November 2010

There are just too many beautiful walks around here. One that we do quite often – and always on a Sunday morning – is the circular route through the woods at Trelissick. The route is “reasonably” flat and on really well made paths. Starting from the car park the way is well marked through the parkland to the right then over the road through opposing gates. Down a hill and follow the path back round to the King Harry ferry then on past the oyster farm beds and round the pint back to the car park for a coffee and cake in the café. There is a map of the route on Google Maps.

Open parkland with great views down the Fal out to the open sea soon give way to mixed woodland by the old gate lodge, but once across the road the woodland closes in apart from where the National Trust have cleverly opened windows and sited benches affording views over to Tregothnan, the family seat of the Boscawen family headed by Lord Falmouth. Below the house you can see the deer park sloping down to the confluence of the rivers by Smugglers Cottage. These waters have been home to laid up ships peacefully waiting out the recession. Some didn’t make it and slipped away to be cut up for scrap in Goa. Other ships appear to mourn their passing as we watched one make its way down stream all the other ships in the Carrick Roads and Falmouth bay blasted away on their ships horns.

Anyway, back to the walk: There is plenty of beech and hornbeam in the woods so the light gets bounced down onto the path via light and airy leaves. As the path gets to the bottom of the hill it forks. The left turn takes you over the bridge and round the north side of the creek passing through the Iron Age fort to the quay which I think is one of the prettiest spots on the Carrick Roads. From here you have to take the path back to where you parted from the main route and then on round past the other ships (as I write there are only two left) and down to the road just above the King Harry Ferry. Here you have a choice, you can forge ahead and on past the oyster beds or you can succumb to the siren call of the National Trust Café and head up hill and through the gate by the old water tower.

Because the walk crosses through different landscapes, there are so many different types of fungi to look out for. Apparently fungi fall into three broad classes: those that feed in soil, compost and leaf litter, a second group that feeds symbiotically on other host plants without doing tem any real harm, and a third class that feed parasitically on their ghost, eventually killing it. This year has been particularly good for fungi as you can see from the photos of some of the specimens we have come across.

I am late with this and have been amazed by how quickly the leaves have deserted us over the last few days. There are branches down on the creek path and drifts of leaves knee deep- do get out there and enjoy the colours before it is too late.

Ian Bennett

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