Cafe Sci

‘Bringing Rivers to The Poly’: A talk by The Westcountry Rivers Trust

Thursday, 18th May 2023 at 6pm. At the Poly in Falmouth or online via Zoom.

Join us when Westcountry Rivers Trust bring rivers to The Poly! Hear all about their projects and how you could get involved.

This event will be held in-person at the Poly in Famouth, or online via Zoom – online tickets can be bought via Eventbrite. Please follow the relevant links above.

About the talk

Join the Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT), an environmental charity putting science at the heart of its river conservation in Cornwall for an evening of conversation and films.

From source to sea, clean, flowing rivers support the resilience of their surroundings – ecosystems, wildlife, people and their livelihoods. Across a variety of projects, WRT is tackling river-related challenges to ensure freshwater habitats, and all who depend on them, can thrive.

Come along to learn about some of the charity’s projects restoring and protecting the county’s rivers and wildlife, and how being a citizen scientist with the charity makes a big impact for the short and long-term health of the waterways being monitored. Plus, be among the first to see its short new film ‘Science, Citizens and a Love of Westcountry Rivers’, showcasing the charity’s river guardians of the region.

This session comes to Falmouth as a part of the ‘Bringing Rivers to You’ campaign, where WRT is taking the joys and stories of local rivers into bustling town centres to reconnect communities with their waterways.

Cafe Sci, CSC excursion

Cornwall Marine Research Insights | Panel Discussion

Tuesday, 21st March 2023, 6:30-9pm on University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus. Register your interest via Eventbrite.

Join us for an evening with four scientists at the forefront of marine and coastal research in Cornwall and further afield.

Exeter Marine in association with CRaB CLAWS and the Cornwall Science Community

Join us for an evening with four scientists at the forefront of marine and coastal research in Cornwall and further afield. There will be an opportunity to hear about their research, to find out more about community engagement and activities central to their projects, and to ask questions during a discussion with the panel of scientists.

The evening’s events will be led by Professor Brendan Godley (Professor of Conservation Science, University of Exeter) and Dr. Roger Wood (Senior Lecturer in Science, Biodiversity and Conservation Education, Scientist-At-Large with CRaB CLAWS: Conservation, Rewilding and Biodiversity Communities Leading Action for Wildlife Survival, and Project Officer with the Cornwall Science Community).


  • Dr. Sarah Nelms: Lecturer in Marine Vertebrate Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter. The impacts of plastic pollution on marine vertebrates
  • Tom Horton: Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Exeter. The return of Atlantic bluefin tuna to the United Kingdom
  • Professor Martin Stevens: Professor of Sensory and Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Exeter. Behaviour, coloration, and survival in a changing world
  • Dr. Ian Hendy: Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Coastal Ecosystems at the University of Portsmouth. Connecting the restoration dots: what are the missing blue-green gaps?

Do get in touch with any questions!

CSC excursion

Flicka Donkey Sanctuary Talk & Tour

Saturday, 18th March 2023. Book your tickets via Eventbrite.

Join us for a talk and a tour at the Flicka Donkey Sanctuary.

		Flicka Donkey Sanctuary Talk & Tour image

About the day

After the success of last year’s event, we will be paying Flicka Donkey Sanctuary another visit this year.

Please join us at Flicka at 13:50, car parking is available on site. At 2pm the Flicka team will introduce us to some of the donkeys at the sanctuary and share their stories about both the individuals and the sanctuary.

At the sanctuary, donkeys have been rescued from conditions of abuse and neglect. The sanctuary provides them with a safe and caring home for life.

You can find out more about The Flicka Donkey Sanctuary on their website:

All images used on this page are from The Flicka Foundation website.

		Flicka Donkey Sanctuary Talk & Tour image


£5 from each ticket will go to The Flicka Donkey Sanctuary (the rest covers Eventbrite’s costs).

Any additional donations can be made to the Sanctuary on the day.

