A Jaunt to Cornwall


I'm lucky to have friends in different parts of the country as a visit to see them gives me the chance to look over hedges and see what is going on in their area. Cornwall feels in many ways like a 'land of its own'. There is a way of life there quite different to other parts of the south: an extra dollop of time, a slower pace, a close-knit community where everyone knows and cares for each other. Not that I'm suggesting other areas do not have this quality - but Cornwall certainly has it in spades. The countryside is still a 'hands on' farming one. Cattle land (mainly dairy related), some sheep, daffodils and bulbs and a lot of vegetables - cabbage in the area I visited recently seemed to predominate. The size of farms is small compared with Wiltshire and Hampshire so to sustain their livelihood, farmers make the most of their produce by specialising and selling direct to the consumer: ice cream in the area near the Lizard where I went, and pasties too of course. Farm gate sales are not widely advertised but all the locals know where to buy their fresh produce. Farmers Markets too of course and I was shown a depot owned by a Japanese businessman for his London sushi restaurants. Diversification has added to income sources - there are a lot of holiday makers visiting Cornwall, bringing their caravans, camping or staying in converted farm buildings. There are friendly 'open all hours' cafes and pubs with spectacular views especially on coastal locations; fishing, both sea and river, and to some extent water sports are available too. There is a lot going on in Cornwall - but as described earlier the slow pace of life makes for a relaxing and absorbing stay. Habitat and the environment are also naturally cared for. I saw cover crops and woodland for wild birds. The area I visited might be unique in its numbers of woodcock, at certain times of the year. There are snipe and curlew too and of course numerous varieties of seabird - both resident and migratory. Yes, Cornwall has a lot to offer and to interest any visitor. Its community warmth emerges despite its wild ruggedness - especially along those dark rocky shorelines. Its wildness is all the more striking when the time comes for you to drive back over the top of Bodmin Moor and return to the tamed countryside that most of us are used to.

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