Valency Valley

Valency Valley at Boscastle

In contrast to the bustle of Boscastle harbour the Valency Valley is a secluded, peaceful retreat. It's home to an abundance of wildlife and one of the few wooded areas in North Cornwall. The Valency river meanders through the valley, flanked by woods and meadows.

Wildlife to look out for

Listen out for the sounds of birds in the woodland including jays, woodpeckers and chaffinches. Herons are sometimes down by the river - you may hear them suddenly flapping in an attempt to take off as you approach. You may also see dippers flitting from rock to rock.
 
At dusk and dawn bats can be seen flitting up and down the valley, hunting for small insects over the river and meadows.
 

The woodland

One of the best views of the woodland is from the path between the footbridge in Peter’s Wood and Minster church. This is an area of mature oak coppice, rich in lichens and mosses. It used to be heavily coppiced, a form of woodland management rarely practised now.
 
At intervals of between 10 and 20 years, the trees were cut back to within 1ft of the ground, and the material sold for a variety of purposes: pit props, fencing, firewood, charcoal, hurdles and bark for tanning. 
 

Wildflower meadows

Alongside the river lie meadows that come alive in summer with wildflowers, such as Ox-eye daisies which in turn attract a variety of butterflies including tortoiseshells and red admirals.