Thursday, 23rd April 2015 (Day 4, week 16)
Aiming to walk 1000 miles in a year
Total so far: 310.4 (5 miles this week)
Another walk from the very useful iwalkCornwall website today (www.iwalkCornwall.co.uk) starting from the strangely named Hell’s Mouth where, fortunately there is a very nice cafe serving yummy lemon cake!
But first – seals, caterpillars, flowers and birds everywhere!
Hell’s Mouth Circular via Godrevy Point and Gwealavellan (5 miles)
Our path crosses heathland, carpeted with gorse, shimmering yellow as far as the eye can see to the left, with the bright blue of the sea to the right. The birds are singing all around us and the sun is shining. I’m in heaven. What more could you want at the start of a walk on a breezy Spring day? Except for less wind of course! The first part of the walk follows the coast path from Hell’s Mouth through the National Trust land at Godrevy.
The cliffs just here are one of the highest points in the area at just under 300 feet and the heathland is some of the best in Cornwall for wildlife providing a habitat for many birds and butterflies.
Birds are all around us, circling and feeding and calling to each other. We very soon spot cormorants lined up along a rocky outcrop and kittiwakes nesting on cliff ledges. A whole bookful of collective nouns spring into my head as we see a ‘parcel of linnet’, a ‘kettle of swallows’ and a ‘shaft of wheatear’ (very exciting, never seen these before). We spot meadow pipits and skylarks as well – it’s an ‘exultation’ of skylarks, but as we only see one at a time it’s probably cheating a bit to say that!
I don’t think we’ve ever seen so many birds on one walk – and its frustrating not being able to catch them on camera.
In the distance is Godrevy lighthouse, bright white in the sunlight and as we go down over the hill we can see surfers riding the waves at Hayle Towans and St Ives across the bay looking serenely beautiful .
We peer down over the cliff top near Navax Point to see the seals, basking on the little beach and being buffeted by the incoming tides or ducking and diving in the sea.
and you have to be very quiet in case you disturb them:
so we were!
Sea Pinks are in flower now:
and we see common scurvy grass, bluebells, violets, celandines, buttercups and daisies. I think we should also mention the familiar dandelion – it misses out because we see it everywhere, but it is actually quite beautiful:
Flowering early this year, the kidney vetch has an unusual flower head with a fluffy middle. Apparently these are woolly calyces.
We carefully avoid stepping on a couple of caterpillars – though I haven’t been able to find out which butterflies they are destined to become. This one was sunbathing nonchalantly on the path:
But this little fellow was scurrying along as fast as his many legs could carry him!
We leave the National Trust site behind and walk along roadways now, first turning left and right to head inland towards Gwealvellan where we find the medieval cross which was found to be being used as a gatepost and resorted by Cambourne Old Cornwall Society. This cross is one of thirteen marking the route from Gwithian to Cambourne Church.
Just after this we need to follow a footpath sign across a field. My heart sinks as I catch sight of a herd of Jersey cows and their calves in the very field we have to walk through. Still, our instructions today come with advice about facing the cows, don’t threaten the calves, don’t run if they come near (you are kidding me!) and stretch out your arms so you look bigger (pardon me, but I don’t really need to look any bigger!).
Anyway – it’s all good advice, and I’m calm today as we unhook the gate, despite there being a doe eyed calf and her mummy just inside. And I’m ok! The very nice farmer has run an electric fence all along the pathway – whew! The cows are people friendly too – as soon as they see we mean to come into their field, the adults butt the calves up the behinds to make them run away and they all go lolloping off across the field looking back every now and then to make sure we’re moving past – which we are, as quick as our little legs will carry us!
Aah, they are lovely……from behind an electric fence!
From here it’s a short tramp across fields and through some woodland to the cafe!
Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Mr RR: