Make a Mess!

Make  piles of sticks and logs. Leave them to rot down for bugs  to live in.

Try leaving a band of grass uncut along hedges and walls. This helps to form "wildlife corridors" which provide protection and safety.

Build a mini pond

Click on the link below to see a step by step guide to building a mini pond. It's fun and simple: a great holiday project for the kids...and adults!

https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/family-wild-challenge/activities/make-a-mini-pond/

Don't cut down your ivy flowers ...yet!

Why the gardeners' foe is the bees' best friend

Ivy, often maligned as a garden pest, is vital to honey bees and other pollinators seeking food in autumn, research carried out in 2013 at the University of Sussex revealed.
The researchers surveyed ivy flowers from rural and urban locations in September and October to count the honey bees and other insects foraging for nectar and pollen. They also identified the pollen brought back to hives by honey bee workers to determine the proportion from ivy and then surveyed ivy to determine how widespread it is. In addition, the researchers measured the sugar concentration in nectar collected from ivy flowers by honey bee workers, and determined what proportion of honey bee foragers on ivy were collecting nectar versus pollen.

The main findings were:

  • · On average 89 per cent of pollen pellets brought by worker bees to hives were from ivy. There was no difference between hives located in an urban (Brighton) versus a rural area (University of Sussex).
  • · 80 per cent of honey bees foraging on ivy were collecting nectar not pollen.
  • · Ivy nectar was high quality, with a lot of sugar (49 per cent).
  • · Ivy flowers are visited by a wide range of insects, such as late-season butterflies, hover flies, other types of flies, wasps, bumble bees, and the ivy bee (a bee that specialises on ivy). Insects were attracted to ivy flowers in large numbers in both urban and rural areas
  • · Ivy is common and available to insects in both town and countryside.

The researchers said “In September and October ivy is the main game in town if you want nectar or pollen. On a sunny day you will be amazed at how many insects there are on it. Our research shows that ivy is hugely important to honey bees and other flower-visiting insects, such as late-season butterflies and hover flies, in the autumn. In fact, if ivy did not exist we would probably try to invent it. Ivy should perhaps be considered a “keystone species” for flower-visiting insects in the autumn and therefore has a very important role in the ecosystem.”

Here are some further ivy facts:
Many people are unaware that ivy even has flowers, as the flowers are not colourful, and regard it as a parasite of trees and try to kill it. However, it is not a parasite.

  • · Ivy also helps other species as well as bees. The berries are food for birds and thick masses of mature ivy that grows on walls and trees can provide nest sites for birds.
  • · The caterpillar of one of our British butterflies, the Holly Blue, feeds on ivy, as do the caterpillars of several moths.
  • · Ivy flowers are only made on mature ivy, which has oval leaves and not the well-known hand-shaped leaves made by immature ivy.
  • · Ivy only flowers after it has climbed onto a tree, cliff, wall or other structure.

Ivy flower nectar is accessible for insects with both long tongues (bees, butterflies) and short tongues (flies, wasps, some bees).

Tell us what you see!

Wildlife recording has never been easier: the ORKS App

Cornwall Wildlife Trust has just launched a mobile app to make recording all wildlife so much quicker and easier. This new ORKS App allows you to record wildlife sightings while out and about, even if you don’t have wifi or a mobile data signal. It prompts you for the essential information needed, uses your phone's GPS to note the location, allows you to add photos using your phone’s camera, and  then upload to the ORKS website when you are ready. It also guides you through set up when you install it. The ORKS App is available for free download on iPhone and Android. 

Other ways to send in information about what you have seen.

If apps are not your thing, then you have two other alternatives:
1. Print out an ORKS form by clicking on the link below. Fill in the details and send it off in the post.
https://1drv.ms/w/s!AjbgZK9VDA8ageQA1kw_ADkXFRCQHQ 

2.  Go to www.orks.org.uk and submit your records. You can do this without having an account by going to ‘add records’ in the menu bar. If you set up an account then you still add records but it gives you more options including exploring your records, and downloading information

Go down on the beach.

Each month the National Trust do a beach clean.  Soak in fantastic views and fresh air whilst helping to keep these beautiful beachs clean.  Why not go down and help out.  All you need to bring is your enthusiasm as gloves, bags and litterpickers are provided.

First Monday of the month - Porthcurnick 10 to 11 am or Pendower 2 to 3 pm

First Saturday of the month - Hemmick 10 to 11 am

Blooming Marvellous

Why not plant a wildflower meadow or a small area of your garden with wildflowers.  With the decline of many insects in this country, any help we can provide will help them.  Some of you may not be keen to plant what most people categorise as weeds but weeds are only plants in the wrong place.  Have a look at some of the companies that are selling wildflower seeds and you will find that a lot of the plants are very pretty.

If you don’t want to plant a wildflower area for the bees and butterflies, then why not help with one of our projects.  We currently have two sites, a small lay-by area at Ruan Lanihorne and a larger area at Gwarak Gwel an Mor, Gerrans but we will shortly  be planting a third  large area at Veryan.  We are always looking for volunteers to help with the sowing and planting.  If you would like to help, then please contact Simon Perry who is leading the Pollinator Project at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.