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You are here: North Cornwall Home/Services/Coast and Countryside/Bodmin Beacon Local Nature Reserve
Monday 6th August 2007  
Cornish Key
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Bodmin Beacon Local Nature Reserve

Most people have seen the monument standing proud above Bodmin, but how many realise what lies at its feet. Bodmin Beacon is well known amongst the local community but remains a secret to the passing tourist.

The Beacon is a rich blend of community woodland, conservation area, beautiful traditional meadows and relict heath land covering 83 acres. The outstanding panoramic views, and intriguing local history creates an unusual mixture of culture, landscape and wildlife. The key to this popular nature reserve has been its sense of belonging and guardianship created by busy events and opportunities for the local community to fly a kite,  get involved with site management and animal and plant surveying.

Bodmin Beacon from the Air : Image of Bodmin Beacon from the air
Bodmin Beacon from the Air

The Beacon is a rounded hill lying in a prominent position adjacent to the town of Bodmin. At its highest point it reaches 162m with a distinctive landmark at its peak, the 44m monument to Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert was built in 1857. In 1993 the Town and District Councils launched a 20 year plan to manage the open space at the heart of the town. This area covered 83 acres of green space which was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 1994.

Bodmin Beacon : Image of Bodmin Beacon
Bodmin Beacon

The Beacon in 2007

Since the Reserve was designated in 1994 there has been many positive changes that have developed the site both for its users and for the local wildlife. The reserve has now come to a stage where we need to develop a new management plan to take the site forward and to ensure that the requirements of all its users are met.

Catching Butterflies on the Beacon : Butterfly Walk on the Beacon
Catching Butterflies on the Beacon

The management plan aims to develop a vision for the reserve which incorporates all of the different aspects of the area and also includes the thoughts and concerns from the local community. A wide ranging public consultation process is being developed at the moment which aims to find out what people think about the site, and to discover its strengths and weakness as a local nature reserve.

A copy of the community consultation questionnaire is available in the downloads section on the right of the page, and also available in the Bodmin Visitor Information Centre, Bodmin Library and from the North Cornwall District Council Offices on Barn Lane in Bodmin.

NEW Activity Programme for Summer 2007

After many requests for more guided walks, and activities that promote wildlife and the local history of the area, we have put together a summer activities programme.  A dawn chorus, wild flower walk, bug hunts, a historical walk and a toadstool tour are to name but a few events that will be running up on the Beacon from May this year.

Butterfly enthusiasts met in the Beacon Car park on Sunday the 22nd July for an informative and fun few hours walking the National Butterfly Transects across the Reserve. While children chased butterflies across the meadows the adults learnt about food plants and the breeding cycles of our more common Butterflies. Many thanks to John Worthington for his 8 years of dedicated work monitoring and recording the Butterflies on the Beacon.

The next event  will be a Mini Beast Safari looking for the myriad of creepy crawlies that live on the Beacon. Please come and join us on 9th August 2007 where you will learn to beat, sweep and poot.  Please meet in the Beacon Car park at 2:00pm. All children must be accompanied by an adult.


The first official butterfly transect was undertaken on the Beacon back in the summer of 1999. Since then one very determined volunteer has headed off into the reserve religiously every year in search of these attractive and mobile invertebrates. We are looking for a number of volunteers to assist in the butterfly transect work up on the Beacon and would like to hear from anybody with a bit of spare time who would like to walk the transects regularly recording the butterflies they see. Training would be provided.


Coast and Countryside
tel:  01208 265642
fax:  01208 265686
full details for Coast and Countryside

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