A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula


Shetland ponies grazing at Beagles Cliff ©National TrustNNR Lizard Leaflet (2.8 mb)  

The Lizard Peninsula is one of the best places in the country for wildlife, with a wealth of rare plants, invertebrates and habitats that make visiting the area a must for nature lovers.

National Nature Reserves give recognition to the UK’s very best sites for wildlife, and The Lizard NNR, first declared in the 1970s, and managed by Natural England, covers nearly 2400ha of spectacular heath and coastline.  The NNR will shortly be extended by 470ha to include additional wildlife rich areas, in the care of The National Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. The enlarged reserve will stretch from Mullion Cove in the west, across Goonhilly Downs in the centre of the peninsula, to Lowland Point, near Coverack in the east.

Cornish heath at Kynance ©National Trust
Phil Bowler, Senior Reserves Manager for Natural England in Cornwall said “We’re excited to be able to announce this extension to the Lizard NNR, which gives the peninsula the wider recognition it deserves, as one of the nation’s best places for wildlife.”

The extended reserve will include iconic National Trust coastline, including Kynance Cove, Lizard Point and Black Head, as well as Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s flagship nature reserve, Windmill Farm, which is jointly owned with Cornwall Bird Watching Preservation Society. Much of the land to be declared is Site of Special Scientific Interest, plus it will include some coastal farmland in wildlife friendly management. The new NNR areas will continue to be managed for nature by the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and their tenants, supported by agri-environment schemes, and with advice from Natural England.

Short eared owl over Downs, Windmill Farm © Daniel MurphyRachel Holder, Area Ranger for The National Trust said “The National Trust has held conservation at the core of what we do for many decades, and the declaration of our land as NNR is testament to the hard work and careful stewardship of our many farm tenants along the coast.”

Callum Deveney, Head of Nature Reserves for Cornwall Wildlife Trust said “The various conservation organisations on the Lizard have been working closely together for some time, as the Linking the Lizard partnership which has launched a website the-lizard.org to promote wildlife. We look forward to our shared future within the Lizard NNR.”

Marsh fritillary butterfly ©Amy LewisThe Lizard National Nature Reserve, one of 224 in England, is famous for its rare plants, including dwarf rush, wild asparagus and Cornish heath, and the peninsula is a stronghold for the sadly much declined marsh fritillary butterfly. Chough, peregrine and raven soar above the cliffs, and the heathland puddles support a wealth of rare beetles.

Much of the NNR is open to the public, and the South West Coast Path encircles the peninsula. The Lizard NNR partners are developing plans to celebrate the extension of the NNR with events in summer 2017. For further information on the Lizard NNR, please visit the-lizard.org.



NNR Expansion map

Published: June 2016
Author: Rachel Holder (Area Ranger for The National Trust)