Friday, 9 January 2015

Looking forward to 2015

Before we look forward to 2015, it’s well worth a look back at 2014. 

Below I have summarised what happened for us in 2014, for a more detailed picture it's well worth scrolling back through our blog articles to see what we have been up to over the past 12 months. Wow!

2014 for Lizard and Penrose - National Trust

Repair work on Mullion Harbour 
This time last year our work was being severely challenged by the winter storms. Wave after wave of low pressures hit our coasts and some of our places took a severe beating. Work is still going on to repair that damage at Mullion and at Kynance but it took a lot of our team’s time at the early part of the year to repair footpaths, retrieve litter washed up on beaches and replace public rescue equipment and signs from almost all our beaches. 

Unusual weather is likely to become more and more a part of our lives and having a skilled and knowledgeable team of rangers, ably assisted by volunteers, means that we are able to react quickly to whatever happens and ensure access to our coast is maintained and is safe.

Family day out - cycling on the Penrose trails
Coming out of winter (and almost despite the foul weather) we were able to celebrate the opening of new footpaths at Penrose in April. This work, funded by Natural England but developed and carried out by the Penrose team has made a major difference to Penrose and how it is able to be used by visitors and the local community. Improved surfaces mean a far wider range of users are able to enjoy its beauty and new routes mean there are many more places people can go. Over 17 miles of trails mean there is something for just about everyone!

Visitors watching choughs at the Wildlife Watchpoint
Down the coast at Lizard Point our new wildlife watchpoint was a great success, as over 11,000 people were able to enjoy great views of choughs, seals, seabirds and mammals from the most southerly point. Not only that but we were able to play an important role in monitoring wildlife on our coast through the records our dedicated band of volunteers made during the summer whilst they showed people what was out to sea or up in the air.

Visitors getting directions from our car park attendant Lee
And what a summer it turned out to be, we had record breaking numbers of people at Kynance  car park, more campers than ever before at Teneriffe, lots of visitors to our holiday cottages and the Lizard team smashed their target for recruiting new members to the National Trust.

Kynance - by Shannon O'Grady of Shazzam! Photography

But it’s not just the big stuff  that struck me as I looked back at the past year, it’s the diversity of what the National Trust gets involved with and the beauty of the special places we look after (thanks Shannon for all those great photos to really remind us of that!) that made me stop and think.

From footpath repairs to habitat creations, from apple fairs to archaeological digs, or great learning experiences for school kids to Halloween scariness in the evening! Caring for these places takes a lot of skill, commitment and hard graft and giving people great experiences whilst they visit takes effort, inspiration and creativity, but fortunately we have a team of staff and volunteers at the Lizard and Penrose who have all of that in bucket-loads.

So what about 2015?

Kynance Cove
Walking around Kynance this week on a beautiful sunny day, the people I was with were gobsmacked by the beauty of the place. It reminded me that we couldn’t have achieved what we have in terms of landscape restoration, habitat management and visitor facilities without Enterprise Neptune. It is 50 years since this most successful fundraising campaign was launched. As part of Coast 2015 you can expect to see a whole range of activities and events that celebrate the diversity of our coastline and what the Trust has been able to achieve through the generosity of our supporters. (Keep an eye out on the events part of our website for all of this.)

Loe Pool
Elsewhere I’m looking forward to continuing to work in partnership with other conservation organisations as part of Linking the Lizard and the Loe Pool Forum so that our wildlife rich sites are bigger, better and more connected with others in the area. And I’m also looking forward to working with Visit Lizard, South Kerrier Alliance and Helston BIP to make the most of what our places can offer the local community and the local economy.

We’re also trying to capture the essence of many of our special places, what’s important about them and what do people feel and value about them, so that if we are to make changes in the future we’ll not spoil what we are here to protect.

For visitors we’re hoping to have new information panels at all our most important visitor sites by Easter, a new walks booklet for the Lizard in the summer and we’re working on new facilities for our campsite and Kynance car park to open in 2016 and to improve our car park at Penrose Hill.

Guided wildflower walk
As if that wasn’t enough, there are car parks to open for Easter, work to be done to make sure all our places are safe for visitors, maintaining and improving miles and miles of footpaths and trails, looking after rare and unusual nature and lovely old houses and farms, planning guided walks and delivering lots of activities and events.

Keep an eye out on the blog going through this year and our facebook and twitter pages too for updates on all of the above and lots more!

Your local National Trust pages:
Lizard and Penrose blog:
South West Cornwall twitter:
Lizard Rangers’ twitter:
Lizard Rangers’ facebook
Penrose Rangers' facebook:


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