For just a few short weeks every year, the stretch of coast between the sandy cove of Polly Joke and Crantock Beach becomes awash with scarlet and yellow. Managed by the National Trust, this small section of the Cornish coastline has become a haven for some of Britain’s most endangered wild flowers.
The cliff top fields are not commercially farmed, instead using traditional non-intensive farming methods with work in harmony with nature. Half of every field is ploughed in the autumn and left fallow to encourage the wild flowers. The other half is sown with barley in the spring to encourage declining species of bird like the corn bunting and nesting for skylarks. This method of farming has allowed the National Trust to turn this area in to a thriving nature reserve.
I visited on a wet Monday morning. The rain seemed to keep the majority of visitors who flock to these fields away. As a result we walked through the fields and around the headland that overlooks Polly Joke and didn’t see another soul. Just the sound of dozens of skylarks could be heard. The rain stopped and the remaining grey clouds provided a lovely moody backdrop for the poppies.