Spring exhibition marks the release of new book celebrating Cornwall’s natural riches

Spring exhibition marks the release of new book celebrating Cornwall’s natural riches

Do you know how the pink-flowered Centaury got its name, or where to look out for the rare Black Mining Bee? Have you ever seen Charles de Gaulle in his bath, and can you tell the difference between Fungus Gnats and other flying pests?

All this knowledge and more is contained in a new publication which weaves together travel, nature, and art, and invites the reader to dive head-first into the fascinating world of Cornish flora and fauna.

Walking With Dave is the latest publication from artist Penny Rumble, who works from her rural studio near Penzance. 

Best-known for her evocative seascapes, Penny is the acclaimed painter and author behind Swimming Mounts Bay, in which the reader follows her on an aquatic journey of eight and a half miles undertaken in 15 sea swims.  

In a similar vein, Walking With Dave is designed so that you can literally follow in Penny’s footsteps, with useful information provided such as grid references for the best parking spots. 

In the new book, Penny draws on her zoologist training and companionship with fellow naturalist Dave Flumm to explore Cornwall’s fascinating and diverse flora and fauna.

Penny explains: “As an artist, I’d walked the cliffs of Cornwall many times in search of inspiration and stunning scenery. I considered myself relatively knowledgeable and engaged with the natural world. But when I happened to fall into conversation with Dave, I realised I was just scratching the surface.”

She continues: “Along with our respective spouses we embarked on a year of walking Cornwall’s richest wildlife spots, and a kaleidoscope of amazing diversity – including some really rare species – revealed itself.”

Penny took her camera and sketchbooks on these regular rambles, which included expeditions around Porthleven and the Lizard, along the Helford River, and into the depths of West Penwith to wildly beautiful places such as Kenidjack, Porthgwarra and Nanquidno.

As well as unusual insect and plant life, some relatively rare birds who visit or reside in the British Isles were seen and catalogued, including an Osprey, Greenshank, Golden Plover, Great Skua, and of course, the Cornish Chough.

Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Jays and Nuthatches all make colourful cameos, while nesting Fulmars were recorded at Kenidjack (don’t get too close – these seabirds defend their nests by spitting a foul-smelling oily liquid at anything they consider a threat!)

All of the material – including maps and reference books – will be included in the exhibition at Penny’s own studio this spring, with sketches, paintings and limited-edition copies of the book for sale.

The studio is just 10 minutes’ drive west on the A30 from Penzance and will be open 7th April to 21st April, 10am – 5pm. All are welcome. Find out more on: www.pennyrumble.com

We recently visited Penny to capture some photography at her sunny studio: