Posts Tagged 'The Lizard'

The final dash to Land’s End with the 3 Hungry Boys

In the final leg of Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys the chaps set off in Daisy in the direction of the Lizard. This weeks episode was the best yet, some of my favourite parts of Cornwall covered and the with The Lizard being closest to home. I have covered the Lizard in previous posts – just type The Lizard into the search bar at the top.

The boys are given the thumbs up from the people of Tregothnan to visit Asparagus Island, a lump of rock in the Atlantic. The boys wanted to go camping before the end of their trip and Asparagus Island was their destination. About a mile walk from the Kynance Cove National Trust car park the island is approachable on foot when the tide is out! With a short walk along the sandy beach of Kynance Cove the boys climb the steep cliffs to the top of Asparagus Island. After pegging out their tent, the tide had come in and they were now totally stranded in a lump of rock in the sea!

Thom the hunter grabs his spear gun and takes orders for the other two boys supper and head to the water whilst Trevor and Tim grab their fishing rods and head off to the rocks with a more relaxing way to catching supper. After a couple of hours all the boys return with nothing but excuses! No fish supper for you boys tonight! So with limited supplies the boys have some peppery rice for supper. They happened to find some sea beet growing on the rocks which made the rice more appetising giving them some greens for the day. Still, it could be worse, sitting on an island around a roaring fire listening to the sound of the sea as the sun goes down whilst tucking into a bowl of rice is almost heavenly (except the rice bit!)

After a good nights sleep listening to the waves crashing around them the boys get off the island and back to their trusty milk float, Daisy. In need of some protein Hugh gets contacts them and puts them in touch with Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, the 13th Baronet and current owner of the 1000 acre Trelowarren estate who has some pests on his land. The estate is near the mouth of the Helford river which almost cuts the Lizard peninsula off from the mainland. Still, with little clue why they are travelling to Trelowarren the boys meet Sir Ferrers Vyvyan to see what protein he can offer them. Is it rabbit problems, pigeon eating the crops or the beast of Bodmin’s offspring moving in on the Lizard?  After a short introduction Sir Ferrers Vyvyan informs the boys that they have a grey squirrel problem on the Lizard (like most of  the UK) however as the Lizard is almost an island they are trying to eradicate the grey squirrel and bring back the native red squirrel to the area.  As lovely as grey squirrels are they are huge pests to young trees and very aggressive hence the decline and almost extinction of our native reds. Although I have never eaten squirrel myself I have heard it’s a very tasty meat. So armed with a shotgun the lads head out with Sir Ferrers to look for squirrels in the tree tops. With little luck on the squirrel front Sir Ferrers shoots a wood-pigeon to help towards the boys supper. After some foraging on the estate the boys get some sorrel, oyster mushrooms and wild garlic to add to the wood-pigeon. The Trelowarren estate has a restaurant serving local produce and foraged food and is well worth stopping off for lunch or dinner if in the area. To find out more about Trelowarren and to see the sample menus click here.

The boys them have a cook-off with the chefs at Trelowarren who rustle up a rabbit recipe. Trevor rustles up a pigeon breast cooked with sautéed oyster mushrooms, garlic mash and sprinkling of sorrel. To see the meals being cooked it’s probably easier to check out the 4oD website rather than relying on my methodology – have you seen me in the kitchen? Needless to say the Lord of the manor gave full marks to the boys for their efforts of foraging and producing a tasty meal.

Sir Ferrers recommended the boys visit a sea salt producer on the Lizard in Porthkerris. I hate to say it but I’m one step ahead here. Check out my previous post on Cornish Sea Salt Co. by typing something along those lines into the search bar on the top of the blog. Trev’s idea here was for Tom to catch some fish and to bake them in the salt – salt baked fish I think it’s called! Well, whilst the boys are shovelling salt Tom is trying to catch a few fish for supper. By the end of the fishing session Tom had reeled in six pollock off the cliffs at Porthkerris to fill their bellies that evening.

With the final push to the end of this wonderful island we call Great Britain the boys jump in Daisy and with a 30 mile journey the boys arrive at Sennen. They meet up with the Sennen lobster hatchery for a days work at sea releasing baby 1” long lobsters into the sea in the hope they will survive and make it to adult lobsters. Unfortunately with a 1 in 15,000 chance of survival their time in the ocean is often short-lived as many are snapped up by predators.

As the boys are releasing 1000’s of babies they are also checking lobster pots and harvesting some good sizes specimens or lobsters and crabs for their last cook up of the trip. The final tweet was from Polgoon vineyard back up the A30 where they make their own wine and cider who offered the boys some work harvesting discovery apples to earn some cider for their last supper. Polgoon vineyard has won several awards for their produce and supply some top establishments such as Fortnum and Mason, Rick Steins Deli, River Cottage Canteen and Deli and John Lewis to name a few. To find out more about Polgoon vineyard  or to buy some of their produce check out their website here.

