Adopt a Footpath – New volunteer role now available…

We have just advertised for a new volunteer role on the National Trust MyVolunteering website.

The new role is Volunteer Footpath Ranger for North Cornwall (specifically the coast between Tintagel and Holywell. “And what does this involve?” I hear you say.

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The Background

Well… here in the Tintagel to Holywell ranger team, we look after over 50 miles of public rights of way and 6 miles of permissive footpaths. With the recent acquisition of Trevose Head, the mileage of footpath that we care for has shot up again!

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A freshly scraped drain overlooking the secluded Porth Mear beach and valley

All of these footpaths take a great deal of looking after, especially through the winter with extra helpings of wind and rain.

The Role

With this in mind, we are offering people the opportunity to get involved with making sure these walking routes remain in top condition, by adopting a section of footpath, and helping us look after it.

In this case though, adoption is more hands on. We’re asking for volunteers to carry out regular (every month or two) checks, reporting any problems, clearing out some drains and chopping the odd bramble. What could be better, a valid reason to get out and walk the coast path every month and at the same time you’re doing your bit to look after this valuable resource for everyone.

It could be your favorite stretch of coast path or just a length of footpath close to where you live. We’ll kit you out with a spade and secateurs, give you all the training you might need and set you off.

We’re hoping to build a team of Volunteer Footpath rangers, so there will be the opportunity to meet other people but also it will be possible to volunteer when you want and for as long as you want.

The Requirements

  • Some free time (not after dark!)
  • Your own transport to get you to your footpath.
  • Fit enough to walk a stretch of footpath and do minor maintenance (no experience nessecary though)
  • Willing to commit to a monthly (or every other month) patrol for a minimum of a year. This is the ideal time commitment, although there is no obligation.
  • Live within 20 miles of the stretch of footpath you would like to look after.
  • Enthusiasm, willingness to get stuck in
  • Desire to volunteer for a charity
  • Happy to work by yourself or enlist the company of a friend!

Benefits

  • Volunteering for a good cause
  • Helping others enjoy the footpaths
  • Training and learning new skills
  • Reimbursement of travel expenses.
  • Improving your fitness
  • Getting out in the fresh air and sea breezes
  • Meeting new people

Footpaths up for adoption

National Trust land in North Cornwall can often be grouped into clusters. In each of the following areas, there will be sections of footpath up for adoption. If you live nearby or have a particular area you love walking in, let us know.

  • Tintagel
  • Trebarwith Strand
  • Tregardock and Dannonchapel
  • Pentire Head to Port Quin
  • Trevose Head
  • Porthcothan and Park Head
  • Holywell, Polly Joke, Crantock

Get in touch

If the idea of becoming a Volunteer Footpath Ranger  and adopting a footpath intrigues and you want to find out more, please get in touch with Tom Sparkes by calling 01208 863821 or emailing tom.sparkes@nationaltrust.org.uk

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A finer spot for footpath maintenance couldn’t be found! Looking out towards Stepper Point and Trevose Head on a hot day in June.

 

 

Our volunteer group were able to practice traditional skills and use rarely seen tools earlier this month. A section of hedge separating the two orchards at Stowe Barton was in need of laying, and as the saying goes: many hands make light work. Hedge laying is a traditional method of creating a stock proof boundary, with various styles being prominent in different parts of the country. The skill has declined since the introduction of stock netting, and most modern hedges are now mechanically flailed. The orchard hedge cannot be flailed, so by tending it manually we’re both keeping the skill alive by teaching others, as well as improving the hedge’s nature value.

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On the day we introduced the group to the billhook: the traditional tool of hedge laying. As with the hedges themselves, billhooks also have regional differences: ranging from the simple, single curved edge Southern counties billhook; to the large, double edged, axe-looking Yorkshire style.

Before anything can be laid, the hedge first has to be prepped. This stage can be quite head-scratching as you have to decide what to get rid of: whether it is too small, sticking out at the wrong angle, or damaged and unable to lay; and how you are going to fill any gaps in the hedge.

Once the prepping has been done, the hard work can begin! In order to lay a pleacher (as the stems when laid are known), you make an angled cut, thinning out the stem. Care has to be taken not to cut too shallow as there is the risk of snapping when attempting to bend the stem over. Conversely, if you cut too deeply, you risk damaging the cambium layer of the stem (the part that actively undergoes growth and repair).

