In a recent poll, Cornwall topped the world for the best destination for a family holiday. No surprises there really, with an abundance of beautiful beaches, a varied and extraordinary landscape, great food and family friendly cafes and restaurants, it's a no-brainer for a great family holiday, despite our varied weather. And we know from previous studies, such as the National Trust's Valuing our Environment study, that a key reason people cite for coming to Cornwall is the unspoilt beauty of our coastline.
So offering a great environment as well as the facilities for a great holiday is really important for the longer term future of the tourism industry, but also plays a big part in helping to secure support for nature in the future.
So what do we make of this for the Lizard? Tourism is clearly a big part of our local economy and places like Kynance and Lizard Point attract hundreds of thousands of people each year, supporting a large number of local businesses. But these are not simple tourist traps, both are beautiful places, have great cafes and things to do but they also offer a host of wildlife experiences for those who want to look a little further. A walk to Kynance beach takes you past classic Lizard heathland rich in a rare treat of heather, plants and insects not to be seen elsewhere in the country.
At Lizard Point, the wildlife watchpoint, set up over 10 years ago by the RSPB to watch the choughs nesting nearby is now being managed by the National Trust. While the RSPB continue to run the nest protection at nest sites across Cornwall, here at Lizard Point, we are helping them to monitor and protect the choughs while also introducing thousands of visitors to the wildlife that inhabit our shores, from choughs overhead, to rare plants on the cliffs or seals and porpoises out to sea.
And the Lizard has an abundance of wildlife. It's a speciality for the Lizard; in marketing terms its USP (Unique Selling Point) and this offers the visitor a great added experience to their holiday, something that a group of tourism businesses on the Lizard are making their own. VisitLizard are looking at how businesses on the Lizard can work more closely together to promote the area, not just for its beaches, great local food and beautiful countryside and coastline but as a place where one can also experience extraordinary wildlife.
Getting everyone, and children in particular, outdoors and more in touch with nature is key to a sustainable future. After all, people won't want to protect what they first don't care about and so a trip to the Lizard on holiday offers a great chance to see and experience nature that will stay in minds forever and breed a new generation of wildlife and nature lovers (and protectors) for the future.