One of the joys of being on the Roseland is the opportunity to take some jaw-dropping walks, whether on the glorious beaches, the long distance coastal footpath or exploring the banks of the Fal estuary or meandering the lanes and signposted footpaths inland.
They all have what estate agents call the “wow” factor. But why do you go for a walk? Is it to exercise your dog or to have a leisurely stroll in the fresh air? Perhaps it is to achieve a personal challenge or to socialise with friends. Or is it to appreciate and understand the beauty and natural history of our special area of Cornwall?
Whatever the reason is, ask on reflection, what did you see or hear while you were out; and how did that arouse your curiosity.
It might have been a caterpillar, a butterfly or a bee. It might have been the song of a robin or blackbird but then you might have missed a stunning goldcrest as it flitted about in low vegetation nearby. It could have been the riot of colour in a hedge rich with foxgloves, campion or stitchwort, but then you might have missed the small mauve flower of ground ivy peeping out.
You had walked past a tree many times, but now it is rotting and different life is colonising it. If you had peeled off a piece of bark, you would have seen what insects lay beneath and how various fungi were developing in a whole new world. You remember hearing chirping, but it was not a bird, rather a field grasshopper. You had heard a scurry, but it wasn’t a dog, rather a grey squirrel dashing to the safety of the tree.
Look, listen, focus and reflect on your walking experience and your observational skills will improve. Take time to pause, photograph or sketch the unusual and follow-up your walk with personal notebook or smart phone records. Then submit them to ERCCIS and other appropriate wildlife sightings sites online.
Then next time you go for a walk you might just be surprised at what you do see!
Wild Roseland’s next event is Cornwall Seal Research Group’s Roadshow currently on tour in the West Country telling the dramatic and moving story of “Septimus the Seal”.
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.
Life, Death, Immortality: meet Septimus ‘Some seal’
A fully illustrated talk by Sue Sayer and Rob Wells.
7pm, Thursday 17th October, St Mawes Memorial Hall
Admission by donation
Article by Carol Hughes. Edited by Tara Robinson.
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.
Greater Knapweed, Comma butterfly, Bonnet Mycena Mushroom, Barn Lane: Tara Robinson
Goldcrest, Ground Ivy: Carol Hughes