Cornwall is famous for its stunning landscapes, beautiful coast and idyllic countryside. And, when buying homes in Cornwall, many of us consider access to that environment a priority; we want to enjoy the diverse wildlife that thrives in the unique subtropical microclimate that blesses our region.
We’re very fortunate that many of these wonderful natural spaces are maintained and looked after by The Cornwall Wildlife Trust, a nationwide grassroots movement investing in our county’s nature-filled spaces.
Here are just a handful of the wonderful nature reserves looked after by the Trust within a hop, skip and a jump of some of Cornwall’s most popular locations to buy property. All the more reason to take pride in the beautiful land we call home!
Half a mile from Padstow is the delightful old oak woodland, Hawkes Wood.
The oak coppice found here is characteristic of many Cornish woods. With two streams and a quarry, it’s an exceptional area for woodland birds, including the nuthatch. Tawny owls can also be seen here, as well as pipistrelle.
The wood provides a quiet, nature-filled retreat from the exciting hustle and bustle of the charming working fishing port of Padstow.
Read our location guide to Padstow.
Four and a half miles from Fowey is Prideauxd Wood, an ancient woodland surrounded by historic mining operations: a sign of Cornish heritage.
Some of the site of this wood dates right back to the Tudor period. In the 1960’s a commercial conifer forestry plantation was founded, but the trees are now well established and home to many diverse species.
The best time to visit these woods is from April to July, though they can be enjoyed in any season. The wood provides a delightful contrast to the coastal vibes of Fowey, famous for its sailing and fishing, and revered by novelist Daphne du Maurier.
Read our location guide to Fowey.
Mousehole and Penzance
Just South of Mousehole and Penzance is Kemeyel Crease; a conifer plantation sloping down to the sea, creating a small, sheltered woodland in a windswept area. The site is split in two by the South West Coast Path which meanders along the cliffside, affording visitors a splendid view across the famous St. Michael’s Mount.
Penzance is right at the end of the train line to London and is a fantastic base in West Cornwall. These sheltered woods complement the wild rugged landscapes and long stretches of golden sand you’ll also find in the area.
Read our location guide to Penzance.
Truro and Falmouth
As you drive the busy road between Falmouth and Truro, you could easily miss this patch of ancient woodland. Devichoys Wood dates from at least the 1650s, or possibly earlier.
Rich in history, Devichoys contains many sessile oaks which show evidence of coppicing, a traditional woodland management technique. Over many decades, this has shaped the woodland you can walk through today.
These tranquil woods are the perfect place to stop and explore as you make your way from the buzzing mini-metropolis of Truro to the sailing hub of Falmouth.
Located on the rugged and spectacular North Cornish coast, Tintagel is an interesting and vibrant place to live, with a unique story which interweaves history and myth and involves the ancient kings of Cornwall.
Just one and a half miles outside the town is the Trebarwith nature reserve. This area was first used as agricultural land in the post-medieval period. It’s likely that the path which runs through the reserve dates from this time, perhaps as a churchway linking farmsteads to the parish church.
There are public footpaths across the reserve, however they can be difficult and muddy at times – check the weather and maybe bring your wellies!
Read our location guide to Tintagel.
If you enjoyed reading this journal entry about the best wildlife sites to visit in Cornwall, try discovering the ultimate forest walks on your doorstep next!