Wild about Godrevy

Pyramidal orchid at Godrevy

Godrevy is a special place for wildlife, containing important habitats such as sand dunes, heathland, intertidal coast, maritime cliff and slope, farmland and scrub. This combination of varied habitats makes it a crucial place for lots of wildlife. Species that are in decline across the country such as linnets, choughs, skylarks and solitary bees exist here.

When you visit Godrevy you may notice that we’ve roped off some areas to give nature a bit of a helping hand. This will allow these spaces to breathe more freely, but still be a place we can look at, wander through and generally slow down so that we notice what’s under our noses and before our eyes.

Wider and more accessible paths have been created allowing you to explore the headland, stopping off here and there, with so many breath-taking views to soak up.

Accessible path at Godrevy
Accessible path at Godrevy
Accessible path at Godrevy

Under your feet are years of history and much of this area is designated a scheduled ancient monument. Archaeologists have discovered that the headland has been farmed way back in history. Indeed, the name Godrevy is derived from the Cornish word meaning small farm. 

Today we are working with our partners to improve the structure and biodiversity across the entire site, for the benefit of nature, people and the environment. The farmland is worked less intensively, allowing space for wildlife to flourish alongside crop production. 

Aerial view of Godrevy fields
Aerial view of Godrevy fields with Phacelia in flower
Aerial view of Godrevy fields

In the springtime barley is sown in the fields and once it has grown, ripened and harvested the ground is left with the stubble. The spilled seed and wildflowers growing within these fields will provide a vital source of food and shelter for many animals over the winter months. The perimeter margins of the remaining broccoli fields are sown with a seed mix especially for birds. The hay meadows, once cut, are grazed by South Devon cattle and other meadow areas are left uncut to provide refuge for reptiles and small mammals. Grazing the fields reduces the vigour of the grass, creating a shorter sward height and allowing some bare ground to give space for more wildflowers to grow in summer. The presence of grazing animals will improve the diversity of invertebrates across the site which in turn will support a more diverse and rich fauna.

Wild flowers at Godrevy
Wild flowers at Godrevy
Wild flowers at Godrevy

When there were fewer visitors to the site in 2020 we saw how the plants and wildlife had breathing space and an opportunity to thrive. Keeping to the footpaths and having dogs on leads helps give nature its space too.  

Godrevy is a very important site for grey seals and we are very lucky to have them here in such good numbers. As you peer down at them from the viewing area it may seem like they’re a long way off and they may look pretty chilled out, but we ask everyone to be respectful and quiet so as not to disturb them as they haul out for rest and digestion of food on their journey around the coastline. 

Whatever catches your eye today, on the land, in the sea, or in the sky we’d love to see your pictures of this beautiful wild space. Please share them with us by using the hashtag #NTGodrevyWild and help us take care of Godrevy.

Godrevy Small White butterfly
Godrevy Small White butterfly in old barn window
Godrevy Small White butterfly