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Wild Cornwall - issue 101 Autumn 2006


									              Wild Cornwall - issue 101
                    Autumn 2006
   Wild Cornwall is the full-colour illustrated magazine of the Cornwall
                               Wildlife Trust,
                      published three times a year.

                   It is also available from our web site as a
            full-colour PDF file or as a text only Word document.

                           Cornwall Wildlife Trust
                Five Acres, Allet, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DJ
                 Tel: (01872) 273939 Fax: (01872) 225476
    Registered Charity Name - Cornwall Trust for Nature Conservation Ltd
                   Registered Charity Number – 214929


       Editorial
       Incredible invertebrates!
       A bug’s life
       A cause for celebration
       Fal River Links
       Protecting our seas
       More than just timber!
       A tribute
       Help us to help wildlife
       Scilly mammal alert!
       Notice board
       Thoughts about climate change
       Fox Club Corner
       Your local group
       Corporate membership
       Christmas cards for sale
       Discovery day 2006

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Often avoided or overlooked, the thousands upon thousands of spineless, smaller creatures
that make up the invertebrates – from microscopic organisms to the largest beetles and
crickets – are a vital part of the ecosystem and we simply cannot live without them.
Mistreatment of the countryside, such as regular mechanical flailing that reduces valuable
Cornish hedges to uniform and species-poor barriers, has had a devastating effect upon
populations of moths, butterflies and many other invertebrates. Several species of British
bumblebee are threatened with extinction in the near future, which is bad news for agriculture
as well as for wild flowers. Buglife, The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, is the first
organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates. In his article
‘Incredible invertebrates’, Andrew Whitehouse of Buglife exudes enthusiasm for the subject,
and in ‘A bug’s life’, Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Callum Deveney describes active measures
taken on our nature reserves to conserve invertebrate populations. We should all take
invertebrate conservation very seriously. As stated on the Buglife web site, ‘without a
concern for smaller animal life, all our claims of wise custodianship of animals are hollow’.

Rowena Millar

Incredible invertebrates!
Invertebrates are great! No, they really are. Forget about those few bad apples in there that
munch your prize marigolds or give you a bit of a nibble on warm summer evenings, those
beasts are very much in the minority. Here are a few examples to whet your appetite for
taking a closer look at the small things that run the world.

Splendid snails
Take slugs and snails – often the gardener’s arch enemy. Of the 170-odd land and freshwater
species in the UK, only a very small minority actually eat living plants. The majority feed on
rotting vegetation, fungi, algae and lichens; they are essential in keeping things tidy and
recycling nutrients. They are, in fact, the gardener’s friends. Plus, a great number of them end
up as food for birds, amphibians and reptiles, and mammals (including us!). The Romans
probably introduced the garden snail (Cornu aspersum) and the Roman snail (Helix pomatia)
into Britain for food; both are still eaten today. Unfortunately, the collection of wild Roman
snails for domestic and commercial cooking has driven it to extinction in many parts of the
country. It is now an internationally threatened species.

Snails and slugs belong to a group of molluscs known as the Gastropoda. The name
Gastropoda means belly-foot, referring to the way that these animals move about! Snails and
slugs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; the shell of the dwarf snail (Punctum pygmaeum)
is just 1.5mm wide, whilst our largest native slug, the ash-black slug (Limax cinereoniger), can
grow to 300mm long. Did you know that in the UK we even have species of snails with hairy

Superb spiders
Spiders – the very word can bring some folks out in a cold sweat. But how often have you had
a closer look at these little wonders?

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I love to watch the zebra jumping-spiders (Salticus scenicus) that sit about on the sunny walls
in my back garden. Jumping spiders do not construct webs; instead they leap onto their prey
from distances up to 20 times their body length. They have incredibly keen eyesight that
allows them to precisely calculate the distance between themselves and their prey. Once the
target has been sighted the spider will turn to aim, shuffle backwards and forwards to get the
distance just right before launching through the air to deliver the ‘coup de grace’.

Spiders form an intrinsic part of our countryside. They eat large numbers of insects and
thereby help to maintain the natural balance. It has been suggested that a meadow can
contain up to two million individual spiders per acre!

Brilliant beetles
Beetles are the most common insects; in fact there are more types of beetle on the planet
than any other animal. In the UK alone there are 4,080 different species. This means that
there are 16 for every breeding bird, or 70 for every butterfly species living in the UK! Beetles
are an essential part of life, contributing to pollination of flowers and crops, waste recycling
and pest control.

Cornwall is one of the best places in the country to encounter magnificent oil beetles. The
county is a national stronghold for two species – the black oil beetle (Meloe proscarabaeus)
and violet oil beetle (Meloe violaceus). Oil beetles have an extraordinary life cycle. They are
parasitic on various species of ground nesting solitary bee. Once hatched, the larva climbs
onto a flower and waits for a visiting bee to turn up. It then grabs hold of the bee’s fur and
hitches a ride to the nest. The larva lives in the bee’s nest, feeding on the bee eggs before
moving on to the store of pollen and honey.

Adult oil beetles can often be encountered on cliff top paths, or on heathlands in early spring
– see if you can spot any next year.

Andrew Whitehouse

Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust
Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust is the first organisation in Europe devoted to the
conservation of all invertebrates. We are actively engaged in saving Britain's rarest bugs,
slugs, snails, bees, wasps, ants, spiders, beetles and many more fascinating invertebrates.

For more information on what YOU can do to help these amazing animals please visit our

A bug’s life
Habitat management for invertebrates on nature reserves

To manage specifically for invertebrates may appear something of a tall order. There are
almost 30,000 species of invertebrate in Britain, excluding groups whose members are all

If we accept that we won’t see the microscopic we can be certain that we’ll only see a handful
of those visible to the naked eye. Many invertebrates have a life-cycle with different stages,
each of which may require a specific micro-habitat. Other considerations include climate (can
we manage this?!), associations with particular plants and the fact that many invertebrates
are flightless and therefore cannot cover great distances.

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Goodness! To the beleaguered site manager this task may seem a little overwhelming.
Fortunately there are things we can do, some very general and others more specific when we
understand the needs of a particular invertebrate.