Keep an eye out for more events on our website:

If you have any questions please contact us at:

Article Series

Species loss and rewilding in Cornwall

written and illustrated by Natasha Connor

Many centuries ago, clean rivers rippled across Cornwall. Had you walked by, you may have spotted beavers building dams and otters diving for fish in the sparking water. The songs of countless birds rang through the unpolluted sky. Solitary eagles soared above, scouring the land for hares and grouse. Beyond the rugged cliffs and moorlands, lush temperate rainforests awaited. Lynx, wolverines, and wild boars made their homes beneath the twisting branches.

Today, Cornwall presents a very different picture. It has followed the same path as the rest of the UK, one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Since the industrial revolution, nearly half of the UK’s biodiversity has been lost, and many of our species now hover on the brink of extinction. This has been catastrophic for our ecosystems. However, there are rays of hope: several organisations are working to reverse this trend, rewilding parts of Cornwall to bring back some of the species we’ve lost.

Rewilding is a progressive conservation strategy that goes beyond protecting natural areas. It aims to restore areas of land to their natural states. This can involve reintroducing lost species, planting trees, or simply allowing nature to reclaim an area. Species reintroductions are integral to the larger rewilding movement. For uncultivated land to thrive, its ecosystem needs to be healthy. This requires a rich diversity of species.

Species loss -why does it matter?

Our native species have been co-evolving for thousands of years. The ecosystems they formed worked like well-oiled machines, with each trophic level dependant on the others in a complex web. When a species is removed, these ‘who eats who’ systems are dramatically altered, and sometimes destroyed.

133 species have gone extinct in the UK since the 1500s, and the decline is accelerating. Since the 1990s, nearly half of terrestrial mammal species and three fifths of butterfly species are found in fewer places, according to the State of Nature Cornwall 2022 report. In addition to the nationwide losses, several species have become locally extinct in Cornwall since the 1970s. This includes 21 breeding birds, 4 vascular plants, and 8 bumblebees.

The effect of species loss ripples through the complex web of food chains. This is known as trophic cascades, and can result in secondary extinctions.

Here’s an example: What happened when sea lions and whales were overfished in Alaska? Their predators, orcas, had to look elsewhere for food. The orcas switched to hunting sea otters and drastically reduced their population. Without the threat of otters, sea urchins were able to multiply unimpeded. These urchins prowled the sea floor, devouring vast forests of kelp. Without kelp forests, many species have been nearly wiped out of the area from starvation. Alaskan sea otters are keystone species: they have an outsized impact on their environment and hold their ecosystems together.

Keystone Species

Many of the UK’s keystone species (and almost all of our large ones) have been hunted to extinction, turning our ecosystems into distorted shadows of what they once were. Keystone species can be divided into three categories: predators, ecosystem engineers, and mutualists.

  • Predators restrict their prey’s population sizes, and therefore protect their prey’s food source. The loss of our apex predators, such as lynx and wolves, resulted in a deer population explosion. Without the predators they’d evolved with, their populations grew unchecked. Deer are believed to be at the highest level they’ve been in 1000 years. In some parts of the UK, this causes significant crop damage and obstructs forest growth.
  • Mutualists are species that interact with others for the benefit of both. Bee and flowering plant species are mutualists. They depend on each other for survival.
  • Ecosystem engineers are species that create, maintain, or destroy habitats. Beavers and water voles are two examples. These two species used to be found throughout Cornwall, creating vital habitats and stabilising the water cycle, but became extinct. A few organisations are now bringing them back, returning crucial components to our broken ecosystems.

Rewilding in Cornwall

Rewilding projects in Cornwall:

Water Voles reintroduced at Bude & Neet river
Beavers reintroduced at Woodland Valley farm
Water Voles reintroduced at Trelusback farm

Water voles

Water voles are believed to be one of the UK’s fastest- declining mammals. Due to habitat loss, water pollution, and predation from invasive minks, they have been extinct in Cornwall since the 1990s.

