Discover Wildlife around Camborne

Camborne and its surrounding area holds a mixture of environments that attract a host of wildlife. From the rugged moorland of Carn Brea to the sheltered valleys of the Red River Local Nature Reserve, areas of regeneration such as Tuckingmill Valley Park and public spaces such as Tehidy Country Park and the cornish coastline stretching from Godrevy Head to Portreath – this area is ideal for discovering nature in all its infinite variety.

Mineral Trail sign

Mineral Trail sign

The fact that so much of this area can be explored off road, whether along the mining trails , the many footpaths, or the open moorland, enables budding explorers to discover nature at first hand.

Visit the map to see the locations of these places that are perfect for nature lovers:

there are plenty of rock pools here all teaming with sealife; anemones, shore crabs, and little fish such as the blenny and the cornish sucker fish can be found hiding under stones.

North Cliffs near Portreath Photo courtesy of Jacquie Wilkes Photography

North Cliffs near Portreath Photo courtesy of Jacquie Wilkes Photography

North Cliffs – Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and owned by the National Trust, The North Cliffs, an area of rugged coastline and steep cliffs is an excellent place for bird watching. Sea birds such as Cormorant, Shag, Fulmar, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull and Oystercatcher are common.

Tehidy Woods– The 200 acre Tehidy Woods provide ideal habitats for wildlife. In the spring the area becomes carpeted in bluebells, and in the autumn you can find a great variety of fungi. The lakes at Tehidy are home to several species of waterfowl.

Red River Local Nature Reserve – Once a polluted river, coloured red from the outflow of the tin mines, the area has now been reclaimed by wildlife. Dragonflies thrive on the wetland areas as do birds insects and butterflies which love the plants and flowers.Foxes, badgers, shrews and otters have been observed in this area. Look out for the webs of the the spider Angelena labyrinthica on gorse bushes. Birdlife too can be seen including waterfowl, woodpeckers, yellowhammers and grey wagtails.
You can download a Leaflet with more information about [ Red River Local Nature Reserve]. [ Leaflet Front Page] [ Leaflet Back Page]

Pendarves Wood Nature Reserve, photo courtesy of Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Pendarves Wood Nature Reserve, photo courtesy of Cornwall Wildlife Trust


Pendarves Wood – This is a nature reserve owned by Cornwall Wildlife Trust and home to the Noctule Bat and Yellow Brimstone Butterfly.Springtime is a lovely time to visit  when the floor is carpeted with bluebells. Sorry – no dogs allowed.

Tuckingmill Valley Park – Tuckingmill Valley has been transformed from the most visible derelict land site in West Cornwall into an award winning park. Tuckingmill Valley Park is situated in the heart of Camborne and Redruth and has become a symbol of regeneration for the area.

Carn Brea  The rugged moorland of Carn Brea with its mix of heather, gorse, bracken and anciebt hedgerows is an ideal spot for finding wild flowers, bird watching and enjoying the panoramic view across to North coast.

Gwel an MorGwel an Mor holiday park features several nature trails and Feadon Farm which is host to the rare Cornish Pig and a pair of rescued foxes.

Godrevy Head – High cliffs and sheltered coves with sandy beaches, Godrevy Head is A beautiful expanse of sandy beaches around St Ives Bay, cliffs rich in wildlife and history.

Enjoy miles of spectacular walks over coastal grasslands and heathland, exploring places such as Hell’s Mouth and the North Cliffs.

Walkers at Gwithian Photo courtesy of Jacquie Wilkes Photography

Walkers at Gwithian Photo courtesy of Jacquie Wilkes Photography

Godrevy Head – Take a walk along the coast path where you can see Shetland ponies grazing the National Trust moorland, and you may even spy a seal or two basking in the coves below.

Below is a list of some of the wildlife you may come across on your discovery trails. We have also included their Cornish names.

Yellow Brimstone ButterflyTegen Dhuw Velyn Splann
Found in woodlands and gardens and at Pendarves Wood, these bright yellow butterflies are often the first butterflies to be seen in spring.

