Welcome to our AFON Advent Calendar! Each day leading up to Christmas you will find a wonderful new post by a different member. This years theme is your favourite nature reserve; where do you go to escape from the world and connect with nature? Enjoy!
There are so many amazing places in Cornwall; it’s hard to know where to begin! The moors, the rugged coastline, and the secretive woodlands are all incredible spots where one can find solace in the simple natural beauty of their surroundings. One of my personal favourite retreats has got to be Southerly Point, despite the fact it’s also a popular and busy site for tourists too. In terms of wildlife, I’d say there’s something for everyone, which also means it’s great as can suit every mood.
Southerly Point is situated on the Lizard peninsular, and also has the awesome claim of being the most southerly point in England. Knowing this fact, and being able to stand at the cliff edges, staring out into the open ocean towards France is an incredible feeling.
Not only is this a really atmospheric place – often windy and incredibly wild and exciting in winter, its also home to some special wildlife, nearly 70 nationally rare or scarce insect species are found on The Lizard. I’ll admit, plant life usually doesn’t really do it for me, but the Lizard is home to unique species, endemic to the area, such as the Cornish Heath (Erica vagans) and Sea Asparagus (Asparagus prostratus), you really have got to have some respect for any of the plant life that manages to survive so well in this harsh environment. And when in the warmer months the coastline is dotted with purple orchids, and pink sea thrift, against the turquoise backdrop, that’s pretty striking.
Another special sighting that draws visitors, including myself to this site, is the tempt of spotting the iconic chough (Pyrrhocorax Pyrrhocorax) our national emblem of Cornwall. Thanks to reintroduction projects, this bird has increased in number and in breeding season can be regularly sighted round here! With its bright red beak and feet, the chough is a sighting to cheer anyone up. Fulmars and gannets, and a resident Kestrel are easy to find around here.
Not forgetting my favourite, the marine life! Grey seals are another common visitor to the waters around here, but also like much of the coastline around Cornwall, if you spend enough time there, you may be lucky to spot cetaceans out in the ocean.
I don’t think it’s just the wildlife that pulls most people in to this area. It’s the impressive panoramas, created by the geology, including the famous green Seprentine rock, and also some of the oldest rocks in Cornwall, that builds this moving landscape.
This ancient ground, echoing with history of nature, makes for a great spot to wander, to walk, to sit and contemplate, and to simply enjoy the view.