Friday, 30 July 2010

I-Spy this week.

This week this fantastic Stonechat has made it into our I-Spy column. This beautiful bird was seen on Loe bar just a few days ago, their call gives them away, sounding like two stones being struck together. The Stonechat is still commonplace along the coast here in the south west, they are very approachable if you are out walking the coast path. At this time of year families of Stonechats are very active looking for food in coastal scrub.

If you have an I-spy you would like to share of local wildlife you've been lucky enough to see please let us know, get in touch via the blog, twitter (@swcornwallnt) or give us a call in the office on 01326 561407. We are running a competition this Summer/Autumn, the best two photographs will win goodybags and the best entries will go into the fortnightly column in the West Briton so get in touch and let us know what you've been spying!


Tuesday, 27 July 2010

" Performance, Pasty, Pint, Poltesco - Perfectissimo !! "

These were the words of Grade Ruan Primary School Headmaster Tom Harman, at the end of 3 succesful evening performances of the School Summer Play - " A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"

After weeks and weeks of practising their lines the children delivered brilliant and memorable performances, culminating in a final night in front of an audience of well over a hundred people cheering, clapping and dancing through the evening.

The final night treated to us to a few "extras", guest performances from teachers, a sky lantern release and not to mention some very interesting sound effects from the PA system !

And the weather held up, all those anxious hour by hour internet checks to see when the rain would stop must have helped........

It was great for us to help the school by hosting this event, the orchard is such a great place and we had loads of positive feedback about using it more in the future for all sorts of events and activities - a Folk Festival ? Storytelling ? Hog Roast and Apple weekend ?

Please tell us what you think. We know it's a great spot and we'd like to know how we can help people enjoy it more

Oh, and don't forget to look out for next years School Play !!


Nature Club Launch

Yesterday saw the first of 6 out of school nature clubs taking place at Penrose. In conjunction with SKILL and co-ordinator David Finney the Monday morning club will be taking small groups around the estate looking at the various wildlife species and learning about their habitats. The days will be led by Steve Osborne from Nansloe school and estate warden Dave Chambers. For more information contact estate warden Dave Chambers on 01326 561407.

Saturday, 24 July 2010


This year the National Trust is going to Holifair!
Holifair is a charity run, eco-friendly family festival at Gweek. We will be running children's workshops in crafts from recycled and natural materials and green wood working throughout the 3 days.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the Holifair website.

See you there,

Artist in residence

Hello! I’m Olivia Dale and I will be working with the National Trust as their artist in residence for the next 12 months. Having recently graduated from University College Falmouth this is a great opportunity for me to further my career in Marine and Natural History Photography and I am looking forward to seeing what’s to come.

During the year I will be working with the team to photograph various events and activities as well as recording how the environment changes over time. I will also be running nature photography courses to budding photographers giving tips and ideas to improve their skills!

I will be recording my journey at the National Trust on this blog to reflect my experiences over the year, so watch this space!


Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Lizard and Penrose NT launch new product!

We are proud to launch the new NT membership incentive for the Lizard and Penrose. These new water bottles are currently exclusive to the NT points of sale down on the Lizard so if you want to get your hands on a free one sign up for membership at one of our car parks! You can also buy them for a very reasonable £8, all money goes back to the NT property you got it from.

Let us know what you think of this new product.

Penrose to host Playday!

The National Trust is taking part in the annual Play England’s Playday at Penrose. The event, taking place on the 4th August throughout the country is designed to encourage children to get out and play at one of hundreds of locally organised events across the UK. The Our Place campaign, of which the Playday initiative is part of, aims to puts children at the heart of communities and asks everyone, young and old, to help create better places for all of us to live and play.

The Playday on the 4th August will be hosted by the Trust at the Penrose estate, it will include an opportunity for youngsters to have a go at various arts and crafts, play games and take part in woodland den building. The Trust are keen supporters of this initiative, Dave Chambers, warden on the Penrose estate says: “We are delighted to be able to offer the estate as a location for the Playday, we have organised a variety of events and activities throughout the day and hope to encourage people to get out and enjoy the outdoor environment.”

The Playday kicks off at 10am on the 4th August, directional signs will lead from the Penrose hill car park located just off the Helston to Porthleven road (B3304).

Wild Camping at Predannack
Last week was Activities Week for the local comprehensive school at Mullion. Whilst many kids went off to Britanny and North Cornwall in their pursuit of adrenaline, a group of 24 chose to spend their time camping here on National Trust land at Predannack a couple of miles from their school.
Rather than walk along the roads, we arranged for a short cut to be taken across Predannack Airifeld where CPO Jack Frost escorted the children through the 'Grave Yard' fire training area.

