Scratching the surface of the Lizard
Souterrains, known locally as fogous, form part of the jetsam of West Cornish prehistory. Prehistory, in Cornwall, runs to the day before yesterday, grandfather’s day, or up to the time when someone started to write it down, but it is generally agreed that the fogou building era was twenty something centuries ago, in the Iron Age. Agreement as to their use, however, is non-existent, their function only described by bad guesses. Bad guesses include pre-empting the space effort in using up vast amounts of energy & time for largely political motives - perhaps to lend the settlement cultural prestige in the way a yacht on the lawn might today; or a continuation of the ancient habit of lurking in dark places (prenatal symbiosis, caves for the alive, passage graves for the dead). Ritual is often mentioned; an appointment with the village shaman might be had in the dark at any time of day - as long as his psychopompic faculties were resonating.
Wildlife watching attracts over 24,000 people.....
Wildlife watching attracts over 24,000 people to The Lizard Point in Cornwall, but what is there to see?
Located at the most southerly point of mainland Britain, against sea sculpted cliffs carpeted in rare and exotic flowers, The Lizard Point, in Cornwall is a great place to spoil yourself with top notch wildlife watching within a stone’s throw of a cream tea or ice cream and an eclectic mix of gift shops.
Whether you’re a keen birder happy to watch thousands of special seabirds on migration or you’re relatively new to wildlife and you’d enjoying watching the local seals swimming, feeding, hauled out or ‘bottling’* nearby, there’s something for everyone at Lizard Point.
(*’bottling’ is when a seal rests vertically in the water with just their head poking out from the surface of the sea).
Welcome to Wild Lizard!
A while ago a loose collaboration of volunteers from tourism based businesses on the Lizard and in the surrounding area got together with the idea of re-launching what was the Lizard Peninsula Tourism Association (LPTA). The idea was to promote the Lizard as a destination and to extend the visitor season beyond the summer.
‘What’s this got to do with nature and this website?’ - you may well ask. Well I got involved because I remembered a piece of research from some time ago that promoted the value of wildlife to tourism markets. The findings are long since lost on my computer files but I was interested to see what the tourism businesses felt about nature and wildlife and what a focus on this could do for the fledgling tourism group.
At an early meeting when this was raised it was remembered that of the old LPTA marketing activities, the one that had been most successful was an advert in a birdwatching magazine, with instant and noticeable results in terms of follow on bookings. I also related the story from 2002 when a pub landlord said to me how much business he saw the choughs had brought to him at what otherwise was an ‘out of season’ time of year.
Common Agricultural Policy and Cornwall Hedgerows
Farming has coincided with the natural environment on the Lizard for centuries. Currently due to the CAP reform, any farmer who has more than 15 hectares of arable land will have to “set aside” 5% of their arable land as an EFA, Environmental Focus Area.
There are five different types of EFA:
1. Fallow Land
3. Buffer Strips
4. Catch crops and cover crops
5. Nitrogen fixing crop
The Cornish hedge is an obvious ecological resource which many would like to use towards their EFA requirements. There is an abundance of biodiversity within the Cornish hedgerows which is promoted by our mild winters.
EFA hedges can be any width, or any height. They must be maintained for the whole scheme year in line with cross compliance rules. Newly planted hedges can also count for EFA if they are in the ground when a BPS application is made.
Hedges can include gaps. There is no limit on how many gaps a hedge can have – as long as each individual gap is not more than 20 metres.