A Blue Planet moment for the Roseland!! Let’s celebrate another new conservation accolade, making the beautiful Roseland even more special than ever. By David Hall.
Last month a new Marine Environment Special Protection Area (SPA) was announced. These are sites given special status to protect populations of rare, vulnerable and migratory birds. A 24 mile stretch of offshore coast from Falmouth Bay to St Austell Bay, the same size as 55000 football pitches, has been designated as the first SPA in the UK to protect wintering Blackthroated Diver and Great Northern Diver. So now the importance of Gerrans Bay, Veryan Bay and St.Austell Bay is officially recognised.
Most of the Roseland coastline, from Carricknath Point to Portloe, is designated into 3 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This is for a variety of reasons, such as internationally rare plants, a raised beach, its geological strata or lichens. The shoreline up to the head of the Percuil river and, up to the high water limit of the Fal river above Sett Bridge are also protected for their ancient woodland, their rarity as a tidal ria, or drowned valley, and their unique river life.
The Carrick Roads waters which link the creeks and rivers of the Roseland has a designation too; as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). This is protected, for example, for the rare shore plants, maerl, eelgrasses, and the mudflats, sandflats and salt marshes which host unusual marine life.
We all know that the Roseland is a special place but it’s interesting to know that while we try to look after it there are others who recognise its importance for habitat, flora and fauna. Add together SPA to SSSI to SAC to RSPB to CWT, and throw in Heritage Coast and National Trust (NT) for good measure! Then, under the oversight of DEFRA, English Nature (EN) and Natural England (NE), the AONB and Cornwall Council, we have an environment where the promotion of nature conservation, protecting biodiversity and enhancing landscape is more likely to happen than not.
Finally if you are interested in taking part in a look at nature on the Fal and Percuil in winter, via a self- drive car safari, please contact David Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org ( 01872 501429) for details and to book a place. (15 people maximum). It will take place, weather permitting, on Sunday, 14th January starting at 10.00 am at Ruan Quay and then visiting Messack, Turnaware, Percuil and Place, finishing around 1.00pm.
Visiting the Seals at Towan
In recent weeks the number of hauled-out seals near Towan beach has increased. These animals are wonderful to watch from the cliff top, especially when they interact with each other, playing chase in the shallows or howling occasionally at one another. Seals are intelligent, social beings, but they deeply distrust humans.
Staring at them is perceived as threatening, so when looking down, intersperse your quiet enjoyment of watching them with viewing the seascape and the wonderful landscape all around you. Keep your canine friends quiet too, as barking will rapidly frighten seals into the water. It’s still pupping season for seals, so if you are very lucky you may see very young weener seal pups in amongst all the adults.
Upcoming Wild Roseland Walks and Talks – dates for your diary
Note that all events are free but a small donation of £3 would be welcomed.
Nature on the Fal and Percuil in Winter:
A self-drive car safari, lead by David Hall from the Wild Roseland Group.
Sunday 14th January 2018, 10am, meeting at Ruan Quay, then visiting Messack, Turnaware, Percuil and Place. Finishing around 1.00pm.
The unusual geology of the Roseland peninsula:
Presentation by Frank Howie, geoscientist and Conservation strategy chair, Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
15th March 2018 7.00pm. Venue to be confirmed.
The importance of Orchards:
Presentation by Colin Hawke.
Thursday 19th April 2018, 7pm. Veryan Social club, main room (to be confirmed).
Edited by Sarah E Vandome
David Hall, Sarah Vandome
References and links
Enjoy more Roseland wildlife and landscapes – visit Sarah Vandome’s Heart of Roseland Facebook feature:
Wild Roseland is on Facebook.
Wild Roseland is a group of volunteers who care passionately about looking after the nature and landscape of the Roseland peninsula in south Cornwall. Through a number of initiatives and projects, the aim is to inspire and enhance the conservation of this special place for all.