After being rained off the previous week we were back to battle the scrub with vengeance last Saturday with the help from several keen volunteers. Now that the main growing season is over we are trying to remove as much scrub as possible whilst disturbing the wildlife and environment as little as we can.
The scrub slowly spreads across the maritime grasslands that we have along our Cornish coast with the thick gorse and blackthorn shading out the ground and preventing many other species from growing successfully. Ideally we are aiming to have a mosaic of scrub, grassland, heathland, sea cliff and farmland which will offer a fantastic variety of habitats for many species of flora and fauna.
Historically there would have been small areas of scrub amongst grassland and heath, which would have been kept low by grazing animals. Now that land use has changed with less grazing, we have to step in and bash back the encroaching scrub!
We had a great day on Saturday working on Com Head at Pentire clearing a large patch of gorse with views of the Rumps and The Mouls laid out in front of us. A bracing breeze kept us on our toes but we had a nice warm fire, tea and biscuits and the promise of a hot spud with cheese and beans to keep us going!
If you want to get outdoors, meet new people and help look after the countryside in your area, check these events out:
Sunday 24 November. Scrub n Spuds at Polly Joke, near Crantock. Join us in our efforts to clear blackthorn and gorse to promote greater biodiversity in our valuable coastal habitats at Polly Joke. To reward your efforts we’ll cook up a jacket potato lunch on the bonfire. 10am – 4pm.
Saturday 9 December. Scrub n Spuds at Epphaven, near Polzeath. Join us in tackling the scrub at this coastal site whilst taking in spectacular views. Enjoy a jacket potato lunch, cooked on the bonfire. 10am – 4pm
Thursday 19 December. Christmas Beach Clean Up at Holywell and Crantock. Take a break from Christmas shopping and present wrapping and help us clean up these spectacular beaches for a couple of hours for those Christmas time walks. We’ll provide bags and gloves. 10am – 12noon at Holywell and 1pm – 3pm at Crantock.
Sunday 22 December. Scrub n Spuds at Baby Bay (Pentireglaze Haven), New Polzeath. Join us in our efforts to tackle the encroaching scrub to open up the area for grasses and flowering plants. In return, enjoy a jacket potato lunch cooked on the bonfire. 10am – 4pm
For further information about any of the above please contact the Tintagel to Holywell rangers’ office on 01208 863821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pete Smith, Volunteer Ranger, Tintagel to Holywell