This might be one of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s smallest reserves, but the views across Bude Bay and Hartland Point are anything but diminutive. Magnificent vertical and slumping high cliffs with spectacular views to Hartland Point and Widemouth make this a must visit for any keen photographer or landscape artist.
Habitat type: Cliffs and cliff top heath
Size of reserve: 2 hectares / 5 acres
OS map number: 111
Grid reference: SS 200 046 (entrance to north where the South West Coast Path crosses the reserve)
Best time to visit: All year
1 mile (1.6 km) south of Bude, on the road to Widemouth Bay, opposite Elements Hotel.
There is no parking here. The South West Coast Path crosses the reserve.
Characteristic wildlife of this reserve
Phillip’s Point is made up of a number of habitats, including maritime grassland, lowland heath and scrub. These support a rich assortment of salt-tolerant plants and shrubs which have been dwarfed by the constant Atlantic winds. Soldier Beetles and Burnett Moths feed on flowering Sea Carrott, Burnett Rose, Fleabane and Birdsfoot Trefoil whilst Whitethroat and Linnet make the most of the shelter afforded by the gorse and blackthorn bushes. Adders are too sometimes seen, basking on the warm paths or amongst the shallow patches between thrift and heather clumps.
The sea campion is a low growing perennial, with mats or cushions of waxy grey-green leaves and white flowers that bloom from June to August. It is abundant on the cliffs.
Thrift is also widespread here. Its narrow, dark green leaves form a tufted cushion from which the plant’s dense globe-shaped heads of pink flowers appear, earlier than the campion, blossoming from April.
Half of the world’s population of grey seals are found around British coasts and this is a good location to spot one. The males are larger than the females, with broad shoulders and a heavy muzzle. The females have a generally slimmer profile, and tend to be paler than the male, although these seals actually have a wide variety of coat colours and patterns. Both have the characteristic ‘Roman nose’ in profile. These seals feed mainly on fish. An adult is likely to eat 2 to 3% of their body weight a day.
The reserve was purchased for the Trust in 1983 by Mr Rennie Bere.