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Giants discovered on Looe Island!

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Fri, 08/09/2017 - 10:35
Release date:  Fri, 08/09/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  On a recent Cornwall Wildlife Trust survey of marine life on their Looe Island Nature Reserve, marine experts were thrilled to discover a rare species lurking within the island’s rockpools.

The giant goby is the largest species of goby to be found in UK waters growing to a whopping 27cm maximum length. Few people have heard of this elusive species which dwarfs all other gobies, but its UK stronghold is in Cornwall and South Devon, with increasing numbers of records being made each year. This discovery, the first for Looe Island, further highlights the amazing marine life found in Cornwall’s only Marine Nature Reserve.

Giant gobies are warm water marine fish which range from the Mediterranean, along the Atlantic coasts of Spain and France and north as far as the South West of England. It is possible that we may witness an extension north of this species’ range due to climate change in coming years so it is particularly important to survey them.

Giant gobies are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981 so it is illegal to disturb them without a Natural England Licence. Matt Slater, Marine Awareness Officer for Cornwall Wildlife is the proud holder of a licence to humanely capture and study this species.

Matt Slater said,

“We have carried out surveys in lot of locations around Cornwall and I am starting to be pretty good at thinking like a goby and predicting where they are likely to be, but it is still a real thrill to discover a new population of them in a new site!”

Giant gobies have never been recorded before on Looe Island as far as we are aware. In one pool two small giant gobies were found and in another pool, one giant was discovered measuring 23cm (9 inches) in length.

Giant gobies are chunky, robust fish and are members of a large family of rockpool fishes all having distinctive, fat rubbery lips, tiny scales and two dorsal fins. Gobies are well adapted to life on the shore and the giant goby can be distinguished by its size and it's fleshy, lobed pelvic fin which is used as a suction pad.

The annual Looe Island survey, which is carried out in August, was well attended this year by a range of local naturalists, Cornwall Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers from Looe Marine Conservation Group. As well as carrying out a fish survey of rockpools other surveys were completed by Cornwall Seal Group. This included surveys of seals, birds, and butterflies as well as monitoring of the rocky shore. The records collected all help to understand, manage and protect the island’s wildlife.

Looe Island Nature Reserve is a truly special place home to an amazing array of wildlife, all thriving in this secluded and unspoiled corner of Cornwall.

To arrange a visit to the island please visit www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/looeisland
If you would like to get involved in helping out on shore surveys please email shoresearch@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk
 

Categories: Environment

New Tree Canopy Development works with Wildlife Trust to Bring Guests Closer to Nature

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Wed, 06/09/2017 - 11:46
Release date:  Wed, 06/09/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  An ambitious new sustainable holiday development business has joined Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Business Supporter Scheme. Hall Wood are planning unique new tree top level accommodation in a valley near Pelynt and have worked closely with the Trust from the start to ensure the scheme is as wildlife friendly as possible.

Hall Wood is the brain child of Alex King who studied mining at Camborne School of Mines and toured the world through his work as an exploration geologist before deciding to return to his roots in Cornwall. He searched for a special site surrounded by nature where he could incorporate a series of high-end self-catering lodges, without compromising on his strong beliefs that it should also be sustainable and not impact negatively on the local wildlife.

Finding the perfect site set in a beautiful wooded valley near the village of Pelynt, Alex turned to Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s consultancy arm, Cornwall Environmental Consultants (CEC) for advice. They carried out various wildlife surveys of the site confirming the presence of ancient woodland, otters, dormice, and deer. They were also able to advise on how best to manage the site for nature and mitigate against any negative impacts from its development. The site was formerly planted with conifers on its upper slopes whilst the valley bottom has patches of ancient woodland. Hall Wood plans to protect the ancient trees, and with a renowned local architect has designed timber framed units on stilts which will be sympathetically integrated into the landscape to give the impression of living in the tree canopy.

The woodland in which the lodges are set will be managed as a nature reserve, and the site has been designed to ensure these habitats are enhanced and preserved throughout its life. Hall Wood guests will be encouraged to support local businesses and producers whilst on site. Low-emission transport links into local places of interest will be provided as the owners are keen for the local communities to benefit from the income generated by guests staying at the site. They have estimated that this could amount to over £300,000 annually.

