Moth Night

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Volunteers rebuild Cornish Hedge

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Last Sunday our team of enthusiastic volunteers helped to rebuild a collapsed wall near Northcott beach.

The wall has been eroded over the years by sheep and people climbing on it.

The area was prepped by the ranger team, who brought in large amounts of stone. A digger was used to excavate the collapsed hedge, and earth was moved for the largest stones to be put in as foundations.

The team started working on the hedge, carefully placing each stone in the right position. Earth was then compacted behind the stones.

Good progress was made. What looked like a construction site is now a magnificent traditional Cornish Hedge.

The hedge has been a boundary for several centuries helping to keep livestock out.  It is a great habitat for wildlife – small mammals burrow in the crevices, and it is a refuge for flowering plants and invertebrates seeking shelter from the relentless Atlantic coast.

To join us on any of our conservation volunteer days please contact the Boscastle to Morwenstow Ranger team on 01288331372 or basil.stow@nationaltrust.org.uk

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Going batty at Pentireglaze

Over the last few weeks we’ve been going batty at Pentireglaze with three bat night events.

The evening starts with everyone cooking their favourite BBQ food, then whilst chomping on their dinner they listen to a talk about British bats, including the common pipistrelle which is our most common bat and can be seen both in the countryside and in built-up areas, as well as learning about the greater horseshoe bat.

At sunset everyone makes their way up to the cliff top to see greater horseshoe bats emerge from their roost. One of our guests, Erik Raphael managed to capture a bat in flight, a few times, a great achievement as they fly so fast and with a phone camera! Well done Erik and thanks for sharing.

We had bat detectors with us so we could hear their echolocation and that of the common pipistrelle which like to feed in the area too. With over 100 greater horseshoe bats coming out of their roost to feed it is a wonderful sight. And they fly close to us, but don’t land in our hair! They’re far too clever and fast for that.

If you missed out this year there will be a chance to learn about bats and see our greater horseshoes again next summer, just check out our events tab in spring next year and then book early as its a very popular event.

Sarah Stevens, Ranger, Tintagel to Holywell

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We’re recruiting for a Holiday Cottage Caretaker

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We’re recruiting for a gardener

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Are you an experienced green-fingered person with a love of special places? If so, this position at Tintagel Old Post Office NT​ could be for you.

The back garden of the OPO is a tranquil setting that offers a relaxing escape from the busy high street. It changes dramatically with the seasons and receives continual positive feedback from visitors.

At the front, the garden helps set the scene and frames the house in a way that invites.

This is a permanent, paid position, 7.4 hours a week, £9.62 p/h with fantastic career benefits and development opportunities.

For more information about the role and to apply, please visit http://www.nationaltrustjobs.org.uk/join-us and search for job reference IRC27244 or postcode search PL34 0DB.

The closing date for applications is 24 August 2015

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Getting all ‘arty’ at Holywell

This August as part of our Coast Festival we’ll be getting stuck into some coast themed art sessions at Holywell, just south of Newquay (TR8 5PF). Using a variety of medias; willow, paint, sand and plaster to name a few, we’ll be reinvigorating the wooden fence bordering the footpath on the way to the beach.

Willow bird sculpting

Willow bird sculpting

The Coast Festival is a celebration of the Neptune Campaign, a fundraising initiative started 50 years ago with the aim of protecting as much or our fantastic coastline as possible. Since 1965 this campaign has helped protect over 775 miles of coastline for ever, for everyone.

With this in mind, we’re celebrating our love of the coast by getting all arty. We’ll be there 10am – 4pm every Tuesday throughout August. Drop in to have a go, see how its going and sign up to our mailing list to get photos of the final artwork.

Call the ranger team on 01208 863821 for more details.

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Many hands make light work.

Team Environment Agency rolls into Dannonchapel, a few miles east of Port Isaac.

Team Environment Agency rolls into Dannonchapel, a few miles east of Port Isaac.

Many thanks to team Environment Agency for joining us last Thursday for a day packed full of Cornish hedge repairs at Dannonchapel. A team of 12 from local EA offices joined us for a day of environmental leave on farmland at the historic Dannonchapel farm. Backed up by some of our regular volunteers, we were able to make a massive dent in an already collapsing hedge overlooking the south west coast path (we did then repair that dent!).

6 hours, a pasty lunch and plenty of sea views admired later and the hedge was looking in fine form. A new official opening had been created for an inland public footpath, a quoin end had been rebuilt and a section of local style curzy way hedging was well on the way to being restored.


Thanks team! We wouldn’t have achieved anywhere near as much without you.

If your company, business or group would like a day out on the North Cornwall coast for a day of environmental leave or employee volunteering, please get in touch with tom.sparkes@nationaltrust.org.uk.

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Rangers Flex some Muscle

WP_20150730_10_43_58_ProWP_20150730_12_16_54_Pro WP_20150730_13_32_28_ProLast week the Boscastle ranger team moved the stepping stones in the fantastic Valency valley of Boscastle.  Following a rise in water level in the winter the stepping stones had been dragged down the river several metres making it almost impassable.

We put the huge stones back in place by using a winch, which was connected to the trusty land rover. We then rolled the stones using iron bars and raw man (and woman!) power.  We now have stepping stones joining up the footpaths for everyone to enjoy the wonderful wooded valley.

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Final Balsam Pull of 2015

We’ve come to the end of our balsam pulling in the Valency Valley for this year, with the volunteers going out for their last day earlier in the week. It has been a really successful season and we were all delighted when we reached Boscastle last week. This is the first time in many years we’ve managed to pull balsam along the whole stretch of the river before it starts to set seed. Which just goes to show all our hard work is paying off!

We’ve seen some great parts of the valley we don’t normally get too, which also turned out to be a haven for silver washed fritillaries and dippers.

Thank you very much to all our hard working volunteers who showed up every week with determination, we absolutely couldn’t have done it without you.

2015 balsam pull team Colin and balsam Silver Washed Fritillary

Basil and Balsam

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Big Butterfly Count 2015 – Help your local Lepidoptera!

Red Admiral on valerian (photo credit Jon Gardner 2012)

Red Admiral on valerian
(photo credit Jon Gardner 2012)

If you have 15 minutes to spare at some point between 17 July and 19 August, why not get involved with the Big Butterfly Count? Its very easy to do, just download the app or the handy ID guide from the website, choose a spot and sit for 15 peaceful minutes spotting butterflies and moths. Once you’ve done this, submit your sightings on the same website again. Simples! Not only do you get an excuse to sit still for 15 minutes and enjoy your surroundings, but you are really helping to develop the understanding of butterflies and moths in the UK.

http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/?gclid=CKGt28-k8cYCFWWWtAodDIgNSQ

Mind you, if your only spare 15 minutes is in the middle of the night, you might not count that many butterflies!

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