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Reproduced from the BTCV Hedging Handbook

After a brief hesitation from being handed an unusual tool and having to be precise with cuts, our volunteers attacked the hedge with gusto. Working in pairs in sections on both sides of the hedge, stems rapidly started to be laid and the hedge started to take shape.

 

Despite being in Cornwall, we were laying the hedge in the Devon style: pleachers laid in two, near horizontal, parallel lines on top of an earth bank.

Once a few pleachers have been laid, it’s time to pin them down. To do this, any removed stems that have a fork in them are turned upside down, and cut to form a crook. These are then hammered in place which prevents the newly laid pleachers from moving which would risk damaging the weak connection.

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By the end of the day, our volunteers were well acquainted with both tool and task, having covered approximately 100 meters of hedge. And, as you can see below, the hedge finished looking a lot tidier than when we started!

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There was enough hedge left over that we were able to invite a work group from the Real Ideas Organisation to help finish it off; giving the young unemployed some new skills and a taste of what it’s like to be a Ranger. We are ever grateful to everyone that took the time to come out and join us in our work, and we hope that along with assisting us, they managed to take away some useful information and abilities.

Gareth Juleff

Volunteer Ranger for Boscastle to Morwenstow

Cornish hedging at Maer Cliff

If you happened to be around Maer Cliff near Bude earlier this month you may have seen rangers from across Cornwall and our community volunteers getting to grips with some traditional skills. Dry-stone walling, particularly in the style of Cornish hedging, is an important cultural aspect of the county; I’d say it’s impossible to travel a stretch of road and not come across several examples of it along the roadside! They also have the practical application of preventing livestock from escaping the fields along with also being a haven for wildlife.

Cornish hedging involves the careful stacking of stones, layer upon layer (known as courses) trying to get as much contact to each other as possible as it is friction that holds the wall together, then being backfilled with consolidated earth. A key feature is the batter, or curve, of the wall; being wider at the base and tapering towards the top. This is important as when the earth in the centre settles, the walls will begin to bow outwards which has the effect of interlocking the stones more tightly. Should the wall be built without the batter, it runs the risk that sections will bulge outwards, looking both unattractive and also at risk of collapse. The batter is also a method of stopping livestock climbing out, as the surface is too sheer for them to traverse.

Up on Maer, there are a series of Cornish hedges dating back to the medieval period. Now a key part of the landscape, sections of them have fallen into disrepair requiring the rangers to come along and fix it. Last year the repair started at the end of one wall which had almost completely gone. Thanks to both the rangers and our volunteers, the end of the wall was repaired!

The wall then sat unattended until earlier this month when our very own Ranger Basil organised a walling workshop; inviting both full-time volunteers and rangers from across Cornwall to develop their skills in this craft. Like the section above, the wall was little more than an earth bank when we arrived, however a quick bout with a digger left it ready to be built up. Hedges across the county vary in both style and stone type. Historically this was due to what was available nearby at the time, and as Cornwall’s geology changes and you move either up or down the county. Because of this we endeavoured to source local stone so our wall would match the location it is in.

The rangers then arrived later in the week and after a brief talk about the history and theory behind Cornish hedging by Ranger Basil, we were let loose to start building. The first task was to set our grounders: large stones set below ground level, angled down to serve both as a solid foundation but also to begin the batter as mentioned above. Soil was placed behind the grounders and tamped solid until level with the height of the stones. This ensures the stones are firmly in place along with providing a bit of footing for the next layer of stones. At this point the next course could be added. Here we attempted to follow a similar method as to what can be seen in modern brick-laying: staggering each layer so that the joints where two stones meet are covered above by a single stone. This removes the risk of running joints up the wall which are a structural weakness.

Course after course we continued in this fashion. Occasionally we were stumped in trying to find just the right stone to fit what could be some pretty awkward gaps. Nevertheless the wall continued to rise in height until the time came to call it a day. At this point the visiting rangers left, having done a wonderful job, and handed the baton on to our volunteer group to continue the work.

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Our volunteers then arrived later in the week and, having been given a similar talk about the history and theory on hedging, set about the task with gusto. Having a section already started, they were able to add course after course; the wall jumping up in height.

Once at the desired height, a course of smaller stones were added as a capping layer occasionally called Jack-and-Jills. After this the final round of tamping earth began, piling up the earth to get an added bit of height, before then being topped with turf.