And so to the camp site. Or rather the corner of a lovely flower rich meadow high on the Downs above the National Trust farm at Predannack Wollas. As far as facilities: a tap T-ed off a cattle trough for water and a very basic long drop toilet for which they had to make shelter from bracken and sticks!

a very well disguised toilet! (photo credit: Ben Giles)

I had agreed to run a bushcraft session for the children on their first day, and decided to try a "hangi". A hangi is a traditional Maori method of cooking food in a hole in the ground. After the kids had dug a hole and lined it with stones, I showed them how to make fire without matches or a lighter. A fire was made in the hole and after a couple of hours when the fire had burnt down and the rocks hot, a couple of hunks of local meat were lowered in. A joint of Dexter Beef (from the National Trust cattle grazing the cliffs) and a large leg of local mutton were wrapped in wild herbs and hay before being lowered into the hole, buried under more leaves and then earth before being left for another couple of hours.

We then set to making some bread which was cooked on the open fire whilst the meat slowly cooked.

Perhaps it was because the kids were so hungry following their long walk, digging holes and erecting their tents, but I've never seen food being devoured with such enthusiasm and gusto once the meat was eventually dug up from the subterranean oven! Hunks of slow roasted, herb and hay infused beef and mutton were wrapped in flat breads with salad. Only a bare bone was left for my dog Rusty to chew on.

Anyway, after a very wet and windy night with very little sleep by all acounts, the children walked from Predannack to Mullion Cove where the children were treated to a trip out on kayaks thanks to David Green from West Cornwall Adventure, one of the National Trust's ambassador businesses.

Despite a few concerns and worries from some of the children, all the children took to the sea exploring the coves and cliffs around Mullion Harbour.

(Photo credits: Ben Giles)

Whilst half the group were paddling their kayaks, the other group explored Mullion Cove learning about the Trust's plans for the future of the harbour. With climate change, sea level rises and increasing repair costs, the Trust has taken the decision not to undertake any further major repairs to the harbour walls following significant storm damage.

The next morning (after another wet and wild night under canvas), the children walked back to school. I'm sure they all had a great time. Many of the children were well outside their comfort zone, but everyone really mucked in and enjoyed the adventure.

It does go to show that you don't need to go far (or spend much cash) to get away from it all, learn new skills and have an adventure. And as far as carbon footprint, I reckon we kept it as close to zero as possible! Justin

Photo: Ben Giles

Thursday, 15 July 2010

I spy a rarity

We are inviting you to take part and contribute to our blog by telling us what rarities you have spied this summer on our properties. Take photos and post comments to us and help us collect information on our wild flowers and plants and our native and visiting wildlife.

To kick us off one of our Penrose wardens has spotted this fantastic Silver-Washed Fritillary butterfly in a clearing in the woodlands around Loe Pool on a recent warm sunny day, this particular species is considered the giant in the British Fritillary family with a wingspan measuring approximately 70mm.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

A postcard from us

We're working out how to keep people in touch with all the work we're up to, so we've produced a postcard and we're sending it out to people this week. Future cards will have information about events and activities that we have planned for the future but this one is inviting ideas about the best way for us to keep in touch. Would you like a postcard through Royal Mail or to get it electronically. Or are you following the blog or twitter and you can get the information from there?
Let us know how you would like to be kept in touch.
And if you didn't get a postcard and want one, let us know and we'll add you to the list for next time.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Egg stream-ly challenging times at Poltesco

Grade-Ruan Primary School has enjoyed some action packed days out this term thanks to the National Trust wardens and volunteers on the Lizard. Kynance class joined us for two days of outdoor adventure, ending with an egg stream challenge: find a way of getting an egg across the stream without breaking the egg or getting your feet wet!

Rachel Holder, National Trust Warden said "I was very impressed that all the groups managed to get their eggs across in one piece, by zip wire, pulley or raft! We've had a great couple of days."

The class baked their own home-made bread on a campfire, made dream catchers, and built shelters out of natural materials, including bamboo, thatch and bracken. These shelters then doubled up as the backdrop for short plays the pupils devised themselves, involving a random assortment of props, ranging from a bowler hat to a plastic chough, to a box of cornflakes. Something which called for a good imagination! The pupils were also taught bushcraft techniques, such as how to light a fire using a striker, charred cloth to catch the ember, and grass as tinder.

Tom Harman, head teacher said " The sun shone and all of the children commented on how much they had enjoyed the two days working outdoors. Our thanks go to Rachel and the National Trust to have had this fantastic opportunity and this is something we would really like to extend and develop in the new school year. "

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Support our work locally.

We are taking part in the blue mile event this weekend, to support us and to stand a chance of winning a spa treatment for two go to Thank you for your support we will kayak as quickly as possible!

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