Butterfly Conservation: Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468)

Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP

Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)

VAT No. 565 9070 16

Butterfly Conservation

Saving butterflies, moths and our environment

Cornwall Branch

Welcome to Cornwall Butterfly Conservation’s programme of field trips for 2020; an exciting mix of new sites and old favourites. As before, we have also organised a few trips in partnership with other local conservation organisations. Increasingly, the importance of recording is recognised so we will be encouraging everyone to note what they find on these field trips so that we can continue to build a better picture of Lepidoptera distribution across Cornwall.

Our field trips are fun, friendly and open to all - including accompanied children - whatever level of experience you have and whether or not you’re a member of Cornwall Butterfly Conservation. Please always come prepared for Cornwall’s changeable weather and mixed terrain – waterproofs, good walking shoes or boots, sun tan cream etc. as well as water and lunch/snacks.

Please be aware that we would prefer dogs not to be brought because we are in wildlife sensitive areas.

Postcodes have now been included; however, please bear in mind that they may not be as accurate as grid references in pinpointing meeting places, particularly on the coastal walks where there are no obvious landmarks. The postcode covers a larger than usual area so you may find the following link useful : Grab a grid

Please check here prior to each field trip in case of cancellation due to weather or other complications.

Click here to download a pdf of these events.


Thursday 14th May: DE LANK QUARRY

Near St. Breward 11am

This is a beautiful walk down to the De Lank River where there is the opportunity to see the rare Pearl-bordered Fritillary and other spring butterflies such as the Brimstone.  Much conservation work has been undertaken by volunteers on this site and this will be an opportunity to see the impact of this valuable work. Please bring a packed lunch and tough walking shoes. Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts are also advised. Meet at the small car park (SX099753) PL30 4NQ on the right before the entrance to the Quarry, which should not be entered. Parking is very limited so car share is essential.  Please bring a packed lunch.

Leader and contact: Sue Allen (01872 240246)


Monday 18th May: THE BUTTERFLIES OF PENHALE

Near Cubert 10am

This is a joint Cornwall Wildlife Trust/Cornwall Butterfly Conservation walk. In addition to seeing a variety of spring wild flowers, we should find Brown Argus, Dingy Skipper and the Grizzled Skipper which is now only located on this site in Cornwall. Please meet by the M.O.D. South Gate near Treworthen Farm, Cubert (SW783566). Postcode for Treworthen Farm, TR8 5PZ.  Please bring a packed lunch. Places are limited so booking is essential for this one.

Leader and contact for booking: Cerin Poland (01872 540371 or 07814 790250)


Sunday 31st May: PREDANNACK, THE LIZARD

Near Mullion 11am

This field trip is in partnership with the Natural England (NE) team on the Lizard and we will be looking for newly-emerged Marsh Fritillaries. Meet at the National Trust (NT) car park at Higher Predannack Wollas Farm (SW669162) TR12 7EZ. Please bring a packed lunch.

Leaders: Duncan Lyne and Sarah Board (Lizard NE team). Contact: Dick Goodere (01736 753077)


Thursday 4th June: CHAPEL PORTH

Near St Agnes 12 noon

Join us looking for Green Hairstreak butterflies along this beautiful cliff walk. The terrain can be steep and rough in places, so we advise a walking pole and sturdy footwear, but the views are spectacular. Meet at Wheal Coates NT cliff top car park (not the beach car park) (SW702500) TR5 0NT. Please note that there are parking charge for non-NT members. Please bring a packed lunch.

Leader and contact: Sue Allen (01872 240246)


Sunday 7th June: GREENSCOOMBE WOOD

Near Luckett 12 noon

Come and join us on a field trip to Cornwall’s only site for the nationally rare Heath Fritillary butterfly which is now established here after a successful reintroduction in 2006. This walk has several steep inclines that can be slippery, so we advise a walking pole and sturdy footwear. Local expert on the species, Richard Vulliamy will be leading the trip. Meet in Luckett Village car park, (SX389737) PL17 8NJ. Please bring a packed lunch.

Leader: Richard Vulliamy. Contact: Tristram Besterman (01579 349146)


Tuesday 16th June: CUBERT COMMON

Near Crantock 11am

Cubert Common is one of the few enclosed commons in England. It is a gently undulating area of sandy grassland owned by the NT and designated as an SSSI. We will be looking out for a wide variety of butterflies (including Brown Argus, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver-studded Blue and Small Heath); moths; other invertebrates and also rare plants. Meeting point is the NT Car Park near Polly Joke beach, (SW776599) TR8 5QS. This is a relatively small car park so car sharing is advised. Directions: Drive through Crantock village and shortly after turn left onto the road to Treago farm. Drive through the farm and follow the track and park in the NT car park (note that at Treago Farm there is a gate crossing the track which you will need to open and close).

Please bring a packed lunch.

Leader and contact: Cerin Poland (01872 540371 or 07814 790250)


Saturday 27th June: POLDICE

Near St Day 11am

The landscape in this valley bears witness to the concentrated mining activities that took place in this World Heritage Site. The area, at first, looks to be the last place to search for butterflies, but even in this barren, polluted landscape plants have become established and butterflies have found a niche, including Silver Studded Blue, Small Heath and, later in the season, Grayling. This large site has many ruined mine buildings and uneven/steep tracks which are shared by cyclists, so we advise a walking pole and sturdy footwear. Meet by the lay-by (SW737430) opposite Truro Auction Centre TR16 5PZ, and there is more parking a little further along the road towards Crofthandy on the left (SW737428). Please bring a packed lunch.

Leaders and contacts: Sue Allen (01872 240246) and Roger Hooper (01209 820610)


Thursday 2nd July: UPTON TOWANS  

Near Hayle 11am  

Join us on a walk through this extensive sand dune complex situated between Gwithian and Hayle: a Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) reserve and an SSSI. The main target species will be Dark Green Fritillary and Silver-studded Blue but there will be many other lepidoptera species and other wildlife to see. Meet by the gate, in front of the large chimney at the entrance to the CWT reserve (SW 579396) TR27 5BJ.  Please bring a packed lunch.

Leader and contact: Dick Goodere (01736 753077)


Saturday 4th July: CORNWALL BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION OPEN DAY

Near Looe from 11am

Philip (Chairman of CBC) and Faith Hambly invite you to their farm at Lethytep, with its wonderful wildlife area with walks, lakes and wildflower meadows. Visitors are welcome to explore Lethytep for themselves, following the signposted route. There should be many mid-summer butterflies flying and much more besides! Food, including pasties, are provided, and as this event is also one of our major fundraising days there will be a tombola and a bric-a-brac shed! We ask for a £5 donation to help cover food costs. To get to Lethytep (SX175588) PL13 2PG, turn south off the A390 Liskeard to Lostwithiel road at East Taphouse, taking the B3359 to Looe and Polperro. After 3.3 miles, take the road to right signposted Penadlake: the event will be signposted from here. Park in field next to house (space for 100+ cars).

Leader: Jo Poland. Contact: Philip Hambly (01503 220385)


Sunday 12th July: PENLEE RESERVE AND PENLEE POINT

Near Rame Head 11am

We expect to see Marbled White butterflies, as well as Small Heath and Dark Green Fritillary, on this walk. Spectacular views from this south coast meadow that is buzzing with life! Please bring a packed lunch. Meet in Penlee Battery car park (SX436491) PL10 1LG.

Leaders and contact: Roger Hooper and Tristram Besterman (01579 349146)


Thursday 16th July: CABILLA WOODS

Glyn Valley (3 miles east of Bodmin) 12 noon

Join us for this walk through the CWT reserve described as “one of the largest and possibly finest ancient woodland in Cornwall”. Our target species is the Silver-washed Fritillary with a chance of seeing the aberration f. valezina. There should also be many other butterflies including Comma, Ringlet and Gatekeeper. Please bring a packed lunch. Directions: Proceed along the A38 from the A30 heading towards Liskeard. About a mile past the Bodmin Parkway junction, turn left down Le Ball Hill. Cross over a small bridge and immediately turn right. There are some places for parking (SX129652) PL30 4BE but these are limited, so car sharing is advised.