After a couple of weeks of organising the workshop; inviting people down; preparing the wall; sourcing stone; and two days of construction, the wall was completed. We’d like to thank everyone who joined us in helping repair this section of wall: from all the rangers coming from far-flung regions of Cornwall to our dedicated volunteer group, you’ll be able to come back in years to come and see the results of your handiwork!

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Gareth Juleff

Volunteer Ranger Boscastle to Morwenstow

 

Lundy Bay BioBlitz – the results are in!

Over 130 people were involved with Lundy Bay BioBlitz at the beginning of July. There were 19 wildlife sessions to get involved in over the 24 hour wildlife finding and recording event, with a little time set aside for eating, and a couple of hours sleep!

Now we have collated all the records of the species found and counted them….660 different species! Fantastic wildlife hunting by everyone involved.

I am eternally grateful for all the help and support from everyone who came along to the BioBlitz, massive thanks.

Below is the list of species found, please excuse any spelling mistakes. If you were at the BioBlitz and think we have missed off one of the species you found, please do let me know. The photos are just a small selection of the fantastic photos taken at the event.

Sarah Stevens, Ranger, Tintagel to Holywell

Arctic skua
Barn owl
Blackbird
Blackcap
Blue tit
Bullfinch
Buzzard
Carrion crow
Chaffinch
Chiffchaff
Common swift
Cormorant
Cory’s shearwater
Curlew
Dunnock
Feral pigeon
Fulmar
Gannet
Goldfinch
Great black-backed gull
Great northern diver
Great spotted woodpecker
Great skua
Great tit
Guillemot
Herring gull
Hobby
Jackdaw
Kestrel
Kittiwake
Lesser black-backed gull
Linnet
Manx shearwater
Oystercatcher
Peregrine
Pheasant
Puffin
Raven
Razorbill
Robin
Rock pipit
Rook
Sandwich tern
Shag
Skylark
Song thrush
Sparrowhawk
Stonechat
Storm-petrel
Swallow
Tawny owl
Whimbrel
Whitethroat
Willow warbler
Woodpigeon
Wren
Bank vole
Common pipistrelle
Common shrew
Greater horseshoe
Hedgehog
Mole
Natterer’s bat
Noctule bat
Rabbit
Red fox
Roe deer
Wood mouse
Adder
Common toad
Common toad tadpoles
Common lizard
Palmate newt
Slow-worm
7-spot ladybird
24-spot ladybird
Angle shades Phlogophora meticulosa
Barred fruit-tree tortrix Pandemis cerasana
Barred red Hylaea fasciaria
Barred straw Eulithis pyraliata
Barred yellow Cidaria fulvata
Bee mimic hoverfly
Bittersweet smudge Acrolepia autumnitella
Black ant
Black-headed dwarf Elachista atricomella
Bluebottle fly spp.
Bonking beetle / common red soldier beetle Rhagonycha fulva
Bramble shoot moth Epiblema uddmanniana
Brassy mining bee Lasioglossum morio
Bright-line brown-eye Lacanobia oleracea
Bright neb Argolamprotes micella
Brimstone moth Opisthograptis luteolata
Broad centurian Chloromyia formosa
Broom moth Melanchra pisi
Brown-lipped / banded snail Cepaea nemorcelis
Brown silver-line Petrophora chlorosata
Brussels lace Cleorodes lichenaria
Buff arches Habrosyne pyritoides
Buff ermine Spilosoma luteum
Buff-tailed bumblebee
Buff-tailed marble Hedya ochroleucana
Bumblebee hoverfly Volucella bombylans
Burnished brass Diachrysia chrysitis
Celery leaf beetle Phaedon tumidulus
Cellar snail Oxychilus cellarius
Chamomile shark Cucullia chamomillae
Cinerous pearl Opsibotys fuscalis
Clay Mythimna ferrago
Click beetle spp.
Cloud-bordered brindle Apamea crenata
Clouded border Lomaspilis marginata
Clouded brindle Apamea epomidion
Clouded silver Lomographa temerata
Common carder bee
Common carpet Eirrhoe alternata
Common earwig
Common emerald Hemithea aestivaria
Common footman Eilema lurideola
Common garden snail
Common marble Celypha lacunana
Common marbled carpet Chloroclysta truncata
Common rose bell Epiblema rosaecolana
Common rustic agg. Mesapamea secalis agg.
Common wainscot Mythimna pallens
Common wasp
Common wave Cabera exanthemata
Coronet Craniophora ligustri
Crab spider Misumena vatia
Crane fly spp.
Crawling beetles spp.
Crescent dart Agrotis trux
Cucumber spider
Daddy-long-legs spiders
Dark arches Apamea monoglypha
Dark-fringed flat-body Agonopterix nervosa
Dark / grey dagger moth Acronicta psi
Diamond-back moth Plutella xylostella
Dingy footman Eilema griseola
Diving beetle spp.
Dock bug
Dot moth Melanchra persicariae
Double-striped pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata
Draparnaud’s glass snail Oxychilus draparnaudi
Drinker moth Euthrix potatoria
Dusky slug Arion subfuscus
Early bumblebee Bombus pratorum
Early thorn Selenia dentaria
Elephant hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor
Engrailed Ectropis bistortata
Ermine knot-horn Phycitodes binaevella
European garden spider
Eyed hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellata
Fan-foot Zanclognatha tarsipennalis
Field grasshopper
Five-spot burnet moth
Flame Axylia putris
Fork tailed flower bee Anthophora furcata
Fox moth Macrothylacia rubi
Furness dowd Blastobasis adustella
Garden snail / brown garden snail Cornu aspersum
Garden bumblebee Bombus hortorum
Garden grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella
Garden pebble Evergestis forficalis
Garlic snail Oxychilus alliarius
Glossy glass snail Oxychilus navarricus helveticus
Golden pigmy Stigmella aurella
Golden-ringed dragonfly
Gorse shieldbug
Gorse tip moth Agonopterix nervosa
Grass emerald Pseudoterpna pruinata
Grasshopper spp.
Great green bush cricket
Green pug Pasiphila rectangulata
Green shieldbug
Green-veined white
Grey arches Polia nebulosa
Grey gorse piercer Cydia ulicetana
Ground beetle spp.
Hairy / sloe shield bug
Harlequin / spotted longhorn beetle Rutpela maculata
Harvestman spp.
Hawthorn slender Parornix anglicella
Heart & club Agrotis clavis
Heart & dart Agrotis exclamationis
Hedgehog slug
Hoary belle Eucosma cana
Honey bee
Hoverfly spp. larvae
Ichneumon wasp spp.
Ingrailed clay Diarsia mendica
Jenkin’s spire snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum
July highflyer Hydriomena furcata
Knapweed conch Agapeta zoegana
Knot grass
Labyrinth spider
Lackey moth
Large fruit-tree tortrix Archips podana
Large skipper
Large white
Large yellow underwing Noctua pronuba
Least thorn pigmy Stigmella perpygmaeella
Lesser marsh grasshopper
Lilac beauty Apeira syringaria
Lime-speck pug moth Eupithecia centaureata
Little grey Dipleurina / Eudonia lacustrata
Marbled conch Eupoecilia angustana
Marbled coronet Hadena confusa
Marbled minor agg. Oligia strigilis agg.
Marbled orchard tortrix Hedya nubiferana
Marbled white spot Protodeltote pygarga
Marmalade hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus
Mayfly spp. larvae
Meadow brown
Meadow case-bearer Coleophora mayrella
Meadow grasshopper
Meadow froghopper / meadow spittlebug / cuckoo spit insect Philaenus spumarius
Metellina spider spp.
Midge larvae spp.
Mining bee Andrena spp.
Mother of pearl Pleuroptya ruralis
Mottled beauty Alcis repandata
Mullein wave Scopula marginepunctata
Netted / grey field / grey garden slug Derocerus reticulatum
Nettle-tap moth Anthophila fabriciana
Olive pearl Udea olivalis
Orange crest Helcystogramma rufescens
Orange-legged furrow-bee Halictus rubicundus
Parasitic wasp spp. Gymnophora spp.
Pavement ant / turf ant Tetramorium caespitum
Peach blossom Thyatira batis
Pebble prominent Notodonta ziczac
Pellucid glass snail Vitrina pellucida
Peppered moth Biston betularia
Phantom crane fly larvae Ptychopteridae spp.
Pine carpet Thera firmata
Pinion-streaked snout Schrankia costaestrigalis
Pistol case-bearer Coleophora anatipennella
Plain golden Y Autographa jota
Pointed slender Parornix finitimella
Pond snail Lymnaeidae spp.
Poplar hawk-moth Laothoe populi
Pretty chalk carpet Melanthia procellata
Purple bar Cosmorhoe ocellata
Red admiral
Red-barred tortrix Ditula angustiorana
Red-tailed bumblebee
Red velvet mites
Riband wave Idaea aversata
Ringlet
Rivulet Perizoma affinitata
Royal mantle Catarhoe cuculata
Ruby tailed wasp spp.
Sallow pigmy Stigmella salicis
Sandy carpet Perizoma flavofasciata
Satin wave Idaea subsericeata
Scallop shell Rheumaptera undulata
Scalloped oak Crocallis elinguaria
Scarlet tiger Callimorpha dominula
Scrubland pigmy Stigmella plagicolella
Segmented worms Lumbriculus variegatus
Seraphim Lobophora halterata