It may seem obvious, but just having nature reserves is a great start. Bigger reserves are
better, supporting a larger range of invertebrate species. Varied habitats on a reserve will
mean greater diversity, and structure within the different habitats is critical. This is where
management can have an impact: whether it’s woodland, grassland, heathland or wetland,
the structure can be managed.

Most of the Trust’s woodland nature reserves are actively managed and where they aren’t,
the natural structure is intentionally left alone. The clearance of trees creates glades and rides
which provide light and warmth for many invertebrates, and timber is left to rot, providing
important deadwood habitat. At Cabilla & Redrice Woods the lack of structure in the
understorey is important for the rare, blue ground beetle. In 1994 this beetle was found at just
two small woodland sites on the edge of Dartmoor, with one factor in its decline being the
development of dense ground vegetation due to the lack of grazing. With the discovery of the
blue ground beetle at Cabilla & Redrice Woods our management switched to the creation of
wood pasture with the introduction of sheep and pony grazing.

The management of grazing on heathland and grassland sites can have a big impact on
invertebrate populations. Heavy grazing can create bare ground which is important to some
burrowing species, but light grazing tends to create more structural diversity and therefore
benefit more species. Different livestock have different grazing characteristics, with sheep and
ponies creating a shorter sward whilst cattle grazing leads to a more tussocky, uneven
structure due to their trampling and the way they tear vegetation with their tongues.

Cattle are the most suitable livestock for grazing the Trust’s nature reserve at Loggan’s Moor,
a site that is nationally important for its invertebrate populations. On a relatively small site (11
hectares) there is a great diversity in vegetation structure, including dune grassland with bare
ground, a spring line leading to wet grassland, reedbed and varied scrub. The dune grassland
supports the silver-studded blue butterfly where it requires the presence of a particular ant,
open ground for breeding and either bare soil or short vegetation. In contrast to this, the great
green bush cricket can be found in the dense patches of bramble on this site. Another
specialist is the solitary mining bee Mellita tricincta, which is found on dry grasslands and
paths and is associated with red bartsia, from which the females collect pollen. Loggan’s
Moor is a complex mosaic of different habitats and carefully managed grazing is important for
the site’s invertebrate interest.

One proactive form of habitat management for invertebrates is the creation of open water. It is
very satisfying to see a new pond, that in the autumn/winter was a brown smudge, change in
the summertime to a lush oasis that attracts nature’s great transformers, the dragonflies and
damselflies. At Windmill Farm nature reserve on the Lizard we took this form of management
to new heights by creating two huge dragonfly pools. These were specifically designed with
banks that minimised wind across the water surface and created large areas for invertebrates
to bask in warm sunlight. The pools were an instant success, with the likes of the black-tailed
skimmer being quick to colonise and even the relatively rare appearance of the red-veined
darter. The impressive sight of this immigrant dragonfly patrolling the pools with its bright red
body and bluish wing reflections would warm the heart of any site manager trying to get to
grips with managing for invertebrates.

Callum Deveney
Reserves Manager

A cause for celebration

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Nationally scarce species of longhorn beetle found in

A mating pair of Aromia moschata or musk beetle were found in a meadow just below Cubert.
I was photographing insects in the valley when I saw two large antennae coming up from
beneath the vegetation, as the insects came out and onto a leaf. I could see they were very
large and something I had never seen before. Thankfully the musk beetles stopped when they
got to the top of the plant and stayed still long enough for me to get several photographs.
After mating they separated and flew off in different directions. Thanks to Dr Hinks for his help
with the identification of these beetles.

Dave Thomas

Raffle winner
The lucky winner of our raffle is Fred Dawson from Stafford, who wins a short break on the
Isles of Scilly. The second prize of the camera nestbox was won by Andrew Venton, and the
winner of the third prize of a picture by Dick Twinney is Ross Paxton. Congratulations to all
our winners.

Summer Fête
This year's Summer Fête, held at Chacewater Village Hall, was a great success, raising an
amazing £500. The weather was wonderful and everyone enjoyed looking at the live stick
insects and the fascinating work of the Microscopical Society. Our younger visitors learned
how to make their own bird boxes and built their very own Cornish hedges!

Thanks to everyone who came on the day and a big thank you to all who took part, including
our many valuable volunteers without whom we couldn't have run the fête!

Student’s success
Congratulations to otter spotter Franki Lowe! Her otter project, carried out on the River Camel
and in West Penwith, got the top student project award at The Royal Agriculture College in
Cirencester and, because of this project, she also gained a first in her degree.

Mobile phones raise money
We have raised a staggering £4,000 from mobile phone recycling since January 2006 – that’s
over £600 a month! Envirofone, with whom we are running this scheme, have also paid out a
mouth-watering £26,000 to supporters who have traded in their old mobile phones. Thank you
to everyone who has traded in their old mobile phones so far.

If you have old or broken mobile phones, logon to and
follow the link. Companies can also use this scheme to help raise money for the Trust, so
please spread the word.

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Fal River Links
Education work on the River Fal
The Fal River Links Project brings together a whole range of experiences, attractions, walks
and destinations in and around the Fal, all connected by an integrated public transport
system. The idea is to give local people and visitors the option of exploring the area whilst
leaving their cars at home.

We are delivering the education part of the Fal River Links project, with generous support
from HSBC Bank. One strand of this work is through formal work with schools. We have been
working with the Sense of Place team who are producing a cross-curricular unit of work for
primary schools centred on the River Fal. This gives teachers the guidance and resources
they need to devise creative lessons focused on the local area. Part of the unit will include a
Trust workshop on the wildlife of the Fal that can be delivered either in school or, ideally, on
the beach! Both Kea and St Mawes schools are helping to pilot the work unit, which should be
available to other schools in the autumn.

The second strand of work involves a more informal approach. We have been organising
events to encourage adults, children and families to get out in and around the Fal to
experience nature and enjoy themselves. Events were planned to coincide with the Fal
Festival in spring and Marine Week in mid-summer. They ranged from wildlife-spotting boat
trips and rockpool scrambles to snorkelling safaris!