Hall Wood has recently joined Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Business Supporter scheme at the top level as a Wildlife Partner, which not only provides the charity with much needed funding it also creates a relationship whereby it can advise the owners and help towards their goal to build a site which is beneficial to the local ecosystem and environment. There are also has plans to create the Hall Wood Forest School, for guests and invited groups to take part in activities ranging from nature trails, animal spotting, shelter building, outdoor cooking courses and more.

Alex King, Director of Hall Wood said,

“We are an extremely proud supporter of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and their work in safeguarding Cornwall’s wildlife rich habitats. It became clear very early on that there was a strong ethical synergy between our two entities, so a working relationship was the logical next step. We are very excited to see where this partnership takes us, and we look forward to sharing the fruits of this with our guests in the future.”

Antonia Mullaly, Business Support Manager, Cornwall Wildlife Trust added,

“It is refreshing to see a developer take the lead and seek wildlife advice and support early on in the planning stages in order to enhance the site’s natural assets. Clearly, Hall Wood’s plans to improve the natural environment and support surrounding communities, whilst providing high quality accommodation will bring many positive benefits to this beautiful area of south east Cornwall.”
 

Categories: Environment

Vote Power for Cornish Wildlife

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Mon, 04/09/2017 - 12:44
Release date:  Mon, 04/09/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Cornwall Wildlife Trust has been shortlisted for the M & S Energy Fund and voting is now open for a chance for them to win funding to install Solar PV which will reduce carbon and running costs to maximise funds for their important work protecting Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places.

The Trust has been helping people to enjoy nature for over 50 years and are passionate about nature conservation. The M & S Energy Fund is available to support renewable energy projects and technologies across the UK and you can help Cornwall Wildlife Trust to receive £12,000 by simply casting a vote, and spreading the word about their project.

Voting is now open here: https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/projects/cornwall-wildlife-trust-power-f...

The Trust have identified solar PV as a major opportunity to reduce running costs at their headquarters which will enable them to be able to spend more on their conservation work. The advantages are:

1. Reduces carbon footprint – good for the planet and for the neighbourhood.
2. Reduces energy costs and provides an income stream so that funding is maximised for local conservation work.
3. Living their values – demonstrating best practice to their members, the local community and businesses

Trevor Dee, Head of Finance at Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“We love Cornwall and my team supports the work of our conservation staff protecting Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places. By delivering this project we will make a real and ongoing saving to our operating costs. The reduced carbon footprint is an environmental win – but we will double down on that and invest the savings into our vital conservation work!”


There would be a minimal visual impact if the Trust were to install solar PV as the plan is for rooftop panels and the buildings are not overlooked by neighbours. It would make the site more attractive to other community groups to use and will strengthen the Trust’s position to influence others.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust is excited for the opportunity to embrace renewable energy and reinvest savings made on running costs into their wildlife conservation work. They encourage all who love Cornwall’s stunning and unique nature to cast their vote and share the project with their friends and colleagues.

Please vote and share here:
https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/projects/cornwall-wildlife-trust-power-f...
Voting closes on the 20th October 2017
 

Categories: Environment

Back to nature with Trust gardens finale

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Fri, 25/08/2017 - 12:36
Release date:  Fri, 25/08/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  A treat awaits visitors for the grand finale of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s popular Open Gardens scheme as they visit the truly unique Tanglewood Wild Garden on Sunday 10th September and finish off another brilliant season.

Event details:
• Full title of event: Open Gardens event
• Date and time of event: Sunday 10th 11.00am to 4.00pm
• Where to meet: Tanglewood Wild Garden, Newbridge, Penzance TR20 8PL
• Cost of event: £5 under-16s free

A treat awaits visitors for the grand finale of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s popular Open Gardens scheme as they visit the truly unique Tanglewood Wild Garden on Sunday 10th September and finish off another brilliant season.

Tanglewood is wonderful back to nature wild garden with winding uneven paths through the woodland, deep water ponds, unique sculptures, and natural surroundings. There is plenty of room for children to play and an enchanting setting for wild family adventures! A campfire will be used for hot drinks and there will, of course, be cake!

For more information and pictures of this wonderful garden please visit www.tanglewoodmaycontainnuts.co.uk

The Trust hopes to surpass last year’s record breaking fundraising total of £12,600 for Open Gardens. All money raised goes towards protecting Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places.