Setaceous Hebrew character Xestia cnigrum
Sharp-angled peacock Macaria alternata
Shoulder-striped wainscot Mythimna comma
Silver Y Autographa gamma
Single-dotted wave Idaea dimidiata
Six-spot burnet moth
Sloe midget Phyllonorycter spinicolella
Small angle shades Euplexia lucipara
Small copper
Small elephant hawk-moth Deilephila porcellus
Small fan-foot Herminia grisealis
Small fleck-winged snipefly Rhagio lineola
Small rivulet Perizoma alchemillata
Small seraphim Pterapherapteryx sexalata
Small skipper
Small square-spot Diarsia rubi
Small white
Smoky wainscot Mythimna impura
Smooth glass snail Aeyopinella nitidula
Snout Hypena proboscidalis
Soldier beetle spp.
Speckled bush cricket Leptophyes punctatissima
Speckled wood
Spire snail Hydrobia ventrosa
Spotted magpie Phlyctaenia coronata
Staff beetle spp.
Straw conch Cochylimorpha straminea
Straw dot Rivula sericealis
Striped millipede Ommatoiulus sabulosus
Sulphur beetle
Swallow-tailed moth Ourapteryx sambucaria
Swollen-thighed beetle Oedemera nobilis
Thistle ermine Myelois circumvoluta
Thrift clearwing
Timothy grassbug Stenotus binotatus
Tree bumblebee
Tree snail
True lover’s knot Lycophotia porphyrea
Two-toothed door snail Clausilia bidentata
Uncertain moth Hoplodrina alsines
V-pug Chloroclystis v-ata
Wandering pond snail Radix balthica
Wasp beetle
Waterlouse spp.
Weeval spp.
White ermine Spilosoma lubricipeda
White-lipped snail
White plume moth Pterophorus pentadactyla
White-point Mythimna albipuncta
White-tailed bumblebee Bombus lucorum
White-triangle slender Caloptilia stigmatella
Willow beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria
Woodlouse Proasellus meridianus
Wormwood pug Eupithecia absinthiata
Wrinkled snail Candidula intersecta
Yellow / golden dung fly
Yellow longhorn beetle
Yellow meadow ant
Yellow satin veneer / satin grass-veneer Crambus perlella
a barkfly Graphopsocus cruciatus
a barkfly Valenzuela flavidus
a centipede Cryptops hartensis
a centipede Lithobius microps
a centipede Strigmia maritima
a click beetle Aulagromyza hendeliana
a hoverfly Eristalis arbustorum
a millipede Leptoiulus Belgicus
a spider Misumena vatia
a true bug Acetropis gimmerthalii
a true bug Calocoris spp.
a woodlouse Porcellio scaber
Acetropis gimmerthalii
Amblyteles spp.
Anaspis pulicaria
Andrena spp.
Aphrophora alni
Arion ater agg.
Athous vittatus
Aulagromyza hendeliana
Calliphora vomitoria
Calocoris norvegicus
Cheilosia illustrata
Colletes similis
Crossocerus spp.
Dromius linearis
Ectemnius spp.
Eristalis nemorum
Eristalis pertinax
Eristalis tenax
Eupeodes corolae
Lagria hirta
Lasioglossum albipes
Lasioglossum spp.
Lygocoris spp.
Melanstoma scalare
Neliocarus nebulosus
Paederus spp.
Panurgus banksianus
Tetragnatha spp.
Tenthredo spp.
Urophora jaceana
Xanthogramma pedissequum
Acorn barnacle
Beadlet anemone
Black-footed limpet Patella depressa
Black-lined periwinkle Littorina saxatilis
Bladder wrack Fucus vesiculous
Blue mussel Mytilus edulis
Blue-rayed limpet Patella pellucida
Bootlace weed / mermaid’s tresses
Boring sponge spp.
Breadcrumb sponge
Broad-clawed porcelain crab
Brown venus / smooth clam Callista chione
Bunny ears Lomentaria articulata
Bushy berry wrack
Celtic sea slug
Channelled wrack
China limpet Patella ulyssiponensis
Chiton spp.
Cladophora
Clawed fork weed
Cockle spp. Acanthocardia spp.
Cock’s comb
Common cockle Cerastoderma edule
Common limpet Patella vulgata
Common periwinkle
Common prawn
Common sea slater
Common / brown shrimp
Common / small spire snail Rissoa parva
Copepod spp.
Cushion star spp.
Cuvie / forest kelp Laminaria hyperborea
Dahlia anemone
Daisy anemone
Discoid fork weed
Dog whelk
Dolphin spp.
Dulse Palmaria palmata
Edible crab
Egg / knotted wrack Ascophyllum nodosum
European lobster
False Irish moss Mastocarpus stellatus
Fine-veined crinkle weed
Flat periwinkle Littorina obtusata
Flat top shell Gibbula umbilcalis
Furbellows
Gem anemone
Gnathia spp.
Greenleaf worm
Green seaweed Chlorophyta spp.
Grey seal
Grey top shell Gibbula cineraria
Gutweed
Hairy sand weed
Harbour porpoise
Hydroid spp.
Irish moss Chondrus crispus
Keel worm
Kelp spp.
Laver spp.
Leopard-spotted goby
