Marine Discovery Day is a winner!

Yesterday the Tintagel to Holywell ranger team were part of yet another highly successful Marine Discovery Day event held at Polzeath. After a brief downpour and some testing breezes to get the marquees set up in, our worries were over as the day settled into a glorious sunny one and the hundreds of half-term holiday beachgoers called by the various stalls and activities to see what was going on throughout the day. A huge thanks to all the groups, organisations and local businesses who joined us to make it such a success – Polzeath Marine Conservation Group, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Marine Conservation Society, BeachCare, the Shark Trust, Cornwall Seal Group, RNLI Lifeguards, Badger Forest School and National Coastwatch Institute, & author Laura Frances Martin.
Mike – Lead ranger

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Lackey moths

Keen eyed walkers or gardeners may have noticed these caterpillars recently. These are the caterpillars of the Lackey moth (Malacosoma neustria).
In May and June they gather in large numbers, usually on blackthorn or hawthorn bushes, spinning large silken webs within which they feed on the leaves of the plant. They also spend time basking together on the outside of the webs. On closer inspection the larvae are beautifully coloured with alternating orange, brown, blue and white stripes down their bodies. The adult moth is less dramatic being a sandy brown colour and is in flight during mid to late summer, before laying its eggs around the stem of the host plant.
Mike – Lead ranger

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All Hands on Deck for Valency Valley Himalayan Balsam Pull

We’ve got our first Balsam pull of the season coming up next Tuesday (2nd June).

Himalayan Balsam is a non- native species which supresses the growth of native British plants growing along our riverbanks. It forms thick stems which prevent other species from colonising and when it dies back in the winter it exposes sections of riverbank leaving it susceptible to erosion. The weed has explosive seed pods which carry readily down water courses so it is important to get rid of the Balsam before these ripen.

Come and have a fun day out and help us remove Himalayan Balsam from the beautiful Valency Valley so the native wildlife here can flourish.

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The Trail Runners’ Reward

Photo credit Keith Hill

Photo credit Keith Hill

It’s taken me a few weeks, but I’ve finally found the time to write some words on the first event of the Coastal Challenge Series in North Cornwall. Luckily, it was such a good evening on Pentire Head that the memory hasn’t faded yet!

At previous events, for some reason we only managed to entice about 25 participants to come along and brave the coastpath with us. Imagine my surprise when by 7pm, there were nigh on 80 people raring to go in the car park at New Polzeath! An amazing turnout, surely drawn by the promise of some blue sky running and a proper Cornish sunset.

Seamlessly splitting into three different groups to cater for a range of abilities, we set off down to the beach and then wound our way up hill to gain the higher ground on Pentire Head. Once we hit the coastpath, this was when the hard work of running uphill was rewarded. Passing through the kissing gate from the farmland out to the coastal strip and the coastpath, we suddenly found ourselves staring out into the deep blue void, towering rocky cliffs to left and right, swathes of mauve wildflowers on the grassy slopes below and a golden sun slowly sinking on the other side of Padstow bay. I can almost feel a manly tear in my eye! All very poetic, but these are the rewards of the runner willing to explore away from the tarmac.

Seeing the faster runners approaching over the hill in the distance we thought we better get a shift on and headed off on the long (mostly!) downhill section back to the beach and the awaiting BBQ.

Joining us for a run on the Coastal Challenge Series, you’ll be joining us in celebrating our amazing coastline and all it can offer people when they get out and explore it. All money raised from the run will go towards helping the National Trust to carry on caring for all the footpaths, signposts, hedges and habitats that make up this stunning landscape.

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Let us know if you’re interested in joining us on the next run on Tuesday 23 June by emailing tom.sparkes@nationaltrust.org.uk.

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Headland Hotel in Newquay raises £10,000 for the National Trust in North Cornwall

The Headland Hotel supports National Trust by way of a visitor gifting scheme and recently donated £10,000 to help fund our work in North Cornwall.

Each guest is asked to make a donation of £1 towards our work upon check out at The Headland and this, along with several raffle fund raising activities, has helped reach this fantastic figure. This is the second cheque of this type donated to the Trust within 12 months.

