced in

2008. The aim is to learn more about

threatened and near-threatened plants

in Britain. Ten species of plant were

targeted in 2008 for BSBI vice-county

recorders to survey and this resulted

in thousands of records and a much

better understanding of the actual

state of the British populations of the

selected plants.

In 2009 another ten rare species

of plants are being targeted for

investigation. One of these is Oenanthe

fistulosa (tubular water-dropwort), a

plant that is found in the Isles of Scilly.

All the known current and former

sites where the plant is found will need

to be visited and the plants counted,

mapped and details of the habitat and

associated species recorded.

Tubular water-dropwort is a plant of

marshy places and shallow water. At

one time it was common in Britain

especially in the south, less so in

Scotland, Ireland and Wales. It is now

classified as Vulnerable which means

that during the last decade or so

numbers have been decreasing.

In Scilly it is very rare. It has only been

recorded on St Mary’s and on Tresco.

Formerly it was known on St Mary’s

from Higher and Lower Moors and

the wet fields near Rocky Hill. On

Tresco it was recorded from Great

Pool and the reed bed. It is still known

from Lower Moors and the wet fields

between Rocky Hill and Porthloo, but

nowhere is it abundant. On Tresco

the plant still occurs in the reed bed

around Great Pool where it grows in

the water among the reeds.

Tubular water-dropwort. Photo: Rosemary Parslow

Tubular water-dropwort is not a

particularly spectacular or distinctive

plant. It is one of the family Apiaceae

that includes plants such as carrot

and hedge parsley, with the typical

umbel (like the spokes of an umbrella)

arrangement of the flowers. The

flowers are white and the leaves have

few leaflets, unlike the ferny leaves of

carrot, etc. The petioles (leaf stems)

and stems are hollow – hence the

specific name fistulosa (pipelike).

Although we know some of the

places where the dropwort grows, if

anyone knows or finds any new sites,

please let us know. We can then get a

complete picture of the status of the

plant in Scilly and the kind of site and

management it requires.

Rosemary Parslow

BSBI Vice-County Recorder for Scilly

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 33

Biodiversity on Scilly

Angie Gall continues her updates on this important marine programme.

In the last issue of Wild Scilly I told you about our plans

for the new Isles of Scilly Marine Biodiversity Project.

One of the first project activities has been a Seasearch

training course for local divers. This was well attended

and we now have eight local divers who are on the way

to completing the Seasearch Observer qualification. This

involves recording marine life seen on dives, including

describing the seabed. Divers across the country are

involved in this scheme, allowing us to compare our reefs

to those in other parts of the UK. Thanks to St Martin’s

Diving Services for hosting the course and to the local

divers for their participation.

Reefs are not the only focus of Seasearch. Once trained,

divers can record marine life on any site they visit; sandy

areas, wrecks and even mooring chains all have their own

marine communities. Our divers can join organised dives

offered by the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust or conduct

surveys on their own favourite dive sites. Visiting divers

will be encouraged to record the marine life in this way

to help us build up a picture of the marine biodiversity in

our waters.

Another project activity which is now well underway

is the marine education programme with the Five

Islands’ School. The children have been taking part

in rockpooling, beach art and beach cleans with great

eagerness and the teachers seem to enjoy the days too.

Paul Semmens has been on the Scillonian every

Wednesday for the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, talking to

passengers about marine wildlife and carrying out survey

work. Paul’s enthusiasm is infectious. He says, “I love the

Scillonian; I never want to go inside though, even for a

moment, in case I miss something!”

Angie Gall

Project Officer

Local divers on a Seasearch Training Course.

Photo: Angie Gall

Going out on a dive: local divers are learning to record marine life in a variety of habitats. Photo: Angie Gall

Page 34 Issue 109 Summer 2009

News snippets

The Trust Wildlife Information Centre on St Mary’s quay

has been given a makeover: a new layout, new range

of stock and more things to keep the kids occupied,

including a rock pool fish tank. It is open Monday to

Saturday, 9.30am to 4.30pm; closed for an hour after the

Scillonian has docked; half-day opening on Thursdays.

We need volunteers to run the Centre and if you want to

help please get in touch (on 422153).

Trust volunteers are now kitted out with special T-shirts

and caps thanks to a kind donation from a long-standing

volunteer. It is really lovely to be able to give the

volunteers something for all of their hard work.

disturbing them. The Nursery class have made a bird hide

in their role play area and are waiting for a lovely cedar

bench from Greenspace that is carved with different birds

so that they can do rubbings.

The IOS Bat Group now has its own website. Look at

www.scillybatgroup.org.uk to find out about us and

our work schedule for 2009. Members of the Group

led a successful bat walk as part of the ‘Walk Scilly

Festival’. Eighteen visitors joined in and were kitted out

in new reflective jackets purchased with an NHS health

promotion grant. Monthly bat walks through the season

will be advertised.

‘BAFTA’ success. Congratulations to Adam White,

IOSWT Trustee, for his ‘BAFTA’, awarded jointly with

Sir David Attenborough for his role in producing and

directing Armoured Giants, one of Sir David’s BBC 1

wildlife series: Life in Cold Blood.

Members of the Local Volunteer/Bat Group discuss which

trees would be suitable for bat boxes. Photo: Mike Gurr

A new St Mary’s local group meets every Wednesday.

Anyone welcome! You do not need to commit to a whole

day, just contact us in the office (on 422153) and we will

let you know where we are working and organise a pick

up or drop off. Volunteering is a great way to meet people

and get some exercise.

Thanks to the AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund

for providing funding for a marine strandings course,

improvements to ponds and footpaths, equipment for

the Bat Group and materials for work with Five Islands

School. These included a new bird feeding area, also

supported by the Isles of Scilly Bird Group. There are

different sorts of bird feeders that will attract different

types of birds, and insect houses so that the pupils can

study butterflies and insects as well. We have put up a nest

box camera so that the pupils in the nursery and reception

classes can use their computer to see birds feeding without

Local volunteer installing bat boxes. Photo: Mike Gurr

Wild Scilly is prepared by the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Editorial Team:

Suzanna Jeffries, Mike Gurr and Anne Gurr.

Issue 109 Summer 2009 Page 35

Calendar 2010 for sale

We have produced another stunning calendar for next year, which is available now.

Featuring 13 spectacular full page colour photographs of some of the best scenes around Cornwall, the

Wild Cornwall calendar is a must have for 2010. It makes the perfect Christmas present too, coming

with its own envelope to send to friends and family. All the photographs were donated by members of

our Photographic Group, with production costs met by our generous sponsors, so every penny raised

from sales goes towards protecting Cornwall’s wildlife for the future.

Christmas cards for sale

We are offering two wonderful designs this year,

the stunning ‘stag’ and the adorable ‘robin’.

Both measure 120mm x 120mm and come in

packs of 10. The greeting reads ‘Happy Christmas’.


The calendar and Christmas cards are also available to order from our online shop:


Please send me:

Wild Cornwall calendar(s) at £5.00 + 75p p&p each = £

pack(s) of ‘Stag’ Christmas cards at £3.00 + 60p p&p each = £

pack(s) of ‘Robin’ Christmas cards at £3.00 + 60p p&p each = £

Total = £




Daytime phone number


Please enclose a cheque for the full amount made payable to Cornwall Wildlife Trust and send with order form to

Carolyn O’Hagan, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Five Acres, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DJ. Call (01872) 273939 ext 204 with any queries.

Page 36 Issue 109 Summer 2009

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