Admission is £5 under 16s free. Pasties, cream teas, and beverages will be provided by Crantock Bakery, Roddas and Cornish Coffee. The event has an overall sponsor with Cornwall tourism company Stayincornwall.co.uk. Dogs are allowed on leads. Disabled access is unfortunately limited.

Chris Betty, Communications Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“Tanglewood Wild Garden is a wonderful location to hold our final garden of the 2017 season and will give visitors an inspiring back to nature experience.”

 

Categories: Environment

Cornish valley garden abuzz with wildlife

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Wed, 23/08/2017 - 08:43
Release date:  Wed, 23/08/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Nestling in deep oak woodland, the Carminowe Valley Garden is an abundant wildlife garden, overlooking the beautiful Carminowe Valley towards Loe Pool, and is the latest to open as part of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Open Gardens scheme.

Event details:
• Full title of event: Open Gardens event
• Date and time of event: 
Sunday, September 3rd 2.00pm to 5.00pm
• Where to meet: Carminowe Valley Garden, Mazey Cottage,
Tangies, Helston, TR12 7PU.
• Cost of event: £5 under-16s free

Nestling in deep oak woodland, the Carminowe Valley Garden is an abundant wildlife garden, overlooking the beautiful Carminowe Valley towards Loe Pool, and is the latest to open as part of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Open Gardens scheme.

The garden is abuzz with butterflies and insects, particularly bumble bees. Many different birds have been seen here and signs of otters have been spotted in the streams. The River Carminowe cuts through the garden adding to its beauty and uniqueness and visitors can experience this for themselves when the garden, at Mazey Cottage, Tangies, near Helston, opens on Sunday 3rd September from 2.00pm to 5.00pm.

This flourishing garden was first created by Marion and Peter Stanley from a mown arboretum in 2007, and now combines native oak woodland with a more formal area. A natural woodland walk can be followed through hazel, holly, oak and ash trees and a large pond, fern hollow and a rhododendron walk leads through the wooded area opening onto the rest of the cultivated garden.

A diverse garden, double rose beds which will be in their second flush of blooms at this time of the year; includes a wild flower meadow, mown pathways, shrubberies, an orchard, nectar beds, cutting garden, and a kitchen garden.

Admission is £5 under 16s free. Pasties, cream teas, and beverages will be provided by Crantock Bakery, Roddas and Cornish Coffee. The event has an overall sponsor with Cornwall tourism company Stayincornwall.co.uk. The main part of the garden has disabled access. Dogs are allowed on leads.

Chris Betty, Communications Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“A mix of formal and woodland, plus water features and an abundance of wildlife make this a wonderful Cornish garden which will appeal to all gardeners wherever their particular interest lies.”

More details of the Mazey Cottage event and the final garden to open for the Trust this year, which is on September 10th at Tanglewood Wild Garden, Newbridge, can be found on our Open Gardens page. 
 

Categories: Environment

Wildlife partnership flying high

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Mon, 14/08/2017 - 15:57
Release date:  Mon, 14/08/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Vine House Farm, the home of pioneering wildlife-friendly farmer Nicolas Watts and his family, grows 400 acres of bird seed, including 100 acres of sunflowers, and is a haven for a host of wildlife.

This month The Wildlife Trusts are celebrating a flourishing 10-year partnership with Vine House Farm, working together for wildlife. By donating up to 5% of its sales to The Wildlife Trusts, Vine House Farm has raised over £1,250,000 to support wildlife conservation across the country, and inspire people to experience wildlife first-hand.

Jan Pentreath, President of Cornwall Wildlife Trust said,

“Vine House Farm is a great example of an innovative company that puts environmental growth at the heart of its business. It's incredible track record of annual donations has given an invaluable boost to our conservation work across the county, helping us to ensure that Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places are now thriving and have a brighter future. On behalf of everyone here at Cornwall Wildlife Trust I would like to thank Nicholas Watts and his family for their fantastic generosity and support.”