Light bulb tunicate
Montagu’s blenny
Moon jellyfish
Oarweed
Orange sponge
Otter shell spp. Lutraria spp.
Oyster thief
Pepper dulse
Pheasant shell Tricolia pullus
Pink paint weed
Pod razor shell Ensis siliqua
Pollack
Punctured ball weed / jelly buttons Leathesia difformis
Purse sponge
Queen scallop Aequipecten opercularis
Rayed trough shell Mactra stultorum
Red rags
Rock shrimp
Rough / black-lined periwinkle Littorina saxatilis
Saddle oyster Anomia ephippium
Sand binder
Sand eel
Sand hopper
Sea beech
Sea hare
Sea horsetail/ sea mare’s-tail
Sea lettuce
Sea mat spp.
Sea noodle
Sea oak
Sea scorpion Taurulus bubalis
Sea spider Achelia spp.
Serrated/toothed wrack
Shanny
Shore crab
Shore rockling
Small oyster Heteranomia squamula
Small periwinkle Melarhaphe neritoides
Snakelocks anemone
Soft feather weed Plumaria plumosa
Spider crab
Spiny starfish
Spiral wrack
Springtails Anurida maritima
Springtails Collembola spp.
Squat lobster
Star ascidian Botryllus schlosseri
Strawberry anemone
Striped venus clam Chamelea gallina
Sun-fish
Surf clam Spisula solida
Thick / toothed topshell Phorcus lineatus
Thick trough shell Spisula solida
Thongweed
Tompot blenny
Toothed crab Pirimela denticulata
Toothed topshell Phorcus lineatus
Velvet swimming crab
Volcano barnacle
Wireweed Sargassum muticum
Wrinkled rock borer Hiatella arctica
Acanthochitona crinita
Anomia ephippium
Apoglossum
Bowerbankia spp.
Bugula turbinata
Ceramium deslongchampsii
Cerithiopsis tubercularis
Cladostephus spongiosus
Corallina officinalis
Cystoseira spp.
Desmarestia ligulata
Dictyota dichotoma
Dumontia contorta
Dynamene bidentata
Gracilaria spp.
Heterosiphonia plumosa
Hypoglossum
Lasaea adansoni
Lasaea rubra
Leucosolenia spp.
Modiolus spp.
Musculus subpictus
Odostomia (Brachystomia)
Pedicellina cernua
Polycera quadrilineata
Polysiphonia spp.
Rissoella diaphana
Scruparia ambigua
Spirorbis spp.
Turbonilla acuta
Turbonilla lactea
Agrimony
Alder
Apple spp.
Ash
Atlantic ivy
Autumn squill
Bell heather
Betony
Black medick
Black mustard
Blackthorn
Bluebell spp.
Bog pimpernel
Bracken spp.
Bramble spp. Pteridium spp.
Broad buckler-fern
Brookweed
Burnet rose
Cat’s-ear
Cock’s-foot
Common bent
Common bird’s-foot-trefoil
Common centaury
Common fleabane
Common hogweed
Common knapweed
Common mallow
Common mouse-ear
Common nettle
Common polypody
Common ragwort
Common restharrow
Common sorrel
Common vetch
Creeping buttercup
Creeping thistle
Crested dog’s-tail
Curled dock
Cut-leaved crane’s-bill
Dandelion spp.
Daisy
Elder
English stonecrop
European gorse
Eyebright
False brome Brachypodium sylvaticum
False fox-sedge
False oat-grass
Field bindweed
Field madder
Field scabious
Fool’s-water-cress
Foxglove
Germander speedwell
Goat willow
Greater plantain
Grey willow
Ground-ivy
Groundsel
Hairy tare
Hard rush
Hart’s-tongue fern
Hawkweed spp.
Hawthorn
Heather Calluna vulgaris
Hedge bedstraw
Hedge woundwort
Hemlock water-dropwort
Hemp-agrimony
Herb-Robert
Hoary willowherb
Honeysuckle
Ivy
Kidney vetch
Lady-fern
Lady’s bedstraw
Lesser burdock
Lesser trefoil
Lob scrob Lobaria scrobiculata
Lords-and-ladies / cuckoo pint
Male fern
Maritime pine
Marsh thistle
Meadow foxtail
Meadow grass
Meadowsweet
Meadow vetchling
Mint spp.
Mouse-ear chickweed
Musk thistle
Navelwort
Overleaf pellia
Oxeye daisy
Pale flax
Polypodium spp.
Prickly sow-thistle
Primrose
Red campion
Red clover
Ribwort plantain
Rough meadow-grass
Royal fern
Rye-grass
Saw-wort
Scaly male-fern
Scarlet pimpernel
Sea campion
Sea plantain
Selfheal
Shaggy strap lichen Ramalina farinacea
Sheep’s-bit
Sheep’s fescue
Slender mouse-tail moss
Smooth hawk’s-beard
Southern marsh orchid
Spear thistle
Spring squill
Sweet chestnut
Sycamore
Tamarisk
Thrift
Timothy
Tormentil
Trailing St John’s-wort Hypericum humifusum
Trailing tormentil
Tufted vetch
Wall speedwell
Water figwort
Water parsnip
Western gorse
White clover
Wild carrot
Wild thyme
Wood dock
Wood sage
Yarrow
Yellow iris
Yorkshire-fog
Evernia prunastri
Flavoparmelia spp.
Graphis spp.
Lecanora spp.
Parmotrema perlatum
Parmotrema spp.
Ramalina farinacea
Ramalina fastigiata
Usnea subfloridana
Xanthoria spp.
Gall caused by mite Eriophyes spinosae

