Kemyel Crease

Kemyel Crease

The Kemyel Crease nature reserve is unusual and unmissable due to its huge conifers which form a coastal landmark. These were fast-growing salt-resistant Monterey Pine and Monterey Cypress that were planted in Victorian times to act as windbreaks as the cliff edges were used for growing bulbs and potatoes. These were planted in tiny terraced fields known as "quillets" which were hedged with fuchsia. The reserve contains over 100 of these tiny fields and was purchased by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust in 1974.

The thick tree cover limits what can grow beneath the canopy but the damp conditions are good for fungi. An unusual one known as an Earth Star is reported to grow here. This starts off as an unremarkable-looking brown ball and then the outer layer splits off and peels back to form a star shape, eventually folding underneath like starfish legs. These support a central globe which puffs out spores when drips of rain hit it.

As the conifers eventually die off, they are being replaced with native broadleaf trees which are able to support a more diverse range of wildlife. The Monterey Cypress, in particular, has quite a long life span so this process will be fairly gradual.

On walks

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