Their burrowing, grazing, and edibility make them crucial to wetland ecosystems. Their burrows aerate the soil, increasing microbial activity. This, in turn, regulates nitrogen availability and so aids plant growth. Water voles’ wide-ranging diet (and large appetite) prevent shores and riverbanks from becoming overgrown or dominated by a single species, increasing biodiversity. They are also an excellent food source for numerous species, such as barn owls, kestrels, and otters.

In 2013, Westland Countryside Stewards released 100 water voles into the Bude river catchment, and 177 water voles into the Neet river catchment.

They returned to southern Cornwall very recently: in 2022, Kernow Conservation released 150 water voles into Trelusback Farm, a 33 acre natural area near Falmouth. According to Kernow Conservation director Alana Scott, water voles will “hopefully attract predators like herons and owls… and increase plant diversity and microbial activity”.

Benefits of water voles include increased plant diversity from indiscriminate grazing, attraction of predators like owls and herons. Additionally, tunnels aerate the soil, increasing microbial activity - this increases nitrogen availability, aiding plant growth.


Beavers disappeared from the UK 400 years ago, when they were hunted to extinction. They modify their habitats by building dams, burrowing, and tree coppicing. This dramatically alters the landscape. They create wetland comprised of canals, ponds, and mires: vital landscapes for many species. This includes otters, water voles, and numerous types of birds and fish. The dams filter the sediment from rivers, providing a healthier habitat and water source for downstream  animals.

The wetlands store water in the land, and the dams slow river flow. These two aspects reduce both flooding and drought, making land more resilient and resistant to the severe effects of climate change. In addition to reducing climate change’s symptoms, they directly fight the cause: the wetlands and dams they create capture carbon.

In 2017, beavers returned to Cornwall. The Cornwall Beaver Project ran a reintroduction program, enclosing the animals in 5 acres of woodland. Since then, the area has changed dramatically. The dams and ponds the beavers created have slowed river flow, reducing both flash flooding and drought. According to Dr Alan Puttock, a researcher at the University of Exeter, the “peak flows after heavy rainfall events have been reduced by up to 33%”, showing the effectiveness of beavers in flood management. The site has also become more biodiverse: 13 new species have been recorded at the site. One of those was the willow tit, the UK’s most threatened resident bird.

There are a few other beaver enclosures across Cornwall, such as Cabilla Cornwall. However, like at Woodland Valley Farm, these beavers are enclosed in private land. There are no wild beavers in Cornwall. They only became a protected species in 2022, and the current complex licensing regulations make it difficult for organisations to release them into the wild. 

Other reintroduction programs

Red squirrels

The Cornwall Red Squirrel Project is currently working to reintroduce red squirrels to the Lizard Peninsula. These animals were nearly wiped out of the UK when grey squirrels were brought over from North America. Grey squirrels outcompete them, being larger and more robust. This makes red squirrel reintroductions difficult: before they are brought back, the grey squirrel population must be controlled or removed. During lockdown, the grey squirrel population on the Lizard regrew, delaying red squirrel reintroductions.

Cirl buntings

The RSPB reintroduced cirl buntings (the UK’s rarest farmland bird) into the Roseland peninsula, releasing them annually between 2006 and 2011. By 2015, their efforts had resulted in a self-sustaining population with over 50 breeding pairs.

European Wildcats

The UK’s only native cat is returning to Devon and Cornwall. European wildcats were hunted to extinction in Southern England in the 16th century. They are significantly larger than domestic cats, with thicker coats. (The UK’s domestic cats are non-native, descending from African wildcats.) Wildcats are mesopredators: they are mid-ranking in the food chain, preying on small animals like rodents.

40 – 60 individuals are set to be released. The exact locations of their reintroduction sites are secret, for the wildcats’ protection. These shy, solitary animals tend to avoid humans, and are expected to help control rodent and rabbit populations.

Where will we go from here?

This may just be the beginning of Cornwall’s rewilding. As we bring back more species, to more areas, and set aside land for their habitats, our ecosystems may become healthy and thriving once more.

This is vital for Cornwall’s human residents, not only its non-human ones. In the modern world, we often feel disconnected to nature. This is dangerous as it obscures our reliance on it. Healthy ecosystems reduce flooding, drought, and soil erosion. They stabilise climates and provide clean air and water. They also minimise disease: increased biodiversity helps buffer disease transmission. For example, multiple studies on US ecosystems found that those with fewer bird species have higher occurrences of West Nile encephalitis. This is a direct threat to us: two-thirds of our infectious diseases are shared with non-humans.

Public support for species reintroductions is high. Piece by piece, species by species, we can put our damaged ecosystems back together and bring back the stunning natural beauty we’ve lost.

CSC excursion

AK Wildlife Cruise 2023

with Emily Stevenson of Beach Guardian and Dr. Roger Wood (Cornwall Science Community)

Saturday, 25th March; 11am-2pm (approximately) and 2:455:45pm (approximately). Cruise leaves from and returns to Falmouth Premier Marina. See end of post for booking details.

Please note that due to high interest we now have two cruises on the same date. Both will be accompanied by Emily Stevenson.

AKWC will strive to make your day enjoyable by helping you get to know the beautiful animals in our region and engage with Cornwall’s wonderful marine environment. Join us in search of some of the fantastic marine wildlife to be found in Falmouth Bay, such as seabirds, dolphins, seals and basking sharks!

These 4 hour (minimum) wildlife cruises are a superb way to see the spectacular coastline and surrounding waters, and are popular with all ages.

Image courtesy AKWC

You will spend your trip exploring the southern coast of Cornwall as we cruise under the impressive granite cliffs, and search for wild animals which inhabit this region of the British Isles, such as huge basking sharks, harbour porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, grey seals and a diversity of coastal birds. We will then spend some time offshore in search of pelagic species such as common dolphins, minke whales and storm petrels.

If for any reason the weather becomes too rough to leave the Carrick Roads and head offshore, we will still continue with the trip but head back up the Carrick Roads and explore our wonderful and wildlife rich Fal estuary. Please bring warm clothes and full waterproofsBinoculars recommended.

We shall be joined by Emily Stevenson, who has given two superb recent talks for the Cornwall Science Community and is the founder of Beach Guardian.

Emily will be talking with us about primary and second microplastics, and, as part of the cruise, will be collecting microplastics from the ocean using wildlife-friendly methods.

Emily Stevenson on microplastics for CSC

The skipper, Captain Keith, has vast experience of working in the private boat chartering business over the many years of his long-standing career. Throughout this time, he has worked closely with such people as Dame Ellen MacArthur, working as her towboat captain during her record-breaking round the world trip. He has also worked alongside a selected team in the “Whitbread Round the World Race”, plus several other cross-Atlantic challenges that finished off at the Lizard Point in Cornwall. Keith is a dedicated, professional wildlife guide, who, in the past, has worked with “The Really Wild Show” and their presenter, Michaela Strachan, filming basking sharks.

Furthermore, he has carried out survey work for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) and the RSPB. AK Wildlife Cruises were the very first operator in the UK to endorse and sign up to the nationally accredited “WiSe” scheme, as well as being endorsed by the SeaWatch Foundation and the WDCS, ensuring sensitive interaction with all the marine mammals and birds observed during their “seafari” excursions.

Image courtesy AK Wildlife Cruises

Please note, AK Wildlife Cruises and Cornwall Science Community cannot guarantee any specific wildlife sightings.

The boat, RV Spirit of Our Seas is a catamaran with modern toilet facilities and open outdoor seating provided for all guests, so you can enjoy a truly comfortable journey as we explore the beautiful coastline in search of wildlife.

AK Wildlife Cruises are fully insured and coded as required by the MCA, and with first aid trained staff and full safety equipment on board, you can sit back and enjoy the trip as all is taken care for you. The boat is licensed to carry up to twelve guests plus two crew members. Keeping parties intimate gives you more space and better chance to speak with the fantastically knowledgeable crew.

