50 years of the Landmark Trust with Antony Gormley

In 1965 the National Trust launched its Neptune Campaign for the Coast and in the same year the Landmark Trust was set up to conserve historic buildings so they could be used as holiday lets. So this year both organisations are celebrating 50 year anniversaries. Both organisations have strong links with each other as the NT leases Lundy to the LT.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Landmark Trust the internationally renown artist Antony Gormley has been commissioned to create and install a number of sculptures at some of their iconic places. Here is a link to a video about the project and here is some written information about the works. I was on Lundy for a couple of days at the back end of last week on a short break and saw the Gormley installation there – it is called Daze IV. I really like it.

Gormley Daze IV 1From a distance it looks like a person staring out into the Atlantic

Gormley Daze IV 3Closer in you can see it is a metal sculpture

Gormley Daze IV 11The installation will be on site above the Devil’s Kiln in the SW corner of Lundy until May 2016. More details here.






Lundy Views

Here are a few of my pictures from Lundy and here is a link to the full photosetLundy NT
By the quay looking down the east coast

East Coat 'tor'If it wasn’t for the sea in the background this could be Dartmoor!

The Devil's Chimney and the NeedleThe Devil’s Chimney and the Needle

The Devil's SlideThe Devil’s Slide

Cave off the BatteryA cave near the Battery

West Coast 3Rugged shores  facing the Atlantic

Ally Sloper RockThe Ally Sloper Rock

What an amazing place……

This year the National Trust is celebrating 50 years of our Neptune Campaign for the Coast.

Lundy was bought by the NT in 1969 as part of that Campaign thanks to a very generous donation by Sir Jack Hayward. Lundy is now leased by the NT to the Landmark Trust.

The Lundy Cabbage and its beetles

We have been on Lundy for a couple of days – this was my second visit – the first about 8 years ago involved travelling there and back for a meeting in the pub!

Lundy is owned by the National Trust and managed by the Landmark Trust. I will do a few blogs about my trip as it is such a wonderful place and there is so much to see. As a starter I will write about the Lundy Cabbage which is only found in the world on Lundy!

Lundy cabbage 1
The Lundy Cabbage (Coincya wrightii) grows on the steep cliffs on Lundy. All the plants that I saw were on the eastern side close to the quay.

Lundy cabbage 3In case you hadn’t spotted it – it is the yellow flowered plant that looks a bit like oil seed rape (to which it is related)

Lundy cabbage 4
All members of the cabbage family have four petals shaped as a cross – thus their botanical name the Crucifers

Lundy cabbage Rhodo

The Lundy Cabbage flourishes on Lundy but in the recent past was threatened by huge tracks of Rhododendron ponticum which were growing on and competing for the same habitat on the cliff slopes. The Landmark Trust, The Nationl Trust, Natural England and various contractors have removed the alien rhododendron and as a result has created new habitat for the cabbage.

This photo shows an area which has been cleared of rhododendron.

Lundy cabbage weevil 1
The Lundy Cabbage – unique to Lundy  also supports a couple of tiny insects which only live on the Lundy Cabbage. It has been described as our version of the Galapogos Islands – evolution in action.

The tiny little beetle above  is the Lundy Cabbage Weevil (Ceutorhynchus contractus var pallipes) – it is only 1.5mm long! Note its ‘elephant like’ snout which it used to feed on the cabbage. This insect is unique (endemic) to Lundy i.e. it is is the only place in the world where you will find it!

Lundy cabbage 2
The Lundy Cabbage is also host to a unique flea beetle (Psylliodes luridipennis) which is a giant at 3mm compared to the weevil. The Lundy Cabbage flea beetle is a bronze brown animal – the one photographed above is a closely related blue one. I did manage to find a Lundy Cabbage Flea Beetle but didn’t manage to photograph it. They are called flea beetles as they have enlarged back legs which enable them to leap out of danger – this is exactly what happened as I was about to photograph ‘my’ bronze flea beetle as it sat in the palm of my hand. As a result you will have to make do with a photo of a blue non-endemic flea beetle sat on an endemic Lundy Cabbage flower.

Tis the season for caterpillars

There are quite a lot of different species of caterpillar out and about at the moment.

Oak eggar caterpillar
This is an oak eggar caterpillar – I photographed this one on Woodbury Common last weekend

Oak eggar 1
This is what they turn into – a male oak eggar

Oak eggar 2
A female oak eggar

Mullein caterpillarThis is also a conspicuous caterpillar – people are for ever asking me what it is! It is the caterpillar of the mullein moth which feeds on the plant figwort.

More from Hembury Woods

Another visit to find high brown fritillaries over the weekend drew a blank but I did find a couple of nice species at Hembury Woods on the River Dart.

A lovely male Siskin feeding on a marsh thistle

Siskins are fairly common breeding species but can be quite elusive – I saw this one on the Hillfort

Green hairstreak1And this is a male green hairstreak – I’ve seen quite a few of these this year

Green hairstreak2The caterpillars feed on a variety of shrubs including gorse, Dyer’s greenweed, bilberry and bird’s foot trefoil

Who killed the beautiful demoiselle?

I found these four wings on the bank of the river Teign at Fingle Bridge last week. Who is the killer?

Demoiselle wings
These are the wings of the beautiful demoiselle damselfly.

As you can see the wings have been plucked from the body and presumably the body has been eaten by a predator. I have been thinking and speculating about who might be responsible. I have found the dismembered wings of moths piled up in a place where long-eared bats feed – so perhaps a bat feeding along the Teign is responsible? Maybe but bats tend to be nocturnal and damselflies are day flying. There is some overlap around dusk so a bat is a possibility.

Hobbies (the small falcon) also preys on dragonflies and damselflies (along with swallows and martins) and there are certainly hobbies in the vicinity.

I also wonder whether this is the work of a flycatcher – either a pied or a spotted.

I guess we will never know. In case you are wondering the wings are removed as they are not very nutritious compared to the main body.

DemoilselleHere is a picture of a complete beautiful demoiselle taken last summer