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Saturday 9th May 10-2

Meet at Mawnan car park (Grid ref: SW 787 272 approx). Coastal walk. A walk around Rose Mullion head in search of the floral delights such as Green Winged Orchid and Early Purple Orchid. Bring a picnic and join us for lunch in a nice spot. All welcome. Booking essential 07946841322

Sunday 24th May 10-2

Meet at Lizard green car park (Grid ref: SW 703 125 approx) Introduction to plants in The Lizard Important Plant Area. If you are keen to learn more about the truly unique habitat of The Lizard Important Plant Area and identify the plants that thrive there join local botanist Keith Spurgin and Plantlife officer Bex House for walk around the southern tip. Bring a picnic and join us for lunch in a nice spot. All welcome. Booking essential 07946841322

a thousand shades of green, precious wildlife, ancient civilisations and amazingly wide skies

In 2002 the Cornish Chough bred once again on the Lizard, when three birds returned naturally to the area. This rare member of the crow family is the Cornish national bird and had been absent for Cornwall for over 30 years.

Sympathetic habitat management has provided the ideal conditions for many of the Lizard’s rare plants – and by happy coincidence – for Choughs too! Look out for their red beaks and distinctive call.

The rocks beneath you here tell of a great cataclysm, when great forces built mountains here 350-270 million years ago, when the collision of Gondwanaland with North America made giant folds in the crust. In the south of the peninsula this brought twisted fractured rocks from deep beneath the earth’s surface.

Feel the weight of a pebble of the reddish "snakeskin" serpentine at Kennack Sands to get a feeling of how unusual these rocks are, as heavy rocks rarely reach the surface. See these and other serpentines in the Lizard Village where craftsmen polish this rock into handsome ornaments.

The mild oceanic climate, unusual geology and patterns of different land use created the distinctive landscape of the Lizard Peninsula. Maritime cliffs, coastal grasslands and heathland support a unique collection of plants, insects and animals. Over 250 species of national or international importance can be found amongst the heath, rocks and grasslands of the Lizard and provide a mecca for botanists and wildlife lovers from all over the world.

But you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy the cliffs in springtime when the colours of pink thrift, yellow vetch and the blue spring squill carpet the ground. Or later in the summer, when heathland species of every conceivable shade of pink and purple contrast vividly with the yellow of blossoming gorse.

Cornish Heath is the predominant species here, it grows only on the Lizard in Britain and can best be seen at Goonhilly, Kynance and Predannack.

But it doesn’t look after itself, to conserve this unique habitat, animals need to graze back the coarser species of grass and gorse to allow the finer plants to thrive, or occasional managed winter heathland burns help orchids appear in following years. Farmers and conservation organisations like the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Natural England use traditional breeds of sheep, cattle and ponies to graze the cliffs keeping encroaching scrub at bay.

Kerrier District Council