The reduced cost, for this Cornwall Science Community Wildlife Cruise, will be £63 per person. There are a maximum of 7 places available at the time of writing.

The cruise will depart from Falmouth Premier Marina, North Parade, Falmouth. TR11 2TD

Bookings and payment will need to be made directly with AK Wildlife Cruises. Please e-mail or call Jess on 07553 606 838.

Further details may be found at and

Dr. Roger Wood, the Cornwall Science Community’s Project Officer, will also be on the cruise. If you would like to let Roger know that you have booked a place, not least as a means of having a ‘friendly face’ looking out for you at the Marina, please feel free to e-mail him at

Cafe Sci

Falmouth Harbour: Port with a purpose | Vicki Spooner

Thursday, 24th November 2022 at 7:30pm. Register your interest via Eventbrite.

Vicki Spooner will be discussing Falmouth Harbour’s sustainability work, what has been achieved locally, and future initiatives.

Falmouth Harbour: Port with a purpose | Vicki Spooner image

About our speaker: Vicki Spooner

Vicki is the Environment and Quality Systems Manager at Falmouth Harbour responsible for developing and maintaining the organisations integrated management system. She has always been inspired and fascinated by the marine environment. Vicki studied Marine Zoology at University and found that she wanted to understand more about human impacts and how these can be mitigated. She is motivated to continuously develop ideas and work collaboratively with colleagues and wider stakeholders to find solutions and opportunities to lead and advocate for change to make a positive impact on the environment and communities.

Falmouth Harbour: Port with a purpose | Vicki Spooner image
CSC excursion

Cornwall Marine Research Insights | Panel Discussion

Wednesday, 2nd November 2022, 7:30-9pm on University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus. Register your interest via Eventbrite.

Immersed in the Spirit of the Sea | Cornwall Marine Research Insights

Join us for an evening with three scientists at the forefront of marine and coastal research in Cornwall and further afield.
There will be an opportunity to hear about their research, to find out more about community engagement and activities central to their projects, and to ask questions during a discussion with the panel of scientists.

The evening’s events will be led by Professor Brendan Godley (Professor of Conservation Science, University of Exeter) and Dr. Roger Wood (Senior Lecturer in Science, Biodiversity and Conservation Education, and Project Officer, Cornwall Science Community).

Sign up for this in-person event via Eventbrite.

This event is a collaboration between Cornwall Science Community and Exeter Marine.

The panel discussion will take place on University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus with exact room location to be confirmed.
Do get in touch with any questions!

Cafe Sci

Celebrating 20 years of Cornish Chough | The Cornish Chough Project

Thursday, 6th October 2022 at 7:30pm.

Hilary Mitchell will cover the history of the Cornish Chough, together with insights into the species’ behaviour and where we are today.

Celebrating 20 years of Cornish Chough | The Cornish Chough Project image

About our speaker: Hilary Mitchell

Hilary is a birder with a keen interest in Cornish geology and is a member of RGSC. Hilary is one of the joint editors of “Birds in Cornwall”, the county bird report which you may receive if you are also Cornwall Birds (CBWPS) members.

Hilary has been a Chough volunteer since 2013, for both RSPB and NT and looks after the Cornish Chough database on behalf of Cornwall Birds which includes the Chough sighting emails sent into

Article Series

The Tin Coast: Cornwall’s mining district

Article and photos by Frankie Hackett

On the last leg of Cornwall before Lands’ End is a stretch of landscape riddled with mining facilities spanning centuries of technological advancement. Colloquially known as the Tin Coast, the area is rich in its connection to the history of the land. Each facility is deeply tragic in and equally insightful of the brutal conditions and fatal disasters that took place throughout the centuries. This article will pay close attention to three facilities in particular, all adjacent to another but yet all distinctly unique in its history. Geevor Tin Mine, Botallack Mine, and the Levant Mine. All can be walked to in one day trip comfortably or can be split if you would prefer to digest each mine at a slower place.

Some of the outstanding views while on the walk

Geevor Tin Mine: A Living Museum

Geevor Tin Mine was the last mine in Cornwall to close, as late as the 1990s. It is now restructured to work as a living museum and many of the remaining mining staff still volunteer with the museum today, taking roles to fix and maintain equipment that still operate in demonstrations to the public. Geevor production of tin became so expertly trained that many of the miners were contracted all over the world for their talent and ability to extract the material. One of the main challenges miners faced while it was under operation was the need to pump millions of litres of water out of the mineshafts, as many extended far out into the adjacent ocean.  Tours of Geevor are available and guide you through the facilities gradually expanding your understanding of the process that went into extracting the tin. The most enthralling part of this tour is the trip underground, to surround yourself in the space in which workers would be in every day for very long hours. Jagged rock walls that barely pushed 5ft high at most wear thin on your back for only the short amount of time you are under the mine, and the darkness coupled with the wet puddled floors makes it a disorienting but immersive experience.

A real political poster inside the changing rooms at Geevor Mine

Levant Mine: A Tragic Disaster

A mere 10 minutes away from Geevor is Levant. Levant is famous for a disaster that has become a legacy for the communities it represents. The mine worked by using a man engine to transport miners up and down. The man engine functioned similar to an elevator but was designed like a ladder. The disaster occurred when one of the rods of the ladder snapped, and in a chain reaction the entire system collapsed down the mine, plummeting over 100 people to near death and killing 31. The effect of the collapse shattered the local’s morale, and the lower levels of the mine were abandoned. The mine closed just 11 years after and is today owned by the National Trust. The peacefulness of the area contrasts against how loud the crushing of machinery must have been.

The Levant Mine, preserved by the National Trust (photo by Jocelyn Herne-Smith)

Botallack Mine: An Ancient Mine?

The last leg of mines is Botallack, the oldest of the three. Records have estimated the age of activity in this mine to stretch for at least the 1500s but could also extend deep into the era of Roman Britain and possibly the Bronze Age. The most insightful story of the area is a cobbled building that resembles what looks to be a stable. Botallack specialised in both copper and tin, but the process required for the extraction and separation brought arsenic alongside it. While arsenic was equally lucrative and was happily sold instead of being waste product, the management required to ensure the safety of those mining it led to the construction of this stable-esque building. Arsenic was piled in separate walled rooms, with workers assigned to shovel with only a cloth over their mouth. Inhaling even a few milligrams of arsenic dust would be enough to kill, but the job of the worker paid a hefty wage for the time because of the risk involved. Much of Botallack waste products would be dumped back into the ocean, and abandoned buildings down the cliffs of the north coast show evidence of this.

A single day’s trip to all three mines is easily manageable, and tours are available from the National Trust at Botallack and Levant, as well as by Geevor independently. What is great about the location of these mines is that they follow a chronological trail from the early modern to present day. Each step of the walk transports you through history as you follow the timeline of great wealth, tragedy, and political movements of the generations of Cornish miners the area represents.

Article Series

Myths of Bodmin Moor

Article by Frankie Hackett. Images courtesy Alex Langstone.

The mystifying presence of Bodmin Moor has led tale to thousands of years of folklore and mythology. The fog swept valleys and areas of flat expanse present a sense of unfamiliarity to visitors who are used to the typical enclosures of fields in the rest of England. It is this position of unfamiliarity that has inspired historical interest for many Cornish people of past and present, and this article is going to explore some of the most infamous and foundational extracts of legendary folklore of the area that has grounded itself in Cornish identity and heritage.

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

Make no mistake in thinking all of these legends are ancient and irrelevant to the modern day. In the late 1970s, an unusual excursion of reports of mutilated livestock on Bodmin Moor stirred local headlines asking questions of how and why this could have happened. Local reported sightings of a large black cat, similar to that of a leopard, stirred rumour and gossip around the area as people grasped to come to terms with the strange chain of slaughtered animals.

