Summer is a busy time at Trelissick – everything is growing vigorously, with the hedgerows and footpaths in constant need of attention to keep our visitors from being ensnared by encroaching brambles and branches. We have a strong policy in the countryside of cutting quite late to allow the wild flowers enough time to seed. This means we do not deplete the seed bank or prioritise tidiness over sustaining the beautiful and important abundance of wild flowers and plants that are so essential to support the diversity of British wildlife. It also means we have our hands full come July….
The beginning of the month saw the long-awaited re-surfacing of the ferry landing, where the Enterprise Boats offer visitors the chance to enter the estate from the river. It now boasts a much-improved, new tarmac surface, just in time for the summer holidays.
The ranger team have constructed a new gateway onto the beach using granite from a local quarry as part of the long-term repair of the sea wall after the severe winter of two years ago. The gap in the wall in front of the boat-shelter has long been used to access the beach and so we thought it was time to make it official, safer and more aesthetically pleasing.
On the wildlife front, there have been many Hornets [Vespa crabro] spotted all over the estate so far this summer. These magnificent members of the wasp family are undeserving of their ferocious reputation and are actually very docile unless strongly provoked. Keep an eye out and enjoy them whilst they are about!
Talking of Hornets – down on the boat-shelter at the bottom of the park we spotted a close lookalike – the Hornet Longhorn Beetle. This is a nationally scarce species, primarily found in the Southern counties of Britain, with a sizeable proportion of our national population found in Cornwall. The larvae of these striking beetles develop in the dead or decaying wood of broadleaved trees, especially Oak, although it is also associated with Ash, Beech, Birch, Horse Chestnut, Willow and Walnut. Adult beetles emerge in June/July and can be seen, frequently flying, until August or September. Trelissick boasts a known population of these beetles and other fascinating invertebrates owing largely to our policy of leaving as much dead wood as possible in situation rather than removing it from the site.
A pod of Common Dolphins were seen in the river off Trelissick in mid-July, near King Harry Reach. Unfortunately these amazing animals were later stranded further out towards Falmouth, at Mylor. The Dolphins were successfully re-floated and all but one was saved by a fantastic team consisting of members of the public and BDMLR [British Divers Marine Life Rescue]. The Marine Strandings Network are appealing for any witnesses, information, photos or videos so please send in any info to: email@example.com
– The National Trust ranger team, Trelissick and North Helford