Leader and contact: Roger Hooper (01209 820610)


Thursday 23rd July: CARNON VALLEY

Near Devoran 11am

Join us for a walk along the Carnon Valley in a landscape still dominated by the mining industry. The area has been visited regularly for our Mining for Butterflies project. This gentle walk uses the Coast to Coast cycle/walking track from Carnon Valley Car Park to Bissoe Cycle Hire (where there are toilets) and back. We hope to see plenty of common butterflies and near the pools along the way, dragonflies, maybe even the Scarce blue-tail damselfly. We will explore CWT Bissoe Valley Nature Reserve and the Arsenic Works where the Silver-studded Blue butterfly has been recorded. Please bring a packed lunch. Directions: From the A39 at the Devoran roundabout take the road heading towards Bissoe. Go straight over the first cross roads, under the viaduct then take the next left and the car park is on your right. (SW783408) TR37LN.

Leader and contact: Sue Allen (01872 240246)


Sunday 26th July: GODOLPHIN WOODS

Near Godolphin 1.30pm

Join us for this interesting walk through Godolphin Woods. There will be a wide variety of lepidoptera but the target species will be the Purple Hairstreak. Please bring a packed lunch Directions: Coming from Leedstown, turn left at Townshend, then at Godolphin Bridge the road swings to the left; some distance along this section there is a parking area on the left where a track runs down to the river. It is possible to park here, but it is better to drive down the short track and park in the larger car park at the bottom (on the right) at (SW600324) TR13 9RE.

Leaders and contact: Perry Smale and Judi Swift (01736 448304 or 07412 262184) and Roger Hooper.


Wednesday 5th August: LUNDY BAY

Near Polzeath 1.30pm

Join us for a beautiful walk along one of our butterfly transects walked by the NT. We hope to see a selection of butterfly species including Silver-washed Fritillary, Brown Argus, Common Blue and Clouded Yellow. Meet in the NT car park. PL27 6QZ (SW952795). Overflow car park available. Please bring a packed lunch.

Leader and contact: Cerin Poland (01872 540371 or 07814 790250)


Tuesday 11th August: GWENNAP HEAD AND PORTHGWARRA

Near Land’s End 10.30am

This beautiful location boasts an abundance of butterflies, including Grayling, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Clouded Yellow, Small Heath and many more. Meet in the Porthgwarra car park (SW370217) where charges apply TR19 6JR (cafe). Please bring a packed lunch.

Leaders and contact: Jerry Dennis (07956 041263) and Jim Cooper (01872 560710)


Sunday 16th August: WINDMILL FARM NATURE RESERVE

Near The Lizard 11am

Windmill Farm was purchased jointly by the Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society and Cornwall Wildlife Trust in 2001. This 85ha (210 acre) farm is home to an array of habitats including wet and dry heaths, hay meadows, wetland, ponds and arable land. The mix of habitats means the site is home to a huge variety of plant, bird and invertebrate species. We will join the volunteer ranger and hope to see late summer butterflies, including the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and the Grayling, and, around the pools, dragonflies and damselflies. There is also the chance of seeing Marsh Fritillary larval webs. Meet at the car park by the windmill which is down a lane off the A3083 (SW693152) TR12 7LH. Please note dogs are not allowed anywhere on this site. Please bring a packed lunch.

Leader and contact: Sue Allen (01872 240246)


Friday 28th August/Saturday 29th August: COMMUNITY MOTH EVENT

Goss Moor venue to be confirmed

This will be over two days during Moth Night 2020, a national event. We will be running this event in partnership with Natural England who provided funding for it as part of their 'Growing Goss' project. On the Friday evening, you will be able to see the moth traps being set up and then, if you return on Saturday morning, you will be able to see what has flown in during the night! This event will be suitable for all ages and we want to show the local community the importance of moths as significant pollinators in the nature reserve.

More details will be released later in the year.

Leader and contact: Jo Poland (07800 548832)

Events programme for 2020

Emergencies in the countryside.....

At some point on a future field trip, an emergency may occur where its down to you to call the emergency services. The following video provides instruction and probably tells you a few things you didn’t know. I would urge anyone to watch the video even if you don’t have a mobile phone as you may need to use someone else’s phone to call for help. http://youtu.be/XPZv_8dABfU

Field Trips for 2020