To find out more about Sense Of Place and Fal River Links visit their websites: and

Cheryl Marriott
Assistant Conservation Manager

Turtle tales and tragedy
Five of the world’s seven species of marine turtles have been recorded in UK waters. But now
six species, including the leatherback, are ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’.

Many of us are unaware of the wealth of marine life in our oceans. The seas around Cornwall
are home to a huge diversity of marine life, from delicate corals to the gigantic basking sharks
and the largest reptile in the world, the leatherback turtle.

Leatherback turtles visit the shores of Cornwall each summer to feed on jellyfish but face a
variety of threats over their range, including marine litter.

Post mortem examinations of turtles stranded dead on Texas beaches, USA, revealed that
50% had eaten marine litter, including plastic bags, bin liners, plastic sheeting, plastic pellets,
fishing line and hooks, pieces of plastic bottles, aluminium foil, polystyrene, cigarette filters,
glass, beer bottle tops, and balloons. Unfortunately turtles can easily mistake floating bags
and litter for jellyfish and eat them but are then unable to digest the plastic. Ingested plastic
causes a blockage in the gut, leading to starvation and sometimes death.

Almost 60% of litter items recorded on the beach are made of plastic and it doesn’t take a
scientist to work out where all this litter ends up – in the sea. A perhaps surprising source of
plastic in the sea is helium balloons, often released in their thousands during celebrations.

Globally, an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die
every year from entanglement in, or ingestion of plastics. Little is being achieved through
policy and legislation to improve matters and so we must take responsibility for reducing
marine litter ourselves.
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There are many ways we can do this:

       Participate in CWT beach cleans and MCS Beachwatch events.
       Never release balloons into the atmosphere.
       Reduce the amount of plastic you use.
       Recycle plastic bottles.
       Cut plastic rings or strapping before disposal.
       Don’t flush sanitary items and cotton buds down the toilet.
       Don’t leave litter on beaches.
       Keep litter on board: find out from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency what litter
        reception facilities are available at local ports and marinas.

Please report sightings of turtles and jellyfish in the south west to Seaquest Southwest via our
website or call us on (01872)
273939. Stranded turtles should be reported to the Strandings Hotline: 0845 2012626.

Useful websites:

Marine Conservation Society,
UK Grouped Species Action Plan,
Cornwall’s Biodiversity Action Plan,
Maritime and Coastguard Agency,
Sea Turtle,

Joana Doyle, Marine Conservation Officer
with thanks to Peter Richardson, Marine Conservation Society

Protecting our seas

Marine Bill update
Cornwall Wildlife Trust has recently responded to the UK Government’s consultation on new
laws to protect marine life and to improve management of activities at sea – the Marine Bill.

Our Wildlife Trust, together with other conservation bodies, has been campaigning for such a
Bill for several years so we were very pleased to see many of our recommendations
incorporated into the document. There were proposals for designating Marine Protected
Areas, and additional measures to protect threatened species throughout UK waters.
However, there were also areas that were less encouraging. For example, there was little
mention of how fisheries would be managed and the overall approach seems to place
economic interests over environmental protection.

Although Marine Protected Areas and other positive proposals are mentioned in the
consultation, Cornwall Wildlife Trust is concerned that the Government may succumb to
pressure from the marine industries and drop or weaken wildlife conservation measures from
the Bill. We therefore need your help now to secure new laws to protect our seas. This is a
once in a lifetime opportunity to convince the Government to ‘do the right thing’ for our
precious marine life. Every letter and email will count, so please take the time to express your
views. To make it easy for you, a draft letter, supporters’ guide and instructions can
be found on our website.

In the last issue of Wild Cornwall (Summer 2006) we described the Trust’s vision of a
functioning network of Marine Protected Areas, including Highly Protected Marine Reserves.
These reserves will play a vital role in the conservation of threatened wildlife, becoming
marine sanctuaries where habitats and wildlife will be able to recover to their natural state.
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They will also be important for research, helping us to understand how marine ecosystems
work and how human activities affect them.

We want to get the ball rolling in Cornwall and have now teamed up with Cornwall County
Council and the ‘Finding Sanctuary’ project to gather local knowledge to identify and map
significant areas for marine wildlife in Cornish inshore waters.

If you want to help protect Cornwall’s marine wildlife then we need to hear from you! Could
you pinpoint the location of special underwater habitats or species? Are you aware of any
inshore areas that could benefit from protection? Whether you dive, fish or just have a keen
interest in the local marine environment we need your help.

If you would like to get involved with the Identifying Significant Areas in Cornwall’s Inshore
Waters project please contact the Marine Conservation Officers on (01872) 240777.

Ruth Williams
Marine Conservation Officer

More than just timber!
Forestry plantations: barren conifer woodlands with little species diversity? Not so! My survey
work has taken me to several forestry sites recently and I have been pleasantly surprised!

Working plantations are transitional in nature. Forestry operations such as rotational felling
and thinning open up a range of habitats, including scrubby areas with young conifer and
broadleaved trees and cleared areas where past vegetation, including heathland, regenerates
from the seedbank. Mature conifers sometimes allow enough light through for an understorey
of broadleaved saplings, heather and bilberry to form.

Cleared areas provide warm microclimates ideal for basking reptiles and invertebrates. This
June, the Cornwall Invertebrate Group visited Dunmere Woods near Bodmin and found a
range of species including silver washed fritillary, green tiger beetle and an ant-like
hemipteran bug, a possible new record for Cornwall (currently being determined by experts).
It’s not just invertebrates: birds including linnet and song thrush (both Cornwall Biodiversity
Action Plan species) find shelter and food in areas of scrubby regeneration and understorey;
others such as goshawks rely almost solely on conifers. Mammals including red and roe deer,
bats and dormice can also be found in some of the county’s conifer plantations.

Forestry plantations often retain areas of broadleaved ancient woodland and historical
monuments such as hill forts, helping to preserve both our wildlife and archaeological

The Forestry Commission manages almost 3,000 hectares in Cornwall, two-thirds of which is
open to the public. So get down to your nearest plantation and don’t forget your binoculars,
because if you go down to the woods today, you could be in for a big surprise!

Liz Cartwright

A tribute
Stephen Paul Hopkin died in a traffic accident on 19th May 2006. Stella Turk has written this
personal tribute.

When my mother reached 50, my eldest brother sent a telegram with one word: ‘Halfway’.
Although she did not quite reach a century, she did achieve the ripeness of old age.
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Tragically, Steve has died prematurely at the halfway mark; yet he achieved more in his 50
years than most people who live for many more decades.

In the short time since Steve and his wife Ailsa had come to live in Cornwall they had formed
friendships and created new lifestyles. For Steve, this included work at Cornwall College,
even whilst fulfilling some teaching commitments at Reading University. There was scarcely a
naturalist in Cornwall who had not met Steve or who had not heard of his academic research,
his publications and his brilliant photography. His reputation was already well established in
the UK and beyond.

He made a deep impression on me and other members of Cornwall Wildlife Trust. He and I
shared many interests (and a sense of humour) and I much enjoyed our discussions. The last
time we met he brought Ailsa to ‘Shang-ri La’ and I was looking forward to their next joint visit.

We grieve with Ailsa, and one longs to offer some solace. Everyone looks for continuity of
genes and/or ‘memes’. Steve has left genes in his son John and ‘memes’ in his work on
which others will build....

Help us to help wildlife

Where there’s a will, there’s a way
I have never liked to think about what will happen when I’m no longer here – in fact it’s much
easier at 30 years old to think that I will be around for ever, so why do I need to bother making
a will?

It was during Will for Wildlife Week 2006 that I changed my mind. I decided that as I was
encouraging Cornwall Wildlife Trust supporters to take out and update their wills, it was only
right that I did the same myself. It wasn’t until I was sitting with a solicitor that I realised that
even I have the power to make a difference – ‘little me’ could actually help to preserve the
wildlife of Cornwall by leaving a small legacy in my will, after I had made provision for my
friends, family – and cats of course! The solicitor explained to me that I could leave a
pecuniary legacy which would be a specific amount or a residual legacy, where my favourite
charity gets a percentage of what is left after everyone and everything else has been taken
care of. I decided to make a pecuniary legacy to the Trust and would encourage anyone to do
the same – I felt great coming out of the solicitors, like I had really made a difference.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s financial advisors, Worldwide Financial Planning, are offering
readers advice on legacies and recent changes to inheritance tax.

For legacy advice, a fact sheet on inheritance tax planning or if you have a financial query,
you can call Peter McGahan at Worldwide Financial Planning on (01208) 816667 / (01872)
222422 or e-mail Alternatively, you can call me at the Trust for more

Marie Preece
Marketing and Fundraising Manager

Scilly mammal alert!
At the end of May the ‘Celebrating Cornwall’s Mammals – from dormice to dolphins!’ Project
ran a variety of mammal events on the Isles of Scilly to raise awareness of mammals on the
islands and encourage people to record them.

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The Isles of Scilly aren’t particularly renowned for their mammals. The islands play host to
only six out of the 24 terrestrial mammals found on the Cornish mainland. These include
wood mouse, house mouse, the famous ‘Scilly shrew’ (lesser white-toothed shrew, not found
on the mainland), hedgehog, brown rat and rabbit. The only bats recorded to date on the
islands are pipistrelles, but there is a fantastic range of marine mammals including orcas
(killer whales) and fin whales (rare) found around their coasts.

But that is about all we know. We know little about mammal populations and distribution on
the different islands.

The Project, along with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the
Cornwall Bat Group recently ran a variety of successful mammal events (sponsored by
Jutexpo) on St Mary’s and Tresco. The events were well attended and included an evening
talk on ‘Mammals and Islands’, and a bat talk followed by a bat walk on Tresco, when the
largest amount of bats ever recorded at one time were seen. A marine mammal identification
workshop was followed up by a boat trip to the Western Rocks, where a large number of grey
seals (around 140) were recorded. We also recorded a porpoise along the way and a dolphin
in the distance.

If you are visiting the Isles of Scilly in the next year or so, and are lucky enough to come
across any of these mammals or their tracks and signs, please let us know! Send your
records to the address below.

If you need help identifying what you have seen we can provide you with free guides,
available from The Mammals Project Co-ordinator, ERCCIS, Five Acres, Allet, Truro, TR4
9DJ, Tel. (01872) 240777.

Alex Howie
Mammals Project Co-ordinator

Notice board

New publication dates for Wild Cornwall!
Starting in 2007 you will receive your magazines in March, July and November.

In January/February 2007 you will receive a Diary of Events for February to April 2007 and
the winter copy of Natural World. You will then receive your spring copy of Wild Cornwall with
the spring copy of Natural World in March/April. We are making this change so that Wild
Cornwall will be published at the same time as Natural World, rather than two months behind.
All the members who kindly help deliver the magazine will still have three editions per year to
deliver once we have completed the changeover period.

If anyone has any queries, please feel free to contact the office.

AGM and Discovery Day
Join us at Pensilva in East Cornwall on Saturday 4th November.

See the back page of this Wild Cornwall magazine for details and the booking form.

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Mobile phones, printer cartridges and stamps

They all raise money for the Trust, so keep recycling them through us – see for more details.

Thoughts about climate change

Perhaps you heard the recently expressed opinions of the eminent scientist, James
Lovelock… ‘global warming has already gone too far, billions will starve to death before the
end of this century, the few survivors will be living in the Arctic’.

Perhaps you heard the group of scientists who debated Lovelock’s argument. They agreed
his climate change scenario was far too extreme, but they were unanimous that life on this
planet is going to change dramatically in the next 50 years.

Perhaps this is another pre-WWII-type situation where the facts are too unpleasant to face.

Perhaps our politicians will not want to take the lead and will continue to argue in favour of
anything as long as it doesn’t affect our ‘standard of living’.
(Perhaps you think none of this is true.)

Perhaps you think there’s nothing we can do… but if our brief is to care for the wildlife of
Cornwall, a mandate which you support as a member of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, then…

Perhaps we can’t protect the wildlife unless we, individually and collectively, do something
about climate change!

Perhaps you noticed mention of our Green House Group recently in Wild Cornwall.
Perhaps you have already taken action and are making your contribution to saving the planet.

Looks like it’s up to you and me… and I only get 250 words, so perhaps you might ponder the
bits between the lines, and perhaps you would switch the light out when you’ve read this.

