West Pentire Fields IPA

Location: North Cornish coast, west of the village of West Pentire and Newquay.

Grid Reference: SW 775 605


West Pentire Fields IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.

The key features of this IPA are:

  • The species richness of vascular plants on arable habitat
  • Noted for its dramatic displays of poppies and corn marigolds, the 16 hectares of fields on the thin acid soils on the cliffs of the north Cornish coast have been of very high nature conservation importance over the past few decades following the National Trust’s decision to manage the land ‘in house’ for its arable flora.

    West Pentire boasts some exceptional arable flora which are best seen in June and July. The poppies and corn marigolds are much in evidence.

    Other plants include venus’s-looking-glass, shepherd’s needle, small –flowered Catchfly and night-flowering catchfly, western ramping-fumitory and the weasel’s-snout. At other times the pyramidal orchid and the carline thistle may be seen. Further, towards the coast and on the cliffs rock sea lavender and autumn squill may be seen whilst the dunes support sea holly, henbane and hound's-tongue.

    Rare plants such as Babington’s Leek, and Marsh Arrowgrass may be found at Holywell Bay, an area which also supports common gromwell and the southern marsh orchid.

    Problems associated with the proliferation of perennial weeds is being addressed through a programme of occasional, controlled weedkiller application.

    Image: West Pentire Fields © Natural England under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0