A ruby tailed wasp by Will Hawkes

A ruby tailed wasp by Will Hawkes

Adder by Chris White

Adder by Chris White

Apion pomonae by Will Hawkes

Apion pomonae by Will Hawkes

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Photo by Marion Beaulieu

By Pete Maude

Photo by Pete Maude

Golden-ringed dragonfly by Nicola Blewett

Golden-ringed dragonfly by Nicola Blewett

Intertidal exploration by Rob Jutsum

Intertidal exploration by Rob Jutsum

One of the wildlife sessions by Nicola Blewett

Out and about seeking out the wildlife by Nicola Blewett

Pregnant common lizard by Chris White

Pregnant common lizard by Chris White

Red tailed bumblebee by Will Hawkes

Bumblebee mimic hoverfly Volucella bombylans by Will Hawkes

Ringlet by Nicola Blewett

Ringlet by Nicola Blewett

Scarlet tiger moth by Will Hawkes

Scarlet tiger moth by Will Hawkes

Beating around the bush

The past few months have seen the Boscastle to Morwenstow Ranger team plus volunteers getting stuck in with removing invasive plants.

High in the rankings of our “Most Wanted” list is a plant with a fearsome reputation: Himalayan balsam. Its beautiful pink flowers let it charm its way into being a popular garden species, but things never stay were you put them and it has escaped to the country (not the usual episode you’ll see on BBC One). The many thousands of seeds a single plant produces yearly, plus its liking for setting up shop in areas with a nice river-side view gives it a high potential to spread far and wide. Once a seed has been set, it will then out-compete smaller native plants while its shallow roots contribute to river bank erosion.

