Flora and Fauna

Port Gaverne has some fine places to view wildlife. In spring the wildflowers of the cliffs can be prodigious, with Thrift, Primroses, Cowslips, huge swathes of Bluebells, and many more. These are just a selection of what you may find as you get around North Cornwall.

FLOWERS

Bluebells
Bluebells, with the occasional white one, carpet the clifflands and valley sides in early May.
Bluebells, with the occasional white one, carpet the clifflands and valley sides in early May.
Cowslips are not common in Cornwall, being found mainly along the coastal fringes and dunes of
the county, as here at Welshman’s Quarry, an old cliff quarry 600 yards north of Port Gaverne.
Thrift
Pink Sea Thrift is found all along our clifftops.
Spring Squill
The ground hugging Spring Squill can be found in delightful blue clumps alongside our paths. The
rarer Autumn Squill can be found a few miles away at Lundy Bay, and all round the Pentire headland
Red Valerian
Red Valerian, known locally as ‘Padstow Pride, is found all along our roadsides
in late spring. It has mainly pink flowers, with some deep red and a few white.
Babington’s Leek
The nationally scarce Babington’s Leek grows in profusion on cliffs overlooking Port Gaverne.
Tree Mallow
The Tree Mallow is found all along our coast. ‘Tree’ is a
bit of a misnomer, but it can get up to 7 foot on height.
Rock Sea Lavender
Rock Sea Lavender clings to the barest of rock overlooking Port Gaverne cove.

BUTTERFLIES, MOTHS AND OTHER INSECTS

Orange Tip
An easily recognized spring butterfly, the Orange Tip.
Holly Blue
The Holly Blue is our earliest blue butterfly, but also has a second brood in high summer.
Silver-washed Fritillary
One of our largest summer butterflies is the Silver-washed Fritillary
Painted Lady
One of our migrant species, the Painted Lady arrives here from the continent each
spring, sometimes in large numbers, to give rise to a second brood in August.
Scarlet Tiger Moth
Everyone knows moths are dull brown things that fly at night. This beautiful species never got the
memo, as it is a day flyer and there is a good colony of this uncommon moth in Port Gaverne valley
Thrift Clearwing Moth
This unusual day flying moth is the Thrift Clearwing moth, with clear patches on its wing.
This moth is only found right on the coast on the west side of England and Wales.
Great Green Bush-cricket
Our most impressive Great Green Bush-cricket is surprisingly well camouflaged. Its
loud stridulations on the local Clifftops in summer give an air of the Mediterranean.
Unarmed Stick-insect
When it comes to camouflage, the naturalized Unarmed Stick-insect has no peers. Originally from
New Zealand, it is found in small colonies throughout Cornwall, including Port Gaverne.
Jewel Wasp
This beautiful but tiny wasp is called a Jewel Wasp. Its small size means it is often overlooked, but can be
found buzzing rock faces seeking out the nests of other wasps on which they parasitize their larvae.

CLIFFLAND BIRDS

Guillemots and Razorbills
Guillemots and Razorbills are found on the ledges at Welshman’s Quarry, 500 yards north of Port Gaverne, between March to early July.
Jackdaw
The smallest of the crow family, Jackdaws with their distinctive grey nape fly in each night to roost in the valley trees.
Fulmars
Squabbling Fulmars spend most of their life out to sea but seek out our cliff ledges to breed.
A formerly rare bird, they started colonizing Cornish cliffs as recently as the 1940s.