FieldfareIn 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.

Stranded By-the- wind SailorDuring 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.

Grey Mining Bee - Andrena cinerariaWildlife 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.

Heath Fritillary

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.

 

 

Sunday 19th July 2009 1030 to 1330

The Dragonflies and damselflies of Goodygrane Quarry with Cornwall Dragonfly Group

 male Orthetrum cancellatum
Meet at The Bishop’s Forum,

Halvasso, Longdowns, near Penryn (Grid Reference SW745324)

Start time 1030

Leader Steve Jones

Bring Wellies, Camera & suncream (If you would like to move on to another site in the afternoon please bring lunch)
Booking is preferred, so phone the The Bishop’s Forum Centre on 01326 340912 for details.

Goodygrane is situated close to the main Falmouth to Helston road (A394). Turn off the main road opposite the Stonemasons Arms at Longdowns signposted for the village of Halvasso. Follow this country lane until you reach a T junction (with a signpost for Constantine, Gweek and the Lizard). Turn left, drive past a few houses and you will see Goodygrane Bishop's Forum sign on the left hand side of the road. Follow the made up lane until you reach the car park where the office is situated.

Male Mallard at Helston Boating Lake

Helston Boating Lake was the venue for the January 2009 Cornwall Wildlife Trust Photography Group meeting, where once again we were making use of another popular public open space. Also known as Coronation Lake the site is at the edge of town in the sheltered valley of the River Cober and is very popular with young families feeding the swans & ducks, children getting to grips with tri-cycles, and the not so young piloting their radio controlled boats from the safety of the boathouse.