Howard Curnow
Chairman, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Impossible Targets
The Stark Reality
(A pessimistic view)

Give up the urge to roam!
Enjoy staying at home!
Stand still and stare!
Never travel by air!
When possible try to bar
Journeying by motor car
And try to refrain
From using the train
And never vote
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For a fast speedboat!

Use foot or pedal or sail
And you won’t entail
Any gas, coal or oil
Whilst enjoying healthy toil.

Cars and planes
Fast boats and trains
Will continue to increase
And we’ll grow more obese
For we’ve invoked a natural curse
- Climate changing for the worse.

It is easy for me to talk as I have a
Predilection to staying at home!
Nevertheless it seems wise to adopt
The wartime motto ‘Is your journey
Really necessary’.

Stella Turk

Nature news
Whether your favourite aspect of Cornwall’s wildlife is rugged scenery or a small creature,
whether it’s on land or at sea, viewed in a churchyard, in a rockpool or through a camera lens,
an amazing array of specialist groups have something to offer you! See the inside front cover
for contact details.

Cornwall Invertebrate Group
The Cornwall Invertebrate Group was set up in 2002 to get all those people who have an
interest or a speciality in recording invertebrates together in the field for enjoyable days out
sharing their knowledge and recording what is seen. From snails and centipedes to butterflies
and worms, all invertebrates are recorded where possible.

The group is a field day based, and at least three trips are organised each year under the
secretariat of the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
(ERCCIS). Places we have visited include Goss Moor, Dunmere Wood and Penhale Sands,
with information and records passed back to the site owners. Where interesting habitats are
found we suggest possible ways in which these could be managed sympathetically for the
species found.

The group is complimentary to existing recording groups such as Butterfly Conservation
Cornwall, Cornwall Moth Group and Cornwall Dragonfly Group, but we try to encourage the
recording of the less showy invertebrates such as earwigs and flatworms, as there is usually
only a limited knowledge as to where these actually occur.

If you would like more information, please contact Sue Scott, ERCCIS, Five Acres, Allet,
Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DJ. Tel. (01872) 240777 ext. 240.

Ian Bennallick


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Cornwall Wildlife Trust has just launched a new project to survey pink sea fans around
Cornwall. This project seeks to protect the pink sea fan population by gathering valuable data
about their distribution around Cornwall, and liaising with key partners to take action to protect
them. The project will run over two years and aims to collect information on pink sea fans at
four locations: St. Agnes, Newquay, the Manacles and between Gorran Haven and Dodman

Pink sea fans are at particular risk from destructive fishing practices. Volunteers in Dorset
have recently been recording thousands of dead sea fans washing up on Chesil Beach,
thought to be the result of intensive scallop dredging in Lyme Bay. Steve Trewhella and
volunteers recorded 1,177 whole pink sea fans during three surveys covering the same 600
yards of beach. This enormous figure does not include broken pieces of sea fans or
associated animals such as bryozoans, which have also been found littered along the beach.
Destructive fishing practices have been allowed to continue unchecked in part due to a lack of
background information on marine habitats. Pink sea fans are one of the few species with
legal protection, which goes to show that protection of marine wildlife is inadequate.
Collecting information on the distribution and condition of these species is the first step to
protecting them.

Training events will be organised for divers and local dive clubs who are interested in
participating. Please contact me for more information on how to get involved: or (01872) 273939.

Joana Doyle
Marine Conservation Officer

Mammal Group
Cornwall Mammal Group (CMG) has been beavering away with events. We’ve held a range
of them, across the county, throughout the year and they’ve all been extremely well attended.
These events include monitoring mink rafts at Red River and a dusk mammal walk behind the
scenes at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. We met mammals at Colliford Lake with specialist
Derek Gow and considered the issues of re-introducing species such as beavers, red
squirrels and water voles. There was a discovery walk in glorious sun over Bodmin Moor and
a more leisurely mammal mosey in the private grounds of the Budock Vean Hotel, followed by
a sumptuous cream tea. Future events to be held include a big mammal quiz night for all the
various mammal groups (bat, badger, dolphin, otter, seal, Seaquest Southwest, etc.) with
prizes including chocolate dolphins and badger beer. We’re also planning to hold identification
workshops, surveying days and opportunities to watch mammals. We aim to hold an event
every month and are trying to scatter these around the county. We issue a magazine twice a
year with juicy articles keeping you up to date about the weird (racoons near Penzance) and
the wonderful mammals (otters) in our countryside, along with the updates on mammal issues
such as badgers and bovine TB. As a group we get discount booking at the venues we use
and CMG members are offered reduced rates. Membership is just £5 a year. If you want to
know more, email our CMG secretary ( or call us at the Trust’s HQ.
Come and join us if you want to know more about our furry fauna.

Kate Stokes

Otter Group
It’s been rather a quiet summer on the otter front. The number of road kills has been low,
which is hopefully good news; less casualties rather than people not reporting them.
However, the number of people calling to let me know they’ve seen an otter has also reduced.
Although these calls make me green with envy, I do want to hear from you if you’ve been
lucky enough to see an otter. It’s important we log these sightings; they are valuable records.
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Spraint collection for the Camel Catchment DNA survey also ceased over the summer. It’s
harder to find spraints at this time of year with the lush vegetation, and people are often
busier in the holiday season. Monthly collections will start again in autumn. If you live near the
River Camel or one of its tributaries and would like to get involved in identifying how many
otters use the system, please do let me know, as there are some gaps that need covering. I’m
also looking for volunteers to adopt base line otter sites. There are some 200 sites in Cornwall
(see the adjacent map). Through these sites we can track the recovery of the otter and
hopefully find out more about them, such as the effects of the seasons. As a minimum, these
sites need to be checked once a year, but ideally four times a year. We have developed a
database that allows us to match post codes to sites and can identify sites near you. Training
will be provided and you’ll be invited to special events and of course the annual otter jolly in
December/January. Many, many thanks to all my current active otter spotters.