Stephanie Hilborne, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts said,

“Ten years ago, we chose to partner with Vine House Farm not just because they produce great birdseed but because of the amazing things they were doing for wildlife on their own farm and their very real commitment to our work. People taking action in the places that are closest and most important to them is a powerful force for change. The thousands of people who buy the birdseed are doing just this, and so too are Nicholas and his daughter Lucy. We’re very proud to be working with Vine House Farm to bring about nature’s recovery and to bring the joy of wildlife into more people’s lives.”

Fourth-generation farmer Nicholas has been working the land at Vine House Farm in Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire since he was a boy. His bird watching hobby became part of his work in 1992, leading to an MBE for his wildlife conservation work and wildlife-friendly farm management, and many other awards.

Nicholas Watts MBE said,

“Farming this way is a way of life for us and it brings about great pleasure to see wildlife thriving. I have always enjoyed feeding birds and now I am feeding more than I could ever have imagined with the help of our customers!”
Over the last 20 years, thanks to wildlife-friendly measures put in place at the farm, barn owl and whitethroat numbers have quadrupled, and tree sparrow and lapwing numbers have increased ten-fold.
 

Categories: Environment

Beautiful garden created in Cornish quarry

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Wed, 09/08/2017 - 11:36
Release date:  Wed, 09/08/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Their garden may be located in an area of predominately Cornish granite, but this hasn’t stopped the owners of Bolts Quarry Farm from transforming where originally there wasn’t a garden at all into one of immense interest and beauty.

Full title of event: Open Gardens event
• Date and time of event: Sunday 20th August 2.00pm to 5.00pm
• Where to meet: Bolts Quarry Farm, Penvorder Lane, St. Breward, Bodmin PL30 4NY.
• Cost of event: £5 under-16s free

When the owners moved to Bolts Quarry Farm, in Penvorder Lane, St. Breward, Bodmin, many years ago there was very little garden to speak of. Now there is a pond, a bog garden, a wildlife area, and a shrub area. In keeping with the location, there is a quarry garden and a two-acre granite strewn hillside broadleaf plantation with a circular walk and granite spoil heap. A ‘rock’ garden is planted with flowers and shrubs and the front garden has perennial planted borders.

Entrance is £5 for adults under-16s free. Pasties, cream teas, and beverages will be provided by Crantock Bakery, Roddas and Cornish Coffee. The event has an overall sponsor with Cornwall tourism company Stayincornwall.co.uk. There is a limited disabled access. Dogs are allowed on leads.

Chris Betty, Communications Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“Bolts Quarry Farm is a brilliant example of how one can create a garden, whatever the conditions, and it is sure to inspire visiting gardeners.”

More details of the Bolts Quarry event and all the other gardens opening this year can be found on our Open Gardens page.

Other gardens opening for the Trust this year are: September 3rd Mazey Cottage, Tangies, Helston, and September 10th Tanglewood Wild Garden, Newbridge, Penzance.
 

Categories: Environment

Eden joins in support of Cornwall Good Seafood Guide

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Wed, 09/08/2017 - 11:32
Release date:  Wed, 09/08/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  The Eden Project has joined Nathan Outlaw, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant, St Austell Brewery and more than 70 other local businesses pledging to help towards healthy seas and support sustainable fisheries by joining Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Cornwall Good Seafood Guide.

An eco-label has been produced – the recommended symbol – which can be used by supporters to clearly show consumers that the seafood they are being offered, is sustainable.

This label will now be on display in Eden restaurants and cafes, highlighting the sustainable seafood on the menu.

Amelie Trolle, Sustainability Manager at Eden Project says,

“Sourcing and serving local, seasonal and sustainable food is one of our cornerstones at Eden. We are very pleased to be joining the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide in an effort to support our Cornish fisheries, healthy seas, and to promote the visibility of the label.

“Our visitors will find the CGSG label next to some of our most popular dishes containing fresh Cornish seafood, such as the Seafood Linguine and Roast Mackerel. We hope that many more visitor destinations in Cornwall will join this important scheme too.”

The Cornwall Good Seafood Guide has been produced by Cornwall Wildlife Trust in partnership with the Cornish fishing industry. It is packed with information on fish and fishing methods to help consumers see what's currently in-season and most sustainable to eat.

The guide also features tasty seafood recipes, a directory of where to purchase great local seafood and a series of ‘meet the fishermen’ videos. The Cornwall Good Seafood Guide can be found online at www.cornwallgoodseafoodguide.org.uk

Local businesses across Cornwall are now being encouraged to become supporters of the project as a way of highlighting the great local seafood they sell, at the same time as educating the public on the best choices to go for.