Here are just a few examples of the work already undertaken in the local area over the past year:

We‘ve repaired & widened a section of slumped coast path at Porthcothan Bay and carried out vital scrub clearance on the cliffs to open up more areas for rare coastal wildflowers.

Replaced fencing and undertaken footbridge repairs at Holywell, along with regular litter picking and renewing and installing of footpath way-markers.

Strimming and maintenance of footpaths – we look after some 12 miles of coastline between Holywell and Padstow alone and that doesn’t include all the inland paths!

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign, set up to protect the coast from the threat of development and look after it for ever for the nation. Every year it costs us £3,000 to look after each mile of coast we own, so this donation is invaluable and a massive thank you goes to the hotel staff and visitors for their continuing support.

Headland donation presentation May 2015

General Manager Darryl Reburn said; “The Headland is very much a destination in keeping with the National Trust’s work which we support completely. Perched on a cliff top looking out to the wild Atlantic we value the importance of both our historic building and the surrounding environment which our guests enjoy. The rugged coastline and beaches surrounding us is very much part of the appeal. We are delighted to be making this donation today and hope to continue supporting the National Trust”.

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Polzeath Marine Discovery Day

Thursday 28 May

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Cornwall Wildlife Trust, National Trust, Polzeath Marine Conservation Group and many other organisations are joining forces to bring you a Marine Day you will never forget. Come and celebrate our seas in Polzeath – learn fun and fascinating facts about our amazing marine life, create beach sculptures, take part in arts/crafts animation and much, much more!
Meet on Polzeath beach. Grid reference SW 937 790, PL27 6TA
Time: 11am-4pm
Bring: N/A
Cost: Free
Booking: Not needed

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Bluebell bonanza

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Right now is the time to get out and about on the coast path and witness one of those seasonal magic moments. At Pentire Head the bluebells are looking their best, with parts of the cliff swathed in the blue flowers. Bluebells are more often associated with woodland, but are also common on unimproved grasslands. In the warm, moist climate of the south west bluebells can thrive too on the more sheltered aspects of the cliffs. Careful management with scrub cutting and then grazing prevents the grasslands being over run with gorse, thorn, brambles and aggressive grasses, instead allowing space for our delicate coastal wildflowers to flourish. The photos here were taken in the meadow just east of Lead Mines on the coast path towards Lundy Bay.
Of course there are dozens more different species of flower starting to bloom on the coast – do you know your spring squill from your kidney vetch, or sea campion from birds-foot trefoil? If you would like to brush up on your wild flower knowledge and find out more about how the Trust manages these amazing maritime grasslands join us on our Wildflower Guided Walk around Pentire on Sunday 14 June at 10am. Book your places on 01208 863046. Click on the events tab above to find full details.
Mike – Lead ranger

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Terrific Trevornick 10

Cruising over the calcareous grassland

Cruising over the calcareous grassland

On Sunday, Cubert Common, Kelsey Head and Polly Joke near Newquay played host to the Trevornick 10 running race organised by the Newquay Road Runners. 252 runners entered the race making the most of warm dry weather combined with a strong southerly wind adding to the challenge.

Once again, its great to see so many people getting out and about and making good use of the beautiful coastal grassland around Newquay. Despite the overcast weather, there was plenty of colour on show as the grassland was adorned in places with a dense carpet of cowslips.

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Follow this link to read the full race report penned by Paul Wright of the Newquay Road Runners club. http://www.newquayroadrunners.co.uk/ken-2nd-at-trevornick-10-elsey-2nd-in-denmark/

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May 2015! What’s on with the rangers….

Tintagel to Holywell team…
Events and ranger days in North Cornwall T to H May 2015-page0001

Boscastle to Morwenstow team….
Ranger days April-June 2015-page0001

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Photography Competition

This week sees the launch of the first ever photography competition at the Old Post Office in Tintagel

Entry to the competition is FREE and any style, subject or camera is allowed.

Email your best snaps to: tintageloldpo@nationaltrust.org.uk
for a chance of winning a £10 print of the property; new colour guidebook or OPO bookmark. All of which we will post for free.

Please see the posters below for more details and terms and conditions. Normal admission charges to the property do apply.

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