Introduction

Falmouth…there can be few places in the UK where within a short stroll of the heart of the town there is a chance of seeing seals and dolphins at any time of the year.

Falmouth is located on one of the most southerly stretches of coast in the UK and blessed with an exceptionally mild climate. Animal species and plants thrive here which struggle to survive in most other parts of the UK.

The town enjoys two diverse marine ecosystems lapping its shoreline: to the north east the huge estuarine expanse of the Fal estuary with its many sheltered creeks and the third deepest natural harbour in the world and to the south the extensive waters of Falmouth Bay reaching from the mouth of the Fal to the Lizard Peninsular.

There is also the nationally important brackish pool at Swanpool located on Falmouth’s south side.

Naturally, given the town’s close proximity to the sea much of the area’s wildlife is associated with this marine environment. However, there are also many environmentally important areas rich with animal species rarely seen in other parts of the country within easy travelling distance of the town.

Expect the unexpected

If the resident wildlife wasn’t enough to excite you then Falmouth’s extreme south-westerly location also makes it one of the best places in the country to expect the unexpected!

Carried along in weather systems originating in Europe and from even more distant continents such as North America and Africa, rare migrant birds and insects are annually recorded – some have even found their new home much to their liking and have survived and flourished to form resident populations.

Exotic marine species more commonly associated with warmer waters are being increasingly recorded by fishing boats and marine scientists in the area.

Links to other parts of the Illustrated Falmouth Wildlife Guide

Butterflies
Rock pools
Seals, dolphins, sharks and whales