Skip navigation |

North Predannack Downs Nature Reserve

This nature reserve, on The Lizard, is made up from unique heathlands famed for their unusual geology, mostly Serpentinite rock, and exceptional plant life. This reserve is prime Cornish heath with pools and wet willow woodland. Early Bronze Age barrows are present and there are several ancient 'turf-hut' circles. There are remains of buildings likely to have been used during the Second World War.

Location of North Predannack Downs nature reserve
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

Area of Outstanding Natural BeautyCounty Wildlife SiteSite of Special Scientific InterestFossil/ geological siteAmphibian habitatDragonfly habitatReptile habitatBird habitatButterfly habitatEuropean DesignationInformation point
roll on icons for further information

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
Adder, photo by JB and S BottomleyThe 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.

Stonechat, photo by JB and S BottomleyThe 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.

Cornish heath, photo by Jean PatonOther information
The reserve was gifted to the Trust in 1986 from Tehidy Minerals.