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Godrevy and its surrounds

Godrevy is an area in the West of Cornwall situated on the eastern side of St Ives Bay. It is home to the Godrevy Lighthouse and Island, a Headland as well as an extremely popular beach. Godrevy Headland boasts some of the best coastal heathland in the county with many species of plant, animal and insect life. The headland promontory is roughly one-square mile in area and certain areas are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest. (SSSI) Much of the headland is open to the public and the area is popular with walkers. The South West Coast Path runs around the whole promontory and there are several public car parks on the western side where the National Trust owns and operates a cafe. Godrevy Point is the north-western corner of the headland whilst the north-eastern corner is called Navax Point. The cliffs between the two points are approx 220 feet above sea level. On the northern side of the headland are two coves named Mutton Cove and Kynance Cove beyond which the Nathaga Rocks lie off Navax Point. On the eastern side of the headland are Castle Giver Cove and Fishing Cove. South of Navax Point is an area of heath named The Knavocks which is managed by The National Trust. The grassland and gorse scrub is covered with footpaths and home to many species of butterflies and birds, notably nesting stonechats. The Knavocks is regularly managed by cutting back the gorse as well as by using a herd of ponies for grazing. Beyond Fishing Cove, the coast swings to the east towards Hell's Mouth and North Cliffs. The land here rises to approx 290 feet which is the highest point of cliff-top in the area. The cliffs, offshore rocks and coast around Godrevy Head form a renowned habitat for seabirds including cormorants, fulmar, guillemot, and razorbills and several species of gull. There is also a substantial population of grey seals throughout the year and occasionally, bottlenose dolphins can be seen surfing with the locals during the warmer summer months. Godrevy Island lies three hundred yards off Godrevy Point. The uninhabited island is the site of an operational Trinity House lighthouse. Off shore the island is a submerged reef known as the Stones reef which extends for approx one mile. Godrevy Lighthouse Although there had been talk of it, it was the wreck of the SS Nile in 1854 with the loss of all on board which prompted the building of the Lighthouse in 1858-9. The lighthouse is a white octagonal tower, 86 feet high and made of rubble-stone and mortar. Originally, the light was manned by three men at a time but in 1934 the lighthouse became automated. The light flashes white/red every 10 seconds, with the red sector only being visible in the arc of danger from the reef. The range of the light is around 12 miles The lighthouse is said to have inspired Virginia Woolf to write To the Lighthouse although in the book, she locates the lighthouse elsewhere.

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