Marsh Fritillary Survey - Spring 2015
Earlier in the year, researchers from the University of Exeter’s Environmental & Sustainability Institute (ESI) conducted surveys and research on the Marsh Fritillary butterfly on the Lizard (see http://www.the-lizard.org/index.php/article-archives/butterflies-moths/513-butterfly-surveys-in-march-your-help-pleas).
The larvae were found on 5 sites, but because this butterfly is so rare nationally, the Lizard populations are now very important at both the county and country level. However, they were not found on one small site which they were known to frequent until very recently.
A small cluster of larvae in early spring. ©Chloe Lumsden
Soaprock and porcelain on the Lizard
The simple act of pouring boiling water into a cup belies a complex history; the origins of which partly lie in a stretch of coastline between Mullion Cove and Pentreath on the Lizard peninsular and the subsequent manufacture of Soft Paste Porcelain.
For it was from these Serpentine cliffs during the 1680’s that samples of soaprock were sent to the Royal Society in London to try to establish its characteristics and possible economic uses. By the 1720’s it was known that the high magnesium content of this metamorphic rock provided heat resistant properties for the production of porcelain. William Borlase in 1729 presented the work of Dr John Woodward who noted that soapy clay at Kynance and Gew Gaze was suitable for porcelain manufacture.
Diary of a Pony-patter
I was at a social gathering several years ago wherein I fell into conversation with a rather grand woman who enquired what I did for a living. When she learned that I was a nature reserve warden she wished to know more of what that exactly involved. I launched into a lengthy talk about the principles of conservation and habitat management, together with a potted history of the Lizard National Nature Reserve. Discovering that she owned a horse, I elaborated on our need to graze the reserve and the vital role played by our own herds of Exmoor and Shetland ponies in achieving this and the importance of putting in the time to ensure that the animal’s welfare was maintained. She considered all this for a few seconds and then remarked “So, you’re basically paid to pat ponies then”, before wandering off to find someone better paid to talk to instead. This illustrated to me that however interesting you may find your job, the finer details may well sail over the heads of most people. Unlikely though it is that the grand lady in question follows ‘Linking the Lizard’, this article will hopefully illustrate that there is more to the management of ponies than a programme of regular patting.
Help record the 'Sounds of our Shores' this summer
I’m really very excited about the new 'Sounds of our Shores' project that launched just last week. Find out what we are up to and how you can get involved by clicking on this audio clip or by reading the blog below:
As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Neptune Coastline Campaign National Trust are working with National Trust for Scotland and the British Sound Library to create the first ever coastal sound map; an archive of new and old coastal sounds from across the UK. We can’t do this alone, we need your help.
Over the next three months we are asking you go out to your local coast or a new stretch of coast and to discover and record the sounds that you hear there. You can then upload them to the 'Sounds of our Shores' audio boom channel.