Final stop boys – Lands End! The boys pull up on the cliff tops at Sennen and see the Longships lighthouse of Land’s End in the distance.  Trevor gets to work on the shellfish they have been given making this one of the tastiest banquets one could dream of, all washed down with a drop of Polgoon Cornish black cider. After their fish platter they are back in Daisy and heading full speed for Land’s End. For those of you that don’t know much about Land’s End there is a modern leisure complex (a good day out for young families im sure) there and not just a romantic old weatherbeaten sign post saying New York 3147 miles thataway!  Beyond the leisure complex built by Peter De Savary some time ago when I was in my youth there is a sign post and a telescope – but I doubt you can see New York even on a clear day!

So the series is over – its been great so if you were not fortunate to watch it first time around, pick it up together with Hugh’s other great programs here on 4oD.

Now what time is Caroline Quentin on tonight…

The Lizard Point, Cornwall

Lizard Point at the end of the Lizard Peninsula is Britain’s most southerly point at 49°57′ N for those sailors out there. It is approximately 10 miles from the nearest town of Helston and is well worth a visit, just to say you have stood on the most southerly point of mainland Britain. The scenery is spectacular all year around but especially in Autumn as many of the plants growing in the cliffs die back and the different colours look stunning.

So last Sunday my parents, Becky and I headed off to the Lizard. I’ve also loved visiting the Lizard and its various villages (which I will touch on in later posts) all my life so we had to pay it a visit on our whistle-stop tour of South and West Cornwall. The land mass of the Lizard is approx 14 miles square and is mainly made up of serpentine rock, a very attractive rock used for decorative purposes such as columns in stately homes, museums,  as well as many smaller items some of which you can buy as souvenirs from the shops in the Lizard village.

The coast surrounding The Lizard is very hazardous to ships and many a ship has met its grave end in these waters. The area is known as the ‘graveyard of ships!’

We parked up in the National Trust car park and walked the short walk down to the Point. You can take your chance and try to drive to the car park on the point where you can sit in your car and admire the view!  However, this small car park does get incredibly busy, is accessed by a narrow road and you will often meet cars coming the other way. My advise for Sunday afternoons and high season is park in the NT car park.  There are two ways down, one with steps which is slightly quicker or if you prefer a more leisurely gradient take the longer route, it must take all of 2 minutes more!

Once you get to the point, you will see a gift shop, a cafe and a NT hut, all worthy of a look. The cafe in particular is a lovely place to stop and soak up the view, with its small terrace outside you can enjoy some lunch or just an ice cream, these lucky people in the picture bottom right kindly demonstrated sitting on the terrace and soaking up some rays.

The picture bottom left shows the old lifeboat station built in 1914 with the original one being built on the site in 1859. In 1959 a new lifeboat station was built in Kilcobben Cove and now houses the new Tamar class lifeboat. To find out more about the  Lizard RNLI and the amazing work these people do click here.

The largest rescue was in 1907 when a 12,000 tonne liner, the SS Suevic hit a reef near the Lizard Point. 456 passengers including 70 babies were saved over a 16 hour period as RNLI crew from the Lizard and surrounding villages rowed out repeatedly to save every soul onboard.

SS Suevig 1907 The Lizard

The Lizard is a haven for flora and fauna, from rare coastal plants that thrive on the south facing cliffs to various seabirds. Also you may be lucky to spot basking sharks off the point in the summer!

And finally, I have often heard rumours of sightings of the Cornish Chough over the Lizard Point. This was something I really wanted to see but didn’t want to build my hopes up. On walking down my Dad got chatting to a gent he had known from years ago, he and his wife both had binoculars around their necks and looked like keen bird watching enthusiasts. We stood on the west side of the point (by the cafe)  looking at the cliffs in the hope of seeing a Chough. With plenty of Jackdaws flying about how would I distinguish a Chough from a Jackdaw? Then, with his binoculars raised to his eyes this keen birder shouted ‘there’s one’, with the distinctive loud ringing call, its fanned wing tips and its more acrobatic maneuvers than the Jackdaw how I was to confuse the two? O, and its bright red beak and feet where a bit of a giveaway too!

The Last Chough vanished from our cliffs in 1971.  30 years later the Chough naturally returned to Cornwall and now with the help of the RSPB and its volunteers who protect the nests from egg collectors The Cornish Chough is back and breeding in Cornwall!  To find out more about the Cornish Chough Project click here.

Walkers on cliff tops at The Lizard Point, one spots the Choughs!

Cornish Chough, The Lizard

So if you are in Cornwall today, kicking your heals wondering what to you, why not head down to the Lizard? You will be well chuffed to see a Cornish Chough. (I had to get that one in there somewhere!)


A little bit of colour to brighten up your day

With this lovely above average weather we are having we don’t really need cheering up, Blue skies in Oxfordshire, and blue skies in Cornwall I hear!

Last Sunday we went to one of my favourite places, the Lizard Point. Here are a couple of images I took I liked for their colour. The contract of the yellow Charlock against the vivid blue sky and the remains of the Cow Parsley which flowers much earlier in the year.

Keep and eye on the blog tomorrow for what we saw last Sunday whilst at The Lizard.