But it’s not just high-class restaurants and visitor destinations backing the guide. The Wildlife Trust has support ranging right across the industry from beachside cafes, to fish and chip shops and fishmongers.

Matt Slater, Marine Awareness Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“The Cornish fishing industry is something we should all be proud of but knowing what fish to buy can be a complicated issue. Having the support of local restaurants and fish sellers gives people the confidence that they will be offered ‘good’ seafood choices by these businesses.

“This in turn promotes demand for sustainably-caught Cornish fish, and helps make the future that bit more secure for both fish stocks and our inshore fishermen.”

Matt Slater continues,

“Gaining the support of so many local businesses shows that these companies really do care about the seafood they sell. We are delighted that Eden has pledged its support to this project and it’s fantastic to be working with people with such a passion for sourcing the most sustainable seafood they can.

“We would also like to show our appreciation for all our supporters, big and small, and encourage the public to visit the ‘buy Cornish’ section of our website to find details of all those who have got behind this important project.”

You can find out more about the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide online at www.cornwallgoodseafoodguide.org.uk and how Eden uses works with local suppliers here: www.edenproject.com/ethical-buying
 

Categories: Environment

Muscle-man Crab is the Star of Rockpool Ramble!

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Wed, 09/08/2017 - 11:22
Release date:  Wed, 09/08/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Beautiful Prisk Cove on the Helford River proved to have rich pickings for a lucky group of individuals and families that attended a recent Rockpool Ramble event. Over 40 people attended the event hosted by Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s marine team who were on hand to identify finds, and kindly sponsored by Helston based children’s wear company Frugi.

The rockpools were found to be teeming with life and featured a huge diversity of fantastic creatures.

Ruth Williams, Marine Conservation Officer at the Trust says,

“The biggest draw was undoubtedly crabs which included several different species such as the edible crab, velvet swimming crab and Xanthus, or as it has been renamed by the Trust, the muscle-man crab as it looks like it’s been working out!”

Frugi, which is proud to be the UK’s best-selling organic children’s wear brand, has been a long term Business Supporter of the Trust, donating £111,000 over the last 10 years to help fund vital marine conservation work. This year Frugi customers have the chance to vote for the Trust as one of three charities to benefit from their ‘Little Clothes, BIG Change’ giving project.

Antonia Mullaly, Business Support Manager at the Trust says,

“If you are planning to buy any of Frugi’s gorgeous clothes and accessories, then please take the time to choose a charity for Frugi to donate to at the checkout. We would love it if you chose Cornwall Wildlife Trust, as all the money donated will go to our Living Seas programme which helps to keep our seas healthy and thriving!”

The ramblers also found brittle stars, a gorgeous green shore urchin, sea squirts, and a large spiny starfish found by Joe Williams. Frugi generously donated vouchers for their organic kid’s clothes collection as prizes for the best discoveries. The winner was Oliver for the most unusual finds, and second prize went to Reuben and Poppy for the biggest variety of different types of crabs.
 

Categories: Environment

Increase in Cornish Marine Disturbance

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Thu, 03/08/2017 - 14:10
Release date:  Thu, 03/08/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  A steady increase in incidents of disturbance to marine wildlife has been reported to Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s hotline over the past few weeks, with the start of the summer holiday season.

Ruth Williams, Marine Conservation Manager for the Trust says,

“The disturbances have mainly involved seals and sea birds by tripper boats and kayakers, who because they are paddling quietly along, don’t realise they are disturbing the wildlife”.

As large numbers of holiday makers flock to the Cornish coast, the Cornwall Marine and Coastal Code Group is now reminding everyone about how to enjoy watching marine wildlife such as dolphins and basking sharks responsibly.

Dan Jarvis from British Divers Marine Life Rescue, one of the Group’s member organisations says,

“Cornwall has an amazing range of marine species that are a big part of why lots of people love to visit this region, but sometimes people’s encounters with our wildlife do not go well for the animals involved”.

“We are incredibly fortunate that we have these animals here in the first place and it is a privilege that we’re able to see them, so we want to help people get the best out of these encounters by following some simple guidelines that will avoid causing distress and harm”.

