Through spring and summer the roadside verges, hedgerows, meadows and cliff tops nearby to Mother Ivey’s Bay are alive with the colours of our native wildflowers.
If you take a walk along the coastal path to Porth Mear Cove between mid April and early May, you will find the bank along the small cove awash with colour. Our native English Bluebells cover the ground with thousands of bulbs where once an ancient woodland stood. In years gone by the woodland has disappeared and left the Bluebell bulbs in the ground to flower each year. You may also find the pink taller Red Campion flowers dotted amongst the vivid blue.
When to see: Mid April to Early May
The large, white, daisy-like flowers of the Oxeye Daisy are easy to identify and it can be found growing in abundance along the roadside or field margins in and around the Park. They are so white and bright that they appear to ‘glow’ in the midsumer evening light, hence the other common names of ‘Moon daisy’ and ‘Moonpenny’. The Oxeye Daisy is a traditional hay meadow plant and in the warm summer months the Mother Ivey’s Bay nature reserve can be found covered in them.
When to see: June to August
The Red Campion gives a splash of pink in many of the road side verges and hedgerows in and around the Park. If you are lucky you can also spot them popping up bright pink in amongst the vivid bluebells just before the bluebells have disappeared for another year. Folklore tells that Red Campion flowers guard bees’ honey stores, as well as protecting fairies from being discovered.
When to see: May to August
Growing up on the top of cliff edges and along the South West coast path is where you will find the early flowering Sea Campion. They look like summer snow has just fallen along the cliff tops, sometimes even peeping up through banks of sandy shingle. Sea Campion grow up to 30 cm in height and are perennial wildflowers which form low, broad cushion-like plants.
When to see: June to August
Flowering Spring Squill brings a violet-bluish haze to the top of cliff edges along the coast nearby to the Park. It grows in wild places like the low grassy areas at the top of the Trevose Headland near the lighthouse where the winds beat the cliffs with sea spray. The best time of year to spot it is when it is in flower but it only flowers for a short time between April and May.
When to see: April to May
Thrift or Sea Pink
Thrift are cushion-like bunches of rounded, pink flowers that can be found at the top of coastal cliffs all along the dramatic coastline of North Cornwall. More commonly known as Sea Pink, it flowers mainly from April to July, but can hang on until early autumn.
When to see: April to July
All photographs © Adrian Langdon and Helen Llewelyn