At the start of the season, the rangers and our volunteers were on our hands and knees along the Valency Valley near Boscastle, trying to find all the small plants hiding amongst the foliage. Later on, the plants grow into monsters, bursting up and towering above the plants (and people) around them.

We gently pull them out, taking care to make sure the roots come too; otherwise they just keep re-growing. The plants are then either ‘hung out to dry’, leaving it off the ground (otherwise it’ll just re-root and our hard work will be for nothing) or piled up and left to compost.

The pulling season was also a great time to see local wildlife; being among the vegetation allowed us to get up close and personal with various plants, wildflowers, fungi and animals. We’ve seen butterflies, dragonflies, demoiselles, moths, bees, beetles, tiny toads, birds, and even a deer. All in all, the experience as a whole, being out in the countryside experiencing nature is one that was not to be missed.

We’re extremely grateful to our dedicated volunteers who braved all weathers to hunt out and remove great numbers of balsam, clocking in a total of over 400 volunteer hours. We managed to cover a length of over 2.5 miles down the valley, with an area totalling over 30 hectares. As to the number of plants we pulled, that number remains a mystery, but I’m sure everyone who was present will agree with me when I say it was A LOT!

Gareth Juleff

Full Time Volunteer Ranger on behalf of the Boscastle to Morwenstow team.

 

Working Nine to Five. A work experience week…

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been joined by three work experience students from a local school. They joined the Tintagel – Holywell ranger team for a week or two, helping and finding out exactly what a National Trust ranger does and trying out a nine to five job. Well, 8:15 – 4:30pm!

We try and plan our work experience opportunities to get a good flavour of the different tasks we might do in the ranger team. Highlighting a few tasks, this might be anything from improving footpath access, installing gates, cutting back vegetation or working with schools.

But as well as booking in different tasks, we also like the week to be really representative of a normal working week. A lot of our work is very seasonal, for example over winter we spend a lot of time carrying out habitat management on our coastal grassland which ultimately means scrub clearance. Come summer, we’re spending a lot of time cutting back vegetation along paths or tackling invasive species like ragwort. This can mean that we can sometimes end up doing similar tasks from week to week in a season.

Here’s a few words from two of the students describing what they got up to and what they thought of their time with us.

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Installing new field gates on a work experience week. James on the far right.

 

James, Year 10

I had a two week placement with the National Trust and the two weeks can be described as very enjoyable. I went to many different places, some of which I had never been to and completed a wide range of jobs from cutting back the overgrown coast paths to repairing fences. Also I got to work with a great team of people who do this job day in day out with the ultimate goal of helping out their local community. Overall I think it was a great experience and would recommend it to people who love the countryside and helping the community.

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Lianne helping us cut back overgrown footpaths near Epphaven.

 

Lianne, Year 12

My name is Lianne and I came to the National Trust for a week’s work experience. I decided to choose the National Trust as I enjoy being outside and wasn’t sure of all the things they did, so wanted to find out. On Monday I started off doing some raking of grass cuttings behind an overgrown house at Port Gaverne. I then did a litter pick on the National Trust owned beach there. In the afternoon we went to Pentire Head and pulled up common ragwort, a plant that can poison cows and other livestock.

The rest of the week was mostly similar but in different locations such as Epphaven and Newquay. However in Epphaven we also did some coast path maintenance by inserting some slate into the path to make some steps to make it easier for public access. Over the week I have learnt how to use a range of tools and equipment.

The part of the week that I enjoyed the most was the maintenance work in Epphaven as it was something different and interesting rather than just clearing the path. I also learnt a lot about using tools like the pinch bar and a mattock. I also just enjoyed being out and about in the sun in different locations around North Cornwall.

When I first came to the National Trust I wasn’t sure what their jobs consisted off, but now I realise how much they do to maintain the coast paths and how busy they are all the time. I think that the National Trust is a very good charity organisation and I have really enjoyed my week here.

Thanks for your help guys! Being a charity we appreciate help from volunteers and work experience students. If you would like to find out more about what we do through volunteering or a work experience placement please email tom.sparkes@nationaltrust.org.uk.

Trevose Head Campaign

Thanks to gifts left in Wills and generous donations, the National Trust has had an offer to buy and protect Trevose Head in North Cornwall accepted. The aim now is to raise £250,000 so that the Trust can look after this spectacular Cornish headland for ever, protecting it for people and wildlife. Will you help today? Please click here to donate on crowdfunder

Video credit: Design and Film Cornwall
Category – Film & Animation
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