Monday, 27 June 2011

Mid Summer Medley

Lee demonstrating the pole lathe
The Trust team had a good day out on Sunday attending the Mullion Mid Summer Medley. Alongside up to date photos and information on what the Trust is up to locally at the Lizard and Penrose, we also had a range of activities and demonstrations for the whole family.

Children enjoyed making some colourful peg friends as well as changing the legs and beak of the Cough to make all kinds of strange looking birds. Tom and Lee gave some excellent 'bodging' demonstrations of how pole lathes and shave horses were used in traditional green working and both adults and children enjoyed having a go at it themselves. If you are interested in learning more about 'bodging' we have a 'bodging for beginners' day this Sunday (3rd July) at Poltesco so book yourself on and come and have a go.

The Medley was a great day out for everyone with plenty going on throughout the afternoon and we all enjoyed being a part of it. Look out for us at St Martin Mad Fest from 12 - 3pm.


Surviving the wilds of Predannack

Navigating from Mullion

Mullion School 'surfers' (year 6's) joined Justin and myself on Thursday for a day fo bushcraft and survival in the wildreness of Predannack.

They sat out from school with maps and compasses and led thier way across country to the destination. Once there, they were faced with the challenges of survival when stranded in the wild. One of the first and most important things they decided was to make shelter. Between groups they created a real range of different shelters using natural materials and were later tested for durability by our head ranger, Justin. The Tipi design was the strongest and withstood the strngth test of him climbing to the top of it!

The tipi design proved the strongest
Next they began solving the problem of food and warmth. They had a go at various fire lighting techniques using a range of things you could have on you if stuck in the wild. Some were relly successful and others have yet to prove themselves such as a chocolate finger and a beer can! After none of us surviving the foraging game of 'starve, poison or survive' we decided that toasted marshmallows were by far the more palatable option!


Toasting marshmallows!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Bulwark Residents make the difference

How does an email about Geo-caching end up with a skip full of rubbish ?

Simple really. Graham Cook, a Bulwark resident in Helston got in touch to ask if it was ok to put out some new geo-caches around Penrose. A few weeks later Graham got back in touch to see if a group from the Residents Association could organise a day in the neighbouring woods (which the Trust own part of - hence the original contact) to clear rubbish and fly tipping.

So we agreed a date, organised a skip to be delivered close by (thanks to the the generous loan of a driveway for a few days), and with fair weather and wind set about the task in hand.....

Thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of everyone who came out to help a huge amount was achieved. Rubbish cleared, old barbed wire fences removed, a blocked footpath opened up over well over half way......and in no small part to the youngsters who came to investigate what was happening - and then stayed most of the day helping out !

We are working with Graham to set another date to carry on the good work, clear another section of path, look at where a few benches can be put in to let people enjoy the greats views across Helston.

Thanks to everyone who set this up and made such a positive result. More posts to follow on future work in the near future.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Methodist Church helps Penrose set new Benchmark

A quick post to say a big thank you to everyone from Porthleven Methodist Church. Thanks to their generosity Penrose has a beautiful new bench for people to take time out and enjoy the views across the parkland.

The bench - made from local sweet chestnut and granite from the local quarry at Mabe - is proving to be a real hit with visitors.  Last week we invited those who donated it to come and try it for themselves (with a cup of tea and slice of heavy cake for good measure) and, as they say, a good time was had by all.

Thanks again to everyone involved for their generosity and support.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sasso Twinning visit to Penrose

There's been quite a bit happening at Penrose over the last few month or so, but not so many blog posts so I will try and post a few over the next week to get us back up to speed...

We were recently invited to host a guided walk around the pool, as part of the official visit of the Helston / Sasso Marconi twinning group, with group members from Sasso in Italy across for a whole weeks worth of engagements. It was great to be invited to be involved, the weather was kind (and we found a spot on Loe Bar out of the wind for a picnic lunch.

We also had a good chance to talk to Twinning group members about opportunities there might be for a conservation project at Penrose that could support the twinning association - a new woodland or an arboretum based on tree exchanges ? - and we are discussing this with Helston's tree warden to see where it takes us and seeing if Helston Community College might want to be involved....

Helston is twinned with the Italian town of Sasso Marconi because of the link with Marconi, the wireless pioneer, whose family home was outside the town of Sasso, near Bologna.

After experimenting as a youngster with the newly discovered radio waves he developed a method of communication, the first high power radio transmitter and built a station on the cliffs at Poldhu to demonstrate that radio waves were capable of bridging the Atlantic. The Helston and District Twinning Association are keeping alive these links today.  

Thanks to everyone on the group for their kindness and hospitality on the day, and let us know if you have any thoughts or ideas about what we could do in the future.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


Last Thursday Claire Scott (Natural England) and myself welcomed Mullion School into thier new 'Wildspace'. The Wildspace is a new project within the School grounds and will not only provide several habitats for wildlife but a place for the children to learn and enjoy.The area includes a woodland area, a wildflower meadow, a living bird feeder and a pond with a dipping platform.

Every child did thier bit by planting at least one of the many plants that went into the ground. These included many native species for the wildflower meadow and some very muddy bog plants around the pond! They also built different habitat homes for wildlife such as bug boxes and dead wood piles. But thier work isn't done yet, the project is ongoing and will require thier willing hands in the autumn for planting bulbs and maintaining the area as well as keeping a record of the wildlife its attracting.

The children were really excited about thier new garden and will benefit from it hugely in the future through both recreation and learning. The Wildspace will also be open to the community to enjoy at certain times throughout the year including the Mullion Horticultural Society ‘Garden Safari’ on the 26th June from 2pm until 4.30pm.

See you there,

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Choughs, Bunting and Wildlife Fun

Fun was on the cards for kids of all ages last Sunday, when free wildlife games, craft and more were on offer at Lizard Point, courtesy of Natural England, the RSPB and ourselves. The event was a joint effort, with lots of activities on offer, from badge making to balancing butterflies, basking shark pen holders to a bird egg quiz trail.

Lots of folk called by to see what was on offer, and we roped fifty kids, their parents, grandparents (and anyone else who ventured too close) into helping us print mammoth quantities of wildlife themed bunting, which we’ll sew together in time for our big celebration of 10 years of the chough's return to Cornwall in a fortnight’s time. Come back to see the bunting take pride of place on Lizard Green on the 18th and 19th!
Badgers proved best at bunting making

Visit to see what will be happening over the celebration weekend, and check out the details on the ealier post.


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Digging deep for wildlife

Our new wildlife ponds are taking shape at Grochall Nature Reserve, close to Kynance on the Lizard. Take a peep at the video to see digger poetry in motion! Thanks to Olivia Dale, our artist in residence for her nifty time lapse photography, and Andy Tylor for his expertise on the excavator.

The ponds have been funded by the Million Ponds Project supported by Biffaward, which is aiming to increase the number of ponds in the British landscape, for the benefit of wildlife.

We're doing our bit, with 8 new ponds in total in the fields at Grochall, which we hope will attract dragonflies, water beetles, wading birds and more. Many of the ponds are shallow, which will mean they will dry out in summer. This isn't a design fault though! Such temporary ponds are a Lizard speciality and support some extremely rare plants, such as pygmy rush and yellow centaury.

It's an exciting project, and we'll watch with great interest in the coming months as the ponds gradually fill with water and nature moves in. Our neighbours at Windmill Farm nature reserve have also recently completed new ponds, and we plan to reinstate a long lost pool on Predannack airfield next winter. All in all, a great leap forward for watery wildlife on the Lizard.


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