In common with the rest of the country, the start of 2010 saw the heaviest snow fall to hit west Cornwall for nearly 25 years with overnight temperatures dipping below -7C.
For the human population, easily led by the media hype, coupled with the modern climate of risk aversion this meant that all the local schools were closed, roads were labeled as impassable and vast numbers of people settled down to an extended Christmas holiday.
For the animal world opting out was not an option, and although the conditions brought extreme hardship, it was business as usual in the harsh daily battle to find enough food to survive. No television or radio to panic them about how lethal the conditions were, just their instinct & senses of the true conditions around them.
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During the depths winter, on cold & stormy days, one of things we like to do to blow away the cobwebs is to spend an hour or so walking along the beach at nearby Praa Sands. Praa Sands is situated on the south coast of West Cornwall, 5.5 km east of Marazion, it’s beautiful golden sand running for a mile along the rim of Mounts Bay. Very popular with holiday makers in the summer, the wide open spaces are much quieter during the winter.
The pay & display car park at the western end of the beach, (one of two - be careful here the wheel clampers are always out in force), is bounded by a row of numerous large white cylindrical rock like structures.
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Wildlife On the Edge
The Hard Rock Gallery at Geevor Tin Mine
An exhibition of photographs by David Chapman & Steve Jones celebrating the bio-diversity of the mining landscape of Geevor.
Geevor, set on the cliff tops of the rugged Atlantic coast of Penwith in West Cornwall, was one of the last working tin mines in the county. In the mid 1980’s the price of tin collapsed to half the amount needed to break even, with the inevitable result that by 1990 the mine closed. In May 1991 the main pumps keeping the mine dry were switched off and the shafts slowly flooded up to sea level.
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Cornwall Wildlife Trust Photography Group
Wildlife Photography in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, Andalucia
Monday 12th October 2009
Start time 19:30
A taste of the wildlife & landscapes of the Sierra de Grazalema, Andalucia by group members, Delia Trathen, Jeremy Northcott & Steve Jones based on a one week photography holiday in the region during April 2009. Refreshments available during the interval. All welcome.
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The Small Pincertail is a relatively common & widespread species in the Iberian Peninsula, though apparently absent from the west coast regions of Portugal & the north coast regions of Spain.
There are three subspecies of Onychogomphus forcipatus with Onychogomphus forcipatus unguiculatus being the one that occurs throughout the Iberian Peninsula. It is a predominantly black & yellow, medium size dragonfly, with blue eyes in the Mediterranean area, (though greenish eyes further north in Europe). It is very similar in appearance to the Large Pincertail - Onychogomphus uncatus and the two species cannot be reliably separated by colour markings alone.
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Tucked away on the Cornwall/Devon border, the tiny village of Luckett nestles at the bottom of a very long hill that drops from the heights of Kit Hill down to the depths of the River Tamar. This beautiful little spot on the frontier of the Cornish mainland is part of the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
A 10 minute stroll from the village car park heading southeast leads you to Greenscoombe Wood, home to one of Cornwall’s, and indeed Britian’s, rarest butterflies, the Heath Fritillary – Mellicta athalia. Here on the east facing slopes of the wooded valleys conservationists have worked hard to create clearings with the right vegetation mix to enable the Heath Fritillary to survive in the county.
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