News from Budock Vean

Helford: Nature

Our Environment  

To the south of our estate is the Helford, an estuary comprising a range of important freshwater and saline habitats. The influence of the tides and the inundation of seawater continues up Port Navas Creek, one of the main tributaries of the Helford which lies to the west of our boundary. As the river slows upon meeting seawater, silt particles fall to the riverbed and form soft mud banks which are very high in nutrients.  

 The species we find here are specially adapted to the saline conditions and constantly shifting water levels. The mudflats exposed at low tide are rich in invertebrates such as molluscs, crustaceans and worms which feed a wide range of wetland birds.   

Different species of wading birds can be seen throughout the seasons. In the summer, breeding Oystercatcher and Common Sandpiper will feed here. Later on, as autumn approaches, northern migrants such as Greenshank, Redshank and Whimbrel will appear.   

Further into the winter, flocks of Curlew will swell in number, along with many species of gull including Lesser Black-backed Gull and Common Gull. The large number of birds here may attract hunting Peregrine Falcons. The rich invertebrate life of the mudflats will also feed fish, which in turn feeds Kingfisher, Grey Heron and Little Egret. Cattle Egret are also becoming a frequent winter visitor here.   

Our friends at Koru run the kayaking, boating and sup outings down at our waterside. If you get a chance it’s a wonderful way to experience the river and wildlife close up.  

With thanks to our TEVI survey for these findings and special facts!