Kate Stokes

Living Churchyard Scheme
There is much concern for our environment and interest in wildlife programmes on TV, many
gardens have a token bird box and perhaps a bird table or feeder, yet we are obsessed with
tidiness and shaved grass. It is appalling that even in rural areas, garden waste is collected in
green bags when it should go on a garden compost heap. Community spaces are much the
same, where it is rare to see flowering grasses. No doubt the excuse is health and safety, but
the National Trust and some others manage sensitively.

Things can be different in the churchyard, and this is why the Living Churchyard Scheme is so
important. It is our local community area and it should set examples of environmentally
friendly management. Flowering grasses and some areas left to grow long are essential for
many butterflies and insects to complete their life cycle. Grass heaps, compost areas and
woodpiles provide breeding areas for invertebrates and shelter for small mammals. The whole
miniature world of the insect is fascinating and rather the same as with lichen, it is really only
discovered by the use of a lens to amaze and enthuse you.

Over centuries the church surrounds were the village meeting place; the merry-making fair;
archery practice; momentous news of war, peace and plague; the laughter, love and tears of
life. Now is the time to recognise these areas for their true worth, to make the herb-rich banks
sing, alive with every creature.

Robert Moor

Photographic Group
If you haven’t already been to Allet to see our new exhibition of photography in the Meetings
Room then please have a look; just check that the room is free by phoning reception before
travelling to see it. There are 21 photos this time and there is information giving the name of
the author and subject.

If you visit the exhibition and think there is no way you could ever take photographs as good
as those then you ought to pull your socks up and come out on one of our field trips.

If you have a look and think you could do better, then you had better enter our annual
competition. Entries are invited on the evening of our October indoor meeting (9th October)
and the photos and results will be revealed at the November meeting (13th November). Rules
of engagement are on the photo group section of the Trust’s website.

If you aren’t interested in visiting the exhibition then you probably stopped reading this about
three paragraphs ago… you can’t win them all!
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David Chapman

RIGS Group
Elvan and frits

Not a new dish but some conservation work on Bodmin Moor which helped expose some
interesting rocks – elvans – and improved habitat for pearlbordered fritillaries, a Red Data
Book species. Last autumn, Butterfly Conservation organised a motley crew to clear scrub on
the north bank of the De Lank River, on land owned by Dominic Fairman, who farms
organically at South Penquite, and within the quarry owned by Ennstone Breedon. Ian
Skinner, the manager of De Lank granite quarry, provided some machinery and a driver to
clear a track, and then people from BTCV, Duchy College, English Nature, the Environment
Agency and CWT got to work with hand tools. The south facing slopes above the river are
covered with bracken, with the caterpillars’ food – violets – below. The track – a linear
clearing – is used by patrolling males on the look-out for females, but this had become
somewhat overgrown, hence the very useful help by the quarry. Just off the track are two
elvan quarries – a fine-grained version of granite and part of the De Lank Quarry geological
SSSI: the elvan (‘rhyolite’ in English) was hidden by scrub so the opportunity was taken to
clear the entrance. In May there was a follow up visit, and up to four fritillaries were seen at
any one time. ‘I thought they were supposed to be rare!’ was one comment.

From this small, but successful, beginning has grown a larger project, funded by the Cornwall
AONB, to improve the habitat for several different fritillaries at various sites on Bodmin Moor.
Whether there will be opportunities to make the geology more visible at the same time is, as
yet, unknown!

John Macadam

Seaquest Southwest
The summer of 2006 has been a great time for watching marine wildlife, with bottlenose
dolphins and basking sharks regularly seen all around our coast.

The first basking shark was spotted off Cadgwith on 14th February, possibly looking for some
romance on Valentine’s Day! It’s been lovely to see these majestic creatures in large numbers
again this year, with groups of 35 plus being reported on some days. Sadly, we have also had
many calls reporting harassment of these and other marine animals by boats, jet skis and
other water users. It is illegal to intentionally or recklessly harass or disturb dolphins or
basking sharks and to do so carries the maximum fine of £5,000 and/or six months’
imprisonment. We all want to be able to see these wonderful creatures, but it must be done in
a responsible manner. CWT has helped to produce a Code of Conduct which tells boat
owners how to behave when close to these animals. It can be downloaded from

Seaquest SW records all marine life, including invertebrates. There are some beautiful
‘spineless’ animals in the sea. Some of those recently reported include the blue jellyfish, a
small, pretty jelly often seen washed ashore – but beware of its nasty sting – and the weird-
looking goose barnacles which attach themselves to bits of flotsam and jetsam for a free ride
around the seas. So whether large or small, keep telling us what you see.

Ruth Williams
Marine Conservation Officer
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Fox Club Corner
The Fox Club children have been having nothing but fun, fun, fun, lately. They have taken
part in events such as Mammal Detectives, Bugs and Beasties in Miniature, a Story walk and
a Reptile and Amphibian Hunt. We even learned how to take magnificent photos of wildlife
and scenery. Marine Week included Wildlife in the Park, a Snorkelling Safari to see what lives
under the waves and Beach Art where we made fantastic beach sculptures! If that all sounds
like fun to you, come along and join in with our future events!

Just look at the Events Diary and make sure that you join Fox Club, our young members’
group. For just £5 per year you will receive your own membership card and our exclusive
publication, Pawprint, every term. Inside Pawprint you will find information on a different
wildlife theme each term, quizzes and activities, the latest adventures of Super Fox and his
friends as they help wildlife in distress, as well as letters or drawings by Fox Club members.
There is also the regular Wildlife Explorers’ Club held at our HQ at Allet.

If you don’t want to miss out on all this excitement, just fill in the form below and send it off

See you soon!

Alison Forward
Education Officer

Freddy Fox, c/o Cornwall Wildlife Trust, welcomes your letters, drawings and poems, some of
which are published in Pawprint. Freddy replies to everyone who includes their name and
address. For more Fox Club info call me on (01872) 240777, ext 203.

Kirstie Francis
Fox Club Administrator

Your local group
Volunteer-led groups around Cornwall organise a wide range of interesting wildlife events
throughout the year. If the following reports of summer activities whet your appetite, why not
look in the Diary of Events on the centre pages to find out what’s in store over the autumn and
winter months. Contact details for local groups can also be found on the inside cover of this

Our garden safari in June occurred on a very warm day, perhaps too warm for some garden
lovers, however it was as usual a great success, raising over £400.

In May a small group of members spent a cloudy day walking round the Marsland Reserve.
Sadly it was not a good day for finding the rare pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, for which part
of this reserve is specially managed, but Marsland is always a lovely place to spend time.

An even smaller group found its way round Newquay to visit the beautiful cornfields in West
Pentire, in the company of Hazel Meredith from that area. Some of the fields are not cropped
but managed specifically for once common ‘weeds’. Little gems were hidden below corn
marigolds and bugloss, such as field pansies and the rare Venus’s looking-glass; other great
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finds were rough poppy, small-flowered catchfly and night flowering campion. It was a fine
day and we enjoyed a picnic, cool drink at the pub and a walk overlooking beautiful beaches
and admiring cinnabar moths and their caterpillars and an amazing hummingbird hawk moth,
as well as various butterflies and birds.

But where were all our other members?

Gill Ruddock

It was not the promised sunshine that greeted our group for our Lanhydrock riverside walk in
March. Indeed, the varying merits of brands of waterproofs were discussed as we made our
way along. The weather certainly silenced a pair of jays; though nuthatch, goldfinch and long
tailed tit where seen. Among the usual fungi there was a ‘bracket’ that proved to be
unidentifiable. Hopefully a slide for the members’ evening in February will prove enlightening.
Flowering plants proved to be at a premium; though it was ‘guides out’ for barren strawberry
and Danish scurvy grass. So a soggy morning but an amiable one.

A bit of a butterfly ball for our June meeting at Breney Common reserve. Not only a good
selection of butterflies but two independent meetings, visited on the day. Fritillaries were
amenable to photography, while the damsel and dragonflies proved a little shy. With the
grazing changes we were able to investigate some different ditches and I can report that there
were plenty of biting insects! Rounding off in the car park full of orchids was a suitable way to
end a successful morning.

Dell Netherton

On 4th June Camel branch held a botanical field trip in the Camel estuary dunes at Rock in
north Cornwall. It was well attended despite our leader, Camel branch officer Ian Bennallick,
opting to visit foreign climes. We were well led by Colin French, who dealt with lots of the
more difficult flora ably and also described the whole dune area of Rock and the Camel
Estuary in geological terms.

Members found such flowers as wild clary, little robin, ivy broomrape and beaked hawksbeard
amongst many other duneland favourites. We were also treated to good views of sand
martins at their nest burrows in the raised beach area, carrion crows at the nest and several
different butterflies and moths including the cinnabar moth.

In May bottlenose dolphins were spotted from Stepper Point at the mouth of the Camel
estuary. There were at least eight including one juvenile. A large adult otter was also spotted
at Sladesbridge, which is the first sighting since the death in 2005 of two adults on the A389

A pair of ravens bred on the outskirts of Hawkes Wood reserve this year close alongside a
pair of sparrowhawks. At Walmsley sanctuary there were four pairs of lapwings present
during the breeding season with one bird nesting on an island in front of the tower hide.

Camel Branch committee

The recently re-awakened local branch of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust has had a flurry of
meetings, mostly outdoors:

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We visited Linda and David Baldock, who have been managing their 25 acres of grassland
near Lezant for wildlife, taking late hay cuts and re-instating hedges. They have planted over
1,500 trees along the hedges and 30 apple trees of local varieties in an orchard. The group
was enchanted to find a tiny roe deer fawn curled up in the long grass.

Following an interesting and informative talk and slide show by Alison Jewell about local
wildlife, we visited Marion Hartland at Kelly Bray. Her lovely garden looks out from the slopes
of Kit Hill, and a couple of meadows of semi-improved grassland grazed by sheep are
managed for wildlife.

In mid-June we went to Sylvia’s Meadow in St Ann’s Chapel, renowned for its orchids. There
were large numbers of lesser butterfly and southern marsh orchids, with some heath spotted,
a few greater butterfly and a fair number of spikes showing intermediate characteristics
between marsh and heath spotted which are always a source of discussion!

A week later, the visit was to the butterfly reserve at Greenscombe near Luckett. The heath
fritillary population here has declined greatly and this year there has been a re-introduction
project. We saw six species in all, including several heath fritillaries, and freshly emerged
ringlets and marbled whites.

These meetings not only enable the group to visit local reserves but also to keep in touch,
and have been greatly welcomed by interested people.

Mary Atkinson

A very informative meeting was held in March with CWT staff to discuss planning and the
Trust’s response to local environmental issues. As part of our plan to visit all the local
reserves, Tony Clee led a well attended outdoor meeting to Baker’s Pit in April. As local
warden for many years he was able to give us the benefit of his extensive knowledge about
its history and management. Many thanks to him.

The Levant/Botallack walk as part of the On the Edge celebrations at St Just was also well
attended and much enjoyed – some rash souls did both the morning and afternoon walks.
Our annual Sunset and Nightjars walk started in very heavy mist but we resisted the warmth
of the Gurnard’s Head pub and ventured out onto the headland. At cliff level there was bright
sunshine, calm sea and a pod of passing dolphins. We were watched by a lone peregrine
from a crag while we checked out a profusion of dyer’s greenweed and very large numbers of
emperor moth caterpillars feeding on heather. Later, the fog was still covering the Galvers
and although we heard one or two nightjars we didn’t hang around.

Next day, an extra meeting with Bernard Hocking produced a comprehensive list of moth,
dragonfly and damselfly species. Even butterflies were well represented and the meeting was
very successful.

The group has been involved with Robert Moor in the Living Churchyards management
project at St Uny in Lelant. In consultation with the Council, a complete cut will be made once
a year with the addition of two new, regularly cut paths. The flora will continue to be monitored
to establish the status of the rare solitary bee Andrena hattorfiana and its associated plant the
field scabious. As a result of our involvement, we were invited to guide people around the site
as part of the Hidden Gardens of Lelant weekend. This proved to be very popular and may
well be repeated next year to improve the prospects of both the flora and the bee.

Penwith Committee

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Corporate membership
We have five new Wildlife Guardians in our Corporate Membership scheme, four of which are
in the leisure industry. We would like to extend a warm welcome to:

Camilla House hotel in Penzance, who joined on 24th May, and who pride themselves on
promoting local produce and the message that local is best.