The species most often affected, as has been shown over the past few weeks, are seabirds and seals as they come on to land to rest, but dolphins and basking sharks close to shore will quickly attract a lot of attention, making them vulnerable to overcrowding or being chased and this can lead to accidents.

One such incident off Padstow in 2013 resulted in the death of a bottlenose dolphin calf from the local inshore pod that has only around 18 individuals, threatening the long-term survival of the group. The people responsible were successfully prosecuted.

The Group’s recommendations include:
• Keep your distance from resting animals such as seals and seabirds on land
• Remain calm and quiet so resting animals are not disturbed and scared off
• Move slowly and avoid sudden changes in direction and speed if animals are nearby
• Stay side on to the animals while watching them rather than approaching directly
• If there are other boats or kayaks or other water users nearby then ensure the animals have plenty of space and an obvious escape route should they choose to leave, and do not pursue them when they do
The full guidelines can be found on www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/living-seas/cornwall-marine-and-coastal....

Dan Jarvis continues,

“By encouraging people to use these guidelines, we hope that they, in turn, will share them with others, so that many more people are aware of how their actions, and those of others, can affect the behaviour of animals that need to use these habitats too. At the end of the day we are all out on the coast to enjoy the amazing environment we have here and we need to make sure the animals that live there are still able to enjoy it too, otherwise they could abandon the area and we all lose out”.

Incidents of disturbance can be reported to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s disturbance hotline on 0345 201 2626. Meanwhile, the full laws protecting marine species can be found at HERE 
 

Categories: Environment

Vibrant marine life surveyed on Manacles Reef

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Thu, 20/07/2017 - 16:06
Release date:  Thu, 20/07/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  The Manacles, a treacherous rocky reef that juts out from the Lizard peninsula, famous for the shipwrecks that it has caused, is also designated as a Marine Conservation Zone. Cornwall Wildlife Trust has now carried out a Seasearch Dive expedition to survey its marine life. It was strikingly clear from the very first dive what an amazing underwater area this is.

Twelve highly experienced volunteer divers took part in the surveys, made possible with a grant from marine charity Sea-Changers, and carried out from Porthkerris Dive Centre.

They also took in areas just to the south of the Marine Conservation Zone, off Lowland Point and a rocky pinnacle called Puskies rock, both of which are also home to some stunning marine creatures.

Marine Awareness Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Matt Slater said,

“On the Manacles huge numbers of filter feeding organisms take advantage of plankton-rich seawater currents that buffet the reef. As a result every surface of the reef is totally covered in colourful anemones, sponges, soft corals, such as pink sea fans, and dead man’s fingers, and fluffy coral like animals, known as hydroids”.

Matt Slater continued,

“You can see why this area is so famous for its marine life and it is fantastic that this reef has been designated as a Marine Conservation Zone”. 

Many different species of fish were seen including, pollack, corkwing wrasse and inquisitive cuckoo wrasse, among the UK’s most brightly coloured fish species, and they are abundant on this productive reef.

Another highlight was the discovery of a rarely recorded species, the sea fan anemone, Amphianthus dohrnii. This species is only ever found growing attached to the impressive soft coral called the pink sea fan which itself is nationally scarce. On the Manacles pink sea fans are common and we noted that on one dive site at least 60% of the sea fans were home to these rare anemones with up to ten anemones per sea fan.

Pink Seafan with Pink Seafan anemones, Matt Slater

There are abundant kelp forests in the shallower areas of the reef which are home to juvenile pollack and a huge diversity of red seaweeds. Further out the walls of rock are covered in fluorescent jewel anemones in a wide variety of gaudy colours.

A species which was notably present was the Crawfish, also known as the spiny lobster which was seen on most of the dive sites. This is a species which became very rare in our waters in the 1980s and was virtually extinct by the 1990’s but now seems to be making a welcome return to our shores.

Crawfish portrait by Gary Gubby

Matt Slater continues,

“We are calling on divers to record their sightings of this species and to report them to Cornwall Wildlife Trust”.

Marine biologist and underwater film maker Thomas Daguerre described the Manacles as one of the most incredible dive sites he had seen and along with dive buddy Andrew Ball they are making a promotional film about the expedition.

