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The summer is right on our doorstep, and with such beautiful weather heading our way, there is no better time to get outdoors and explore the local nature. When you are booked into one of the top boutique hotels in Cornwall, The Cormorant, this summer, we highly recommend visiting one of Cornwall's 57 nature reserves, strolling around and seeking out some wildlife.

wildlife to see at nature reserves in Cornwall

There are several reserved in close driving range to our hotel, take a look below at which ones are nearby:

Prideaux Wood, St Austell

The best time to visit Prideaux Wood is April to July. The best time of day to visit is in the evening when the woods come alive with wildlife. The ancient woodland makes up a quarter of the reserve, surrounded by mining operations, a sign of Cornwall's history. Some of it dates back to the Tudor period. There is a mixture of conifer and native broadleaf trees, creating the ideal home to many different species of bird.

Tywardreath Marsh, St Austell

This reserve is not far from Par and is much smaller than Prideaux Woods at just one hectare. There is a public footpath which runs around the footpath, but be aware the terrain can get difficult at times. The reserve covers the silted-up arm of a once tidal river and now supports marsh and woodland. There are many willow trees here, along with invertebrates, as the marsh provides the perfect habitat.

Helman Tor, Lostwithiel

The best times for visiting Helman Tor is from April all the way to September. The reserve covers a total of 217 hectares and the wetland complex, on the slopes of Helman Tor are characterised by the tin streaming, which creates hummocks and hollows. These determine the wet and dry land, and there are also large areas of wet woodland and open water. The carnivorous sundew plant can be found in wet areas, and these produce white flowers from June to August.

Redlake Cottage Meadows, Lostwithiel

Visit the 13 hectares of Redlake Cottage Meadows anytime between April and August to enjoy the best of what it has to offer. The meadow is one of the most vulnerable and declining habitats in the UK, and this reserve is made up of unimproved damp meadowland with wet heath. It is also one of just ten sites in England where you can find the rare heath lobelia. There is an abundance of insect life here, with over 80 species of butterflies and moth recorded.

wildlife to see at nature reserves in Cornwall

Cabilla & Redrice Woods, Bodmin

One of the largest and finest ancient woodlands in Cornwall, this reserve that covers 77 hectares, should be visited throughout the year. The reserve boasts and extensive area of mixed woodland, from oak trees to hazel. There are also the river and wetland belts to walk along. The reserve is a suitable for the tiny dormouse, and the pied flycatcher is a frequent visitor, feasting on the many native insects.

Looe Island, Looe

You have to catch a boat ride to the island, but it is worth it when you step onto the island. The marine nature reserve, which covers nine hectares, is teeming with wildlife. It is a quiet haven for various wildlife such as birds, animals and sea creatures. There is a diverse habitat on the island too, such as woodland, grassland, sand, shingle and rocky reef.

Ropehaven Cliffs

A reserve that stretches from the high tide line to the coastal path, Ropehaven Cliffs has a range of habitats within its 20 hectares, including coastal woodland. Bird species include the fulmar, who lay their eggs on the rocky cliff ledges. House martins can also be seen, feeding high above the cliffs. The cliffs are also of geological interest, as there are old slate workings and bands of limestone rock, which is uncommon in Cornwall.

Tresayes, St Austell

The best time to visit this reserve, that has several geological features, is from May to August. The reserve is an old quarry, which is now filled with willow scrub and has a stream following through it. The main interest are the pegmatites, which have been formed by molten magma rising from deep below the surface. These are natural sources of rare elements like niobium, cerium and beryllium.

wildlife to see at nature reserves in Cornwall

Image by Jooliargh, Fred James, Pauline E

Tagged under: Fowey   Cornwall   wildlife   Nature   Summer