The Venus Company Ltd, who became a corporate member on the 20th May, and run the
beach café and facilities on Tolcarne beach in Newquay. The Venus mission is to be the
greenest beach café! Venus café have also started a visitor payback scheme which will bring
in approximately £1,000 a year to the Trust for education work.

Westland Geoprojects Limited, who joined in June. Ross Compton, the Environmental
Manager says, ‘Corporate membership reflects our commitment to Cornwall and underlines
our professional commitment to carrying out our work in an environmentally sound manner’.

Primrose Valley Hotel of Primrose Valley, St. Ives, who became corporate supporters on 6th
May. This hotel has also started a visitor payback scheme by donating money from jute bags
sold to guests.

Bourne Leisure Ltd, who run the Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth and the Riviere
Sands Holiday Park in Hayle, also became corporate members in May. For the past three
years they have been awarded the British Holidays and Home Parks Association David
Bellamy Gold Award for continuing commitment to conservation and the environment.
The full list of Corporate Members is as follows:

•       Bedruthan Steps Hotel, Mawgan Porth,
        (01637) 860555,
•       Bourne Leisure Ltd, Perranporth,
        (01872) 573551,
•       Budock Vean Hotel, Mawnan Smith, (01326) 252111,
•       Camilla House, Penzance, (01736) 363771,
•       Clowance Estate and Country Club, Praze-an-Beeble, (01209) 831111,
•       Cornish Mutual Assurance Company Ltd, Truro, (01872) 277151,
•       Fowey Marine Adventures, Fowey, (01726) 832703,
•       Imerys, Par, (01726) 818000,
•       Paradise Park Wildlife Centre, Hayle, (01736) 753365,
•       Parkdean Holiday Parks Ltd., Holywell Bay, (01637) 830227,
•       Rosemullion Homes, Truro, (01872) 223600
•       The Lost Gardens of Heligan, St. Austell, (01726) 845100,
•       The National Seal Sanctuary, Gweek, (01326) 221361,
•       Tregothnan Estates, Truro, (01872) 520325,
•       Venus Company Ltd, Newquay, (01637) 876028,
•       Vickery Holman, Truro, (01872) 271033,
•       Watson Marlow, Falmouth, (01326) 370370,
•       Westland Geoprojects Ltd., Bude, (01288) 356090,
•       Weststar Holidays Ltd., Exeter, (01392) 446777.
•       Worldwide Financial Planning Ltd., Truro, (01872) 222422,

Corporate Supporters:

Adventureline Walking Holidays • Carley’s of Cornwall • Cornwall College • Cornwall Paper
Company • DairyLand Farm World • Doble Quality Foods • Duchy College • Environment
Agency • Hawkins Motors • North Cornwall District Council • Primrose Valley Hotel • Quay

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Sailing Club • Richard Lander School • Robinson Reed Layton • Shortlanesend Garage •
Stephens & Scown • Trevarno Estate and Gardens.

Becoming a Wildlife Guardian
Details of our corporate members are also published on our website, where you can find
details of how to apply.

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Christmas cards for sale
We have a new range of Christmas cards this year. All the cards measure 98cm x 130cm,
and come in packs of ten. The greeting inside the cards is Happy Christmas, and each pack
will cost £2.99 plus 40p per pack for postage and packing.

You can also find them in our webshop at or you can
collect them in person from our office at Five Acres, or at Discovery Day in Pensilva in

Card A – Robin in Bird Box
Card B – Gardener’s Gift
Card C – Cheeky Chap

Christmas Card Order Form

Please send me:

packs of Card A = £
packs of Card B = £
packs of Card C = £
+ postage and packing at 40p per pack = £

Total = £

I enclose a cheque made out to Cornwall Wildlife Trust for £



Post code
Daytime telephone number

Please return to Caroline Viner, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Five Acres, Truro, Cornwall TR4 9DJ

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Discovery day 2006
Incorporating Cornwall Wildlife Trust AGM

This year we are holding our AGM and Discovery Day in the east of the county, at the
Pensilva Centre, Pensilva, near Liskeard, on Saturday, November 4th 2006. The programme
is as follows:

10.00–10.30am             AGM
10.45–11.10am                      The Reserves of East Cornwall, with Callum Deveney,
                                   Cornwall Wildlife Trust Reserves Manager
11.10–11.30am                      Churchtown Farm, with Peter Kent, East Cornwall Reserves
                                   Officer, Cornwall Wildlife Trust
11.30am–12.00 noon                 Coffee break
12.00–12.20pm                      Wild Flowers of East Cornwall, with Ian Bennallick of the
                                   Botanical Cornwall Group and Environmental Records
                                   Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS)
12.20–12.40pm                      Mammals in Cornwall, with Kate Stokes of the Cornwall
                                   Mammal Group
12.40–1.00pm                       The Marine Life of South-east Cornwall, with Ruth Williams,
                                   Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Conservation Officer
1.00–2.00pm                        Lunch
2.00–3.30pm                        Monitoring Wildlife Health - The Work of the Wildlife
                                   Veterinary Investigation Centre, with Vic Simpson

There will also be children’s events in both the morning and the afternoon with Fox Club to
enable the whole family to attend.

Places can be booked in advance using the booking form below or through our website. The
booking fee is £5.00 for adults and £1.00 for children and covers all sessions. As usual, lunch
will be available at a cost of £5.50 and must also be booked in advance. The Annual General
Meeting is open to members of Cornwall Wildlife Trust only. The booking fee does not apply
to members attending the AGM only.

Pensilva is 2 miles north of Liskeard on the B3254, or halfway between Liskeard and
Callington on the A390.

Booking form

__ Adult places at £5.00 = £
__ Children’s places at £1.00 = £
__ Lunches at £5.50 = £                 ( vegetarian)

Total = £

I enclose a cheque for £ made out to Cornwall Wildlife Trust


Daytime telephone no

NB Please note no tickets are issued. Please return the booking form no later than Monday 30th
October to Caroline Viner, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Five Acres, Truro, Cornwall TR4 9DJ
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