Heroes of Scrub

Scrub season in North Cornwall. Only the bravest of the brave take on the thorns, brambles, smokey bonfires and often less than perfect weather in the name of conservation. They do it for the wildflowers. They do it for the insects and they definitely do it for the birds as well. A large amount of the National Trusts’ work that is done in North Cornwall, especially over winter revolves around returning clifftops dominated by gorse and blackthorn to their previous incarnation of maritime grassland. This habitat is richly diverse, with an array of wildflowers benefiting a host of insects which in turn allow for a wider variety of bird life. Without volunteers to help us, this conservation work would be a colossal task and so to our volunteers, we salute you!

On Wednesday 29 October on coastal slopes above Lundy Bay, we were joined by 3 families, our first Heroes of Scrub of the 2014/2015 season. Much scrub was cleared, and many marshmallows were toasted (safely over a bucket of ash!). If you would like to join us and also become a Hero of Scrub, check out our events pages or email me to find out more and you too could see your photo in this hall of fame!

Our Heroes of Scrub

Attards assemble! These londoners gave the scrub some attitude.

Attards assemble! These londoners gave the scrub some attitude.

The Payns from Wadebridge gave it everything they had.

The Payns from Wadebridge gave it everything they had.

Mike Eley and friends. They arrived late in the day but stayed on till the bitter end.

Mike Eley and friends. They arrived late in the day but stayed on till the bitter end.

National Trust ... one Scrub...nil

National Trust … one

These guys don’t mind finding gorse needles in their boots two days later. Get in touch and get involved!

North Cornwall Ranger (Holywell – Tintagel)

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Geology Rocks! Tuesday 28 October

Geology Rocks walk photo by Jenny Lord
Join us on a guided walk
Geology Rocks! Pentire Head, near Polzeath.
Interpret the coastal landscape from a different perspective – join local expert Jane Anderson to guide us through the geological history of the area. With insights from National Trust rangers on wildlife and history too, this should prove to be a fascinating walk.

Meet at the National Trust Lead Mines car park, near New Polzeath. Grid reference SW 941 799, PL27 6QY
11am – 3pm
Wear suitable walking gear and bring refreshments, a packed lunch and binoculars if you have them.
£3 per person
Booking essential 01208 863046

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Coppicing for Boscastle

Our volunteers turned out in droves on Sunday to help us coppice the river side vegetation in the Valency Valley, Boscastle.

Since the big flood of 2004, the National Trust has been working with the Environment Agency to help alleviate flood risk in Boscastle. Part of our work in the Valency valley is to cut back (coppice) woody vegetation beside the river on a rotational basis. It is a big job, however many hands make light work, and it didn’t take long to clear this years section alongside the river. Once cut, the coppiced material has to be hauled up the bank and made into habitat piles for woodland creatures.

 Our hard work was rewarded with a lovely cuppa in the National Trust café in the harbour. If you would like to get involved, have a look at our volunteer pages or email me at Jennifer.herbert@nationaltrust.org.uk

 All the Best, Jenny Herbert, Ranger, Boscastle to Morwenstow.

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Sanu on film

It’s now nearly a year since the Sanu was dismantled on the Gannel Estuary. The work was filmed and last Friday we received a link to the end result – it is called ‘Racing the Tide’ and can be seen here:

Racing the Tide – The MFV Sanu Project from Bruce Rawlings on Vimeo.

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Full Time Volunteer needed!

A full time volunteer ranger is needed to join the Boscastle to Morwenstow to team.

If you want to volunteer for an organisation with a fascinating past and an exciting future then the National Trust could be for you. We currently have a vacancy for a Full Time Volunteer to join our Ranger team on the spectacular North Cornwall coast between Boscastle and Morwenstow. You will gain knowledge, skills and experience in practical habitat, access and estate management and engaging with the public. This will include footpath maintenance and repair, vegetation control, habitat improvement, surveying, fencing, Cornish hedging, woodworking, interpretation, leading events and volunteer groups. You will use a wide variety of tools, machinery and equipment.

You need to be able to commit to at least six months, working five days a week. Some weekend and evening work is required in this role. Training courses will be provided subject to funding and availability (e.g. NPTC and Lantra certificated courses, also general TCV and National Trust courses in countryside skills, habitat management, species ID, education and interpretation skills). Also a NPTC diploma in work based Environmental Conservation is available.

This fantastic opportunity will suit those of a very practical, friendly nature, who are physically fit and enjoy working outdoors. You will meet people from all walks of life whilst improving the environment around you. A qualification in countryside management or similar would be useful. This role could help you gain full time paid employment in conservation work.

Accommodation is provided free, but contribution towards electric and tv licence.


Contact Jennifer Herbert on jennifer.herbert@nationaltrust.org.uk for an application pack and more details.

Closing date: Sunday 12 October 2014

Interviews on Thursday 23 October 2014

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Great day for a Great South West Walk!

The National Trust rangers took part in the South West Coast Path (SWCP) Association’s 100 circular Great South West Walks (GSWW) yesterday, completing a ‘challenging’ guided walk around Boscastle.

In perfect conditions, sunny, but not too hot and only a slight wind, we began in the car park, with a gentle stroll up the beautifully wooded Valency Valley. This was the only gentle part of the walk, and from New Mills we ascended the steep valley side over to Beeny.


Here we joined up with the SWCP above Seal cove, where, on this occasion we only saw 4 seals loafing around on the beach, there can be over 70! With spectacular views up the coast to High Cliff, Strangles and Cambeak, we decided it was as good a spot as any for lunch, trying to spot any sea life as we ate.

 Now for the precarious part! Fire Beacon Point (so named after having a beacon here during Elizabethan times to warn of approaching armadas) is a beautiful spot with breathtaking views up and down the coast. However getting down it is one of the most challenging parts of this walk. With a steep descent on rocky ground, care needs to be taken so as not to slide down on your behind! But we made it down safely and round to Pentargon Cove to hear about the peregrine falcons which live and breed here.


 Starting to feel worn out we trekked along the last leg of the journey back towards Boscastle, where it was time for good byes, a nice cuppa and cake in the National Trust Café. For more GSWW see the website www.greatsouthwestwalks.co.uk

Best wishes

Jenny Herbert

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Harbour Water sports day

A glorious afternoon greeted over 50 people at Boscastle Harbour who had a go at snorkelling, paddling a canoe or rowing a gig boat. 


Under the careful eye of Bude Dive Club, Bude Canoe Club and Boscastle and Crackington Haven Gig club people were encouraged to try their skills in and around the harbour. 

Among the highlights were snorkellers spotting wrasse, eel and lots of small fish, canoeists having a go at ‘rolling’ the canoe, and gig rowers majestically turning the gig around before heading out to sea.

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Going batty and rock pool crazy

The Tintagel to Holywell ranger team had a busy August going batty and rock pool crazy with over 200 members of the public over five events.

Only one Bat Night and BBQ had to be postponed for a day due to the wrong sort of weather, otherwise all three bat nights went well. After everyone had enjoyed the BBQ and learnt numerous fascinating facts about bats, they walked up to the coast path to see wonderful sunsets and greater horseshoe bats emerging from their roost at dusk and listen to them echolocating with the aid of some bat detectors. Common pipistrelles were also seen and heard foraging in the area.

The first of the two rock pool rambles was rather a wet one, and not because rock pools are wet, but because the heavens opened as soon as we started to explore the rocky shore! Quite a few people didn’t last long but those that stuck it out were rewarded with finding and learning about lots of amazing sea creatures and with some sunshine towards the end! The 51 people who attended the second rock pool ramble we led in conjunction with Polzeath Marine Conservation Group, were basking in glorious sunshine throughout. Lots of different fish, crabs, anemones, sea slugs, worms, topshells, limpets, barnacles and so much more were discovered and everyone was told a bit more about the creatures they found so they have a better understanding of the way they live and feed.

If you missed out this year, come along to one of our Bat Night and BBQs or Rock Pool Rambles next year. Our events are advertised on this blog, our website and other social media, our Discover North Cornwall leaflet and posters so you should easily be able to find out more details early next year!

Sarah Stevens, Ranger, Tintagel to Holywell



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On the Homefront

The Homefront, WW1, 8-28 September. An exhibition at the Old Post Office in Tintagel…..


It’s been a busy few weeks of putting together the finishing touches for the exhibition on ‘The Homefront’, during the First World War. Come along and examine what life was like in Tintagel during the war years, 1914-1918, the stories of those who served the war effort from North Cornwall and how the village has changed since 100 years have passed.

With regards to the latter, what is evident is the growing number of visitors that a developing transport system has enabled – in many early photos people can be seen stood in the street with children often playing safely in what is now the road. In taking the ‘before and after’ photos, it became apparent that the original photographers were able to set-up on what is now a mini-roundabout, and as such these shots were particularly difficult to replicate!IMG_6764

What hasn’t changed, however, is the existence of some very old buildings, the Old Post Office amongst them, and even though time has now moved on in some areas, a nod to a previous use can be seen in places.

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(one more) Summer run at Polzeath

Polzeath summer run september-page-001

With requests for an extra event in the Polzeath Summer Trail Series, we have put our heads together with Bodmin Road Runners and come up with Tuesday 2 September at 7pm. If you’re interested in running with us please get in touch to book and find out further details. Call us on 01208 863821 or email phillip.butcher@nationaltrust.org.uk.

Polzeath Summer Trail series september

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