Since then, over 60 police reports have been filed claiming to have sighted the mythical beast. These reports ranged from being chased to just spotting an eerily and unnaturally large animal in the distance. Some photo and video evidence exists too, but the verification of this taking place legitimately has not been confirmed.

The legend of the beast has been integral to the local culture of Bodmin Moor. Many believe that the beast has since bred and that more exist out there. In the 1990s, rumours became so serious that an official government investigation concluded this type of beast being compared to a panther could not survive in the UK. Alas, the myth continued as this was still not concrete enough to declare it did not exist.

Theories of how the beast could have surfaced include the illegal importing of three pumas by a circus entertainer in 1978 which were eventually freed, but never declared due to the illicit nature of how they were obtained. Perhaps they bred and found haven in the vast expanses of Bodmin Moor, and perhaps these vast expanses are responsible for explaining why they are rarely sighted and not officially documented. Perhaps this legend will invite you to search for it yourself.

Dozmary Pool

The Legends of King Arthur are possibly the most famous and recognisable tales in all of history. The complex interpolations of events of his life include many locations across Cornwall and in this case entails Dozmary pool in Bodmin Moor.

King Arthurs sword, Excalibur, has many various sources of mythical enquiry! The contradicting stories of his legend by many authors in history all locate the origins of his sword as somewhere different, but one of the core and most believable sources detail that Arthur obtained the sword (which in Cornish is actually called Calesvol) by the lady of the lake who guided him through the mist of Dozmary where he could take the sword out of the stone.

The sword was carried throughout his lifetime but in his final moments he ordered it to be taken back to the lake, where it was thrown by a knight. According to myth, an arm reached up and captured the sword, burying it under the water ever since.

Many believe the sword may still be in Dozmary today, as the legend is so believable due to Bodmin Moors mystique matching the description of the texts. Furthermore, its proximity to Glastonbury, Tintagel and other key locations of Arthurs story further this theory over others that try to match the lake to ones in Normandy, France. Whatever you believe, a trip to the lake is vital in a visit to explore the Moorlands regardless; so be sure to keep an eye out for a glistening under the water.

St Cuby’s Well

Holy Wells are in abundance in Cornwall, hidden in so many beautiful hideaways and secret woodlands. Many are a source of great fortune to religious people, blessed by God to bring luck and healing. It is for this reason that so many are ornately crafted and carefully preserved.

However, not all of these Holy Wells have maintained their mythical status for positive reasons. A well, constructed by St Cuby in 480AD, has a story behind it that make the area feel more cursed than blessed. St Cuby created a chapel and wanted to feature a hand-crafted bowl with dolphins and griffins to celebrate and remember his time travelling. He was immensely proud of his creation but anxious of thieves looking to take from his sight and so cursed the bowl for anyone who may remove it.

For many decades, the locals were aware of this curse and frightened enough to respect the well’s status. However, one day a spiteful farmer decided to test the curse, bringing all four of his strongest oxen to transport the well for himself. On arriving at the well, every oxen pulled as hard as they could but one by one all collapsed and died. The farmer, in complete shock, returned home empty handed with neither the well nor his strongest oxen.

Today the bowl has been moved to the local parish church. To some, the curse is said to have passed itself onto whoever decided to move it. To others, its movement into a new place of worship meant the curse did not trigger. Both the well and the bowl are available to visit and see, so when visiting Bodmin Moor, be sure to try and locate both. Please, however, do not try and test this curse for you may suffer ill fate for the rest of your life!

The folklore and mythology circulating Cornwall is what brings the land to life. The stories like those above are only a small cut from centuries of tales told by the residents who live here. The connection of Cornish people to the land and to the stories embedded within the land is what sets apart Cornish identity to other cultures in the UK. Bodmin Moor is usually suffocated in fog and thus you will find yourself unlucky to stay in the area and not experience the eerie but enchanting nature of the environment it has to offer when the fog sweeps in. However, only visit on the condition that you stay vigilant of beasts, can promise you wont steal any wells and that you keep a look out for anything shining under the waters of Lakelands.