Habitat type: Heathland, pools and wetland
Size of reserve: 35 hectares / 87 acres
OS map number: 103
Grid reference: SW 693 167 (south east entrance point near the Lizard Kennels)
Best time to visit: All year
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Accessed via a bridleway opposite Mullion Holiday Park (B3296/A3083 junction), or 1.25 miles (2 km) south of Penhale, turn right towards Lizard Kennels and take the footpath on the right just before the airfield gates.
Limited parking. The path into the reserve can be wet and muddy. Once on the reserve, a number of paths crisscross the site and these can be uneven.
Characteristic wildlife of this reserve
The adder has a thick body, triangular head and a characteristic v-shaped mark on its head, often with zigzag markings along its back. It feeds on small mammals and lizards but is a shy animal. It will not attack, only defend itself if cornered. The adder is the only poisonous snake found in Britain, but although its bite is unpleasant, it is unlikely to cause you serious harm.
The male stonechat is unmistakable because of its tri-coloured plumage of black head, orange breast and white neck patches. The female is similarly marked, but with brown rather than black. The majority of stonechats are resident in Britain, feed mainly on insects and are likely to be seen near gorse, which the male may use as a perch from which he will launch into his characteristic dancing flight.
Cornish heath only occurs naturally in this country on The Lizard and was first mentioned as growing there by John Ray in 1670. It is an attractive shrub found plentifully on the dry heaths of the Lizard 'Downs'. The narrow, dark green leaves sprout in fours or fives. The long, dense flower spikes have leafy tips and the bell-shaped flowers occur in shades of pink or lilac, even white.
The reserve was gifted to the Trust in 1986 from Tehidy Minerals.