For more photos and videos of the survey results go to the Facebook group @Seasearch Cornwall. As part of a national project called Seasearch, Cornwall Wildlife Trust is training divers to help with their conservation work by recording the marine life encountered on dives! There are many more dives and training opportunities coming up this summer including, a seaweed Identification workshop and a Sea squirts Identification workshop. Find out more at www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/seasearch
 

Categories: Environment

Discover Cornwall’s inspirational marine life

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Thu, 13/07/2017 - 14:54
Release date:  Thu, 13/07/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Cornwall Wildlife Trust is celebrating Cornwall’s extraordinary marine life with two weeks of fun and inspiring marine events as part of National Marine Week, which runs from Saturday 29th July to Sunday 13th August.

Matt Slater, Marine Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“Many people don’t appreciate how amazing Cornwall’s marine life is. Our waters are highly productive and support far more animals than are found in more tropical seas! From colour changing cuttlefish to humpback whales, our marine life is truly inspiring and Marine Week events in Cornwall will make people aware not only of how lucky we are but of how we can all work to protect this natural resource.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s event programme includes something for everyone, with a range of exciting activities including snorkelling, rockpooling, clifftop sea watches, beach cleans and sustainable seafood events.

For those who enjoy watching wildlife from beautiful cliff top locations the Trust are also running daily sea-watches around the coast led by experienced volunteers. Everyone is welcome and who knows what you may see; seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales and even giant basking sharks!”

Matt Slater continues,

“Cornwall’s seas are fantastic, but they are also under increasing pressure. Our events not only inspire but also highlight ways in which people can help protect the marine environment. In Cornwall, we are lucky to have a growing network of marine conservation volunteers running local marine groups all around our coast and there are many ways in which the public can get involved and help protect their local patch of coastline!”

The Trust is encouraging the public to think about what the sea means to them and to consider their relationship with the sea. You could take on The Wildlife Trusts’ ‘The Sea and Me’ challenge which asks everyone to make a pledge for the sea, for example, by saying no to single-use plastics like cups, bags and straws which can end up in the oceans.

Nationally renowned street artist ATM is creating a colossal mural of a cuttlefish in Portsmouth to mark the start of Marine Week.

Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts says,

“Cuttlefish remind us that diversity of marine life is precious; although some of our waters are protected, we need a network of ecologically coherent sites creating a ‘blue belt’ around the entire UK to support nationally important habitats and species.”

National Marine Week events in Cornwall

Monday 31st July – Marine Expedition aboard the Hardiesse Sail Training Ship, Falmouth – 10.00am to 4.00pm. An expedition aboard a traditional gaff ketch sail training ship in the Carrick roads, collecting plankton, using a drop-down camera and mackerel fishing. Booking is essential, spaces very limited. No under 8s. £10 adults, children free. Please contact Matt Slater (01872)302251 matt.slater@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk

Tuesday 1st August – Newquay Crab Fest with Cornwall Good Seafood Guide – at Newquay Harbour – 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Discover Newquay’s sustainable seafood secret, meet the fishermen, learn how crabs are caught and how to took them, and take the crab taste test. Free event. There is a charge for boat trips.

Wednesday 2nd August – Snorkel Safari – Porthscatho, Roseland - 10.00am to 12.00 noon. A guided snorkel for confident UK sea swimmers off the beautiful Roseland Peninsula. Bring your own mask, snorkel and a well-fitting wetsuit. Children £5 accompanied by adults on land. No under 8s. Booking is essential, contact Matt Slater at matt.slater@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk or (01872) 302251. Sponsored by South West Water.

Thursday 3rd August – Beach Clean Masterpieces – Porthtowan Beach by CWT flag – 10.00am to 12.00 noon. Help our team clean awesome Porthtowan Beach and then use our colourful plastic finds to create pieces of art. Sponsored by South West Water. Booking is required, please contact Abby Crosby at abby.crosby@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk or on (01872)302230.

