Our work at Cape Cornwall
There’s been a serious decline in wildflower meadows in the UK, with approximately 97 per cent of meadows thought to have been lost since the 1930s. At Cape Cornwall, and in other parts of West Cornwall, we’ve introduced recognised sections of land to play our part in reversing this decline. We also care for bluebells to help wildlife.
Cape Cornwall's meadows
In 2016, the West Cornwall countryside team started to manage fields at Cape Cornwall as hay meadows, for the benefit of wildlife.
Year on year the meadow is becoming richer in wild flowers, the ideal habitat for a range of invertebrates such as butterflies and bees. In turn, these support birds and small mammals.
Managing the meadows
Part of the management plan is to leave the fields to grow untouched through the spring and summer, cutting the fields for hay in late August or early September. This way, the flowers and their food source can be around for longer and to enable them to successfully set their seed for future years.
At the time of cutting, we also scatter green hay from nearby fields to introduce the seeds of additional flower species, which increases the overall floral diversity.
Protecting rare bees
The fields were visited by a bee expert in September 2017 and six rare species of solitary bee were recorded: buff-tailed mining bee, black mining bee, Perkin’s mining bee, brown-banded carder bee, black-headed mining bee and the hawksbeard mining bee.
These were joined by the long-horned bee, which has only been recorded at seven other locations in the UK.
Making Cape Cornwall home
All these species live for just five or six weeks and only fly in good weather conditions during the summer, so they have a very limited time to find nearby pollen and nectar to be able to reproduce successfully. Fortunately, it appears that they have found a safe haven at Cape Cornwall.
Helping bluebells to thrive
Great swathes of bluebells along the Tin Coast benefit from winter scrub clearance carried out by the countryside team.
Cutting and clearing areas of scrub such as gorse, bramble and blackthorn opens the ground, making space for the bluebells lying dormant to poke up through the undergrowth.
Bluebells' impact on wildlife
It’s not only us humans that love seeing the bluebells – they’re enjoyed by many insects too. As one of the first plants to flower of the year, bluebells are visited by bees, butterflies, hoverflies and a number of other insects all busy collecting nectar.
From Brisons Rocks to the iconic chimney stack, coastal walks and variety of wildlife, there is lots to see and do at Cape Cornwall. See the waves of the Atlantic crash into the Tin Coast or seasonal wild flowers and meadows. Part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.
We believe that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. That’s why we’re supporting wildlife, protecting historic sites and more. Find out about our work.
Read about our strategy 'For everyone, for ever' here at the National Trust, which will take the organisation through to 2025.