Scarce Blue tailed DamselflyNader-margh Lost-las Skant
Old mining sites provide ideal habitats for damselflies including this rare dragonfly which takes advantage of the boggy pools beside the Red River.

Spider – Agelena labyrinthicaKevnisen Vilhyntal
This spider is so called because it produces a thick funnel shaped web and a labyrinth of tunnels to rear its young. Look out for its webs on south facing gorse bushes.

NuthatchTerrer Know
A plump bird that looks like a small woodpecker. Look out for this bird on the side of tree trunks and underside of branches – Tehidy Woods is a good place to see the Nuthatch.

Common Pipistrelle bat
A small bat weighing only 3-5 grams. Often roosts in old buildings. This bat can be seen at Pendarves Wood Nature Reserve where special bat boxes have been set up so that the bat population in this area can be monitored.

Noctule BatUghsommys Noktul
One of Britain’s largest bats with a flight speed of 30 miles per hour! Now rare across the UK although 5 were last recorded at Pendarves Wood Nature Reserve.

Roe Deer Yorgh
Tehidy is the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall (250 acres) and a perfect habitat for the shy Roe deer that can sometimes be spied here.

Water shrewHwistel Dhowr
The largest of all shrews and very territorial – neighbourly disputes can sometimes be heard from the undergrowth near rivers and waterways such as the Red River where this noisy creature resides!

Otters have been seen in the Red River Local Nature Reserve. These playful creatures are rarely seen although their tracks and marks can sometimes be identified on the banks of the Red River.

You are more likely to come across a badger sett than a live badger when exploring the countryside. Badgers live in a maze of tunnels and chambers underground,called a sett, identified by large piles of earth around holes and bare ground.

The weasel is Britain’s smallest carnivore. The short legs and slender body enable this predator to pursue its prey into their burrows.

Palmate NewtPeswar-paw Palvek
This is the species of newt most commonly found in Cornwall. Its habitat preference is for shallow ponds on acid-rich soils so the acidic soils and pools occurring in the old mining areas surrounding Camborne provide ideal conditions.

Jays are shy woodland birds and a colourful member of the crow family. You may glimpse a flash of its bright blue wing feathers and white rump, and hear its raucous cry as it takes flight.

All black waterbird with a distinctive white beak and ‘shield’ above the beak. Can be seen in the lake at Tehidy Woods.

Spotted FlycatcherGwibesser Brith
Although increasingly rare, this migratory bird can still be seen at Pendarves Wood during the summer months where it perches conspicuously on branches before taking flight to catch flying insects.
Barn OwlOula
With its heart shaped face, buff back and wings and white underside, the Barn Owl is a much loved countryside bird.Hunts for mice, voles and shrews and often uses derelict buildings in which to roost.

Southern Marsh OrchidTegyrynen Lewpard
Favours damp meadows and marshes, flowers from May to July and grows up to 50cm.

Fly Agaric toadstoolSkavel-gronek Wenonek
An ‘easy to identify’ toadstool with its characteristic red and white pattern. But beware – this fungus is poisonous – do not touch!

Bracket FungusFong Korbel
Bracket fungi are the fruiting structures of fungi that live off their host tree causing it to decay and eventually fall.

Golden Ringed DragonflyNader-margh Dhu ha Melyn
A large striking dragonfly with a black and yellow striped body. Often seen around the Red River and at Tuckingmill Valley Park.

Common VioletMelyonen Gemmyn
Grows in shady areas and is an early source of nectar for butterflies.

Ragged RobinBleujen an Vran
A wetland plant – a bushy upright perennial with loose clusters of ‘ragged’ pink flowers.
Used as a medicinal plant, it is said to ‘bring sunshine to the nerves’ A summer flowering plant with healing properties – it was used widely in mid-summer rites and festivals.

Elephant Hawkmoth
So named due to its resemblance to an elephant’s trunk. Can be seen from May to July visiting flowers such as honeysuckle for nectar.

Harvest Mouse
The smallest British rodent with a prehensile tail used to cling to tall, dense vegetation. Feeds on seeds, fruits and bulbs and the occasional insect.