Monday, 21 February 2011

Landewednack School give us their ideas for Tregullas Farm

A giant colourful collage was created by all the pupils of Landewednack School last week as part of our work to consult with the local community over the future of Tregullas Farm at The Lizard. The farm which is owned by The National Trust and lies in the heart of the village is currently available for re-let, and the Trust is inviting members of the local community to have a say in how they would like to see this farm run.

Landewednack School is just over the road from green fields which belong to the farm and we want to gather as many opinions as possible as we think about it's future. The kids came up with some wonderful ideas for how the farm might look in 2020, drawing beehives, ponds and fields full of crops and livestock. However we can't promise anything when it comes to wolves and a treasure island!

The children enjoyed their creative afternoon and their artwork, will be on display at an open day at Tregullas Farm on Sunday 6th March from 11am - 4pm. Come along to take a look!

Rachel and Ken

Friday, 18 February 2011

New detached house for feathered tenants

Barn owls at our newest nature reserve on the Lizard have their own purpose built abode, thanks to help from a band of dedicated volunteers. Matt Birchett has been watching the owls at Grochall since he was a kid, and that interest sparked at a young age has grown into dedicating his spare time to help their cause locally. Matt monitors many owl nests on the Lizard, and the site in an old tin barn at Grochall has been one of the most successful.

The brand new owl barn
However, when the National Trust bought the small holding of Grochall in 2009, we knew the owls would need a helping hand, as the barn they have nested in for decades was close to collapse. Rapid action was needed to prevent these majestic hunters from becoming homeless. Time to unveil barn owl barn mark 2! This purpose built simple structure has been constructed within the shelter of the ruins of the old homestead, reusing some of the roofing materials from the adjacent first barn. 

Matt adding the finishing touches to the nest box

Matt, who has a licence to work with this protected species, has advised us on owl friendly design, and this week he has installed the new barn owl nest box, made from a packing case. Local volunteers John, David and Kathryn have also added their expertise, designing panelling to reduce draughts and a door so the owls aren't accidentally disturbed. We hope the owls appreciate their new home. We found a pellet of regurgitated bones and fur in the new shed even before the box was fitted, meaning an owl had been resting up in there, so we are confident they'll soon feel at home!

Thanks to Matt, David, Kathryn and John for their work on this project.



Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Work underway to improve popular Helston access route

A few years ago in 2008 we started getting feedback on the access route from Helston Amenity area to Penrose. People were telling us how much they enjoyed it, how popular it was and how great it was to be able to get from Helston to Penrose along a flat route that runs through such a beautiful place full of wildlife.

Before, preparation work
So far  - so good.....but as with all good feedback people were also telling us how we could make it even better, help people make more of it, appreciate what an amazing resource it is...

The main suggestion was to improve the surface of the route, it was worn, uneven, difficult to use for bikes, pushchairs, wheelchairs and tricky in paces for jogging....more elderly walkers were telling us how they would like more places to rest and enjoy the scenery, as were wheelchair users and their families

The whole route from Helston to Loe Pool is 2 kilometres in total, and at the start it felt like an enormous challenge, we sucked our teetch, scratched our heads....but local people encouraged us to try a small section as a trial, see what we could do and take it from there....

Well...... the feedback we had from the first section was really positive, and helped give us the encouragement to find more funding from the Trust (and a very kind local donation) for what we are calling Phase 2 (not very original, I know)

 This work is now underway this week and will be complete by the weekend - an extra 500 metres of new, flat even surface (and 4 new benches) to help everyone enjoy this great place. And it also means that we are now well over halfway along the whole route, with less than 750 metres to go before we reach the Pool and parkland

How long will that take I wonder ? Two years ?, three maybe ? We need to find more money but we are determined to reach the target. Any ideas

I'll post again once the work is finished and the route open again, but in the meantime why not pencil in a visit for the weekend, see what you think and tell us about your visit...


Thursday, 10 February 2011

Marconi Calling Space

Just before Christmas one of the volunteers at the Lizard Wireless Station, close to Lizard point, made contact with the International Space Station, below you can hear an audio recording of the brief contact. Commander Douglas Wheelock from the Russian service module chatted about a recent fresh food delivery and, as they passed over the North Atlantic, even had a chance to say hello to our volunteer John's, wife!

The 25th mission crew, commanded by Doug, consisted of 6 crew members from both Russia and the US. so far 196 individuals have called the ISS their home and missions can last up to several months at a time. The ISS has completed over 1.5 billion miles in the 10 years it's been orbiting the earth!

The Lizard Wireless Station is home to a small museum of wireless technology, Marconi himself placed the two buildings there and conducted his groundbreaking experiments from them. One is now available as a holiday cottage but the other is home to a fine collection of pieces. The station is run by a group of enthusiastic volunteers who open it's doors to the public throughout the year, for opening times check out their website:


Friday, 4 February 2011

Winter Workout Update

Its been a busy few weeks in the woods for some local volunteers on the Lizard, with activities ranging from bird box building to coppicing and perhaps more importantly plenty of tea and coffee drinking.

To get over the Christmas and New year eating and drinking spree, a group of volunteers came down to Poltesco to help build some bird boxes and put them up around the woods. No residents yet, but am keeping my eye on them. Also we have been doing some woodland management in some beautiful places including Tremayne woods and Tregithy, both on the banks of the Helford, great places to come and enjoy the scenery and in particular the wading birds at low tide.

Next up on the events list is the Half term mega scrub bash, on Saturday February 19th. Come along and help us manage the cliffs at Predannack for those Lizard plant rarities that we all love. Open to anyone wanting to come, there will be cutting and burning of scrub, so bring some food to cook on the fire and I'll put the brew on! Meet at Predannack Wollas National Trust car park (SW 696 165) at 1000hrs. Event will finish at approximately 1530hrs.

See you there!


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