Friday 4th August – Snorkelling in a Rockpool – near Polzeath – 9.00am to 12.00 noon. A children’s learn to snorkel session in the safety and beauty of a Cornish rockpool. Bring your own mask, snorkel and a well-fitting wetsuit. Children £5, accompanied by adults on land. 6-11 years only. Booking is essential contact Fox Club (07872) 273939 foxclub@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk 

Monday 7th August – Hurray for Honeycomb – Northcott Mouth, Bude – 12.00 noon to 1.30pm.
Discover the regionally rare and specular honeycomb reefs of North Cornwall. Meet at the NT car park. Sponsored by South West Water and with permission of the National Trust.

Tuesday 8th August – Something Fishy – Port Isaac – 10.00am to 1.00pm. Visit the historic fishing village of Port Isaac to find out about the Trust’s Cornwall Good Seafood Guide. After a visit to the fish market, we will have a go at catching our own gobies with the Trust’s fish traps! Booking is required. Contact Fox Club to book your place and for further directions. Call (01872) 273939 or foxclub@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk

Wednesday 9th August – St. Piran’s Crab Search – near Penzance – 11.00am to 1.00pm. Join dedicated crab enthusiast Matt Slater to hunt for this exciting and newly discovered little hermit crab and other critters! Meet in the car park The Parade, Mousehole, next to Rock Pool café. Sponsored by South West Water.

Thursday 10th August – Horrible Beasts up the Creek  – Falmouth Harbour – 1.00pm to 3.00pm. An extreme rockpool ramble finding all things slimy and squidgy in Falmouth Harbour. Cost children £3, with adults free. Booking is essential, contact Matt at matt.slater@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk or (01872) 302251. Sponsored by South West Water.

Friday 11th August – Strandline Scramble – Marazion - 1.00pm to 3.00pm. Join Trust marine staff on a guided walk from Marazion to Trenow looking for treasures washed up by the surf. Meet in Folly’s Field car park by the CWT flag. Booking is required, contact Abby Crosby at abby.crosby@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk or on (01872)302230. Sponsored by South West Water.

Friday 11th August – Radical Rockpooling – Hannafore Point, Looe – 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Join the Your Shore Beach Rangers team on a rocky shore adventure, climbing over rocks, wading through gullies and experiencing rockpools in a whole new way. Booking is required. Email nat.gibb@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk

Seaquest Public Seawatch Events: Running alongside the Marine events are Seaquest Seawatch Events where from 11.00am to 1.00pm you can join trained volunteers on the clifftops to look for marine wildlife, including dolphins, porpoises and whales. For more information on any of these contact Katie Bellman at seaquest@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk :

Saturday 29th July – Boscastle NCI Station. Sunday 30th July – Rame Head NCI Station. Monday 31st July – Black Head, St Austell. Tuesday 1st August – The Rumps headland, Polzeath. Wednesday 2nd August – Towan Headland, Newquay.Thursday 3rd August – Godrevy headland. Friday 4th August – Hella Point, nr Porthgwarra. Saturday 5th August – NT Lizard Watch Point. Sunday 6th August – Pendennis Point, Falmouth.
 

Categories: Environment

Summer opening for Trenarth

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Thu, 13/07/2017 - 14:20
Release date:  Thu, 13/07/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Trenarth garden at High Cross near Constantine are opening their gates in aid of Cornwall Wildlife Trust as part of their Open Gardens scheme. Last year it was a spring opening for the garden, this year they move to a summer date in July giving visitors a whole new perspective on the beauty there.

Event details:
• Full title of event: Open Gardens event
• Date and time of event: Sunday, July 23rd 2.00pm to 5.00pm
• Where to meet: Trenarth, High Cross, Constantine, Falmouth. TR11 5JN
• Cost of event: £5 under-16s free
 
Trenarth garden at High Cross near Constantine are opening their gates in aid of Cornwall Wildlife Trust as part of their Open Gardens scheme. Last year it was a spring opening for the garden, this year they move to a summer date in July giving visitors a whole new perspective on the beauty there.

As a garden which encourages wildlife, Trenarth has strong connections with the Trust. It is just one of many throughout the county where special fundraising days to raise funds have been held for the Trust, which are vital for Cornwall’s leading local wildlife charity in protecting the county’s wildlife and wild places.

Trenarth is open on Sunday, July 23rd from 2pm to 5pm. Entrance is £5 for adults under-16s free. Pasties, cream teas, and beverages will be provided by Crantock Bakery, Roddas and Cornish Coffee in the charming Garden Room. The event