Monday, 6th April 2015 (Day 1, week 14)
Aiming for 1000 miles in one year
Total so far: 276.2 miles (4.7 miles this week)
Well – what a lovely day it is today. We went for a walk around the Trelissick Estate taking in the Fal Estuary and Lamouth Creek along with about 3 million dog walkers!!
Trelissick Estate including Lamouth Creek and Round Quay (4.7 miles)
We were early setting off today but even so Trelissick is busy with dogs clamouring to shepherd their owners down over the hill to the river. We wend our way between them, seemingly the only people without a canine companion, and turn left at the foot of the hill to follow the river inland.
The sun is warm already and we’re probably overdressed, unused to venturing out without walking boots and gaiters at the very least. The woods are full of the last daffodils, reminding us that we saw the first daffodil of the year here, back in January. Primroses too, line the wooded banks of the river.
We see a squirrel perched serenely in a tree, unconcerned about us, and watch blackbirds scuffling in the undergrowth.
A little way along the river, past the oyster beds, we see two sailing boats, their sails hoisted, drifting downriver. There’s no wind, and their progress is slow, which suits us as they are a beautiful sight to see.
They are Falmouth Working Boats, used for oyster dredging since the 19th century. They are now thought to be the last fleet of fishing boats anywhere in the world which operate only under sail, as they are not allowed to dredge for oysters using power. They’re also restricted as to when they are allowed to dredge, and most of the remaining working boats are now used for racing. A passing fellow with two very bouncy retrievers, stops to chat, telling us that they were once used to carry tin from local Round Quay over to Wales.
We carry on past the King Harry Ferry clanking its way backwards and forwards across the water and cross the road to climb uphill through the woods. We’re now skirting Lamouth Creek, the tide is low and the water calm but there are still few birds about. We see shelduck and some egrets but probably the sheer number of dogs has frightened anything else into hiding.
Crossing the little wooden bridge we turn right and walk past the iron age fort, now subsumed by the woods and on towards Round Quay, said to have been built especially to welcome Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to Cornwall. Unfortunately they didn’t show up!
After a brief wander here, we head back, turning right up the steep spiralling path and across the road to the fields of Trelissick, still full of daffodils. As we jostle our way through the dog walkers looking for a cup of tea, we bump into our friend, Mr O, and stop for a chat (don’t forget to click that ‘follow’ button, Mr O!!).
Bird of the day:
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta – what a great Latin name!)
You can just see one in this picture!
It is a type of heron, but much smaller than the grey heron. Feeds on its own but breeds in colonies (called heronries – remember?)
We also saw:
blackbirds, blue tits, shelduck, and in the cafe garden, chaffinch, where they loiter hoping for crumbs.
Flower of the day:
Green alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens)
Commonly found in woods and hedgerows in Devon and Cornwall, similar looking to borage, although this plant has no known culinary or medicinal use. It was used by Egyptian women to make red dye (henna) for use on hair and nails.
We also saw:
primroses, daffodils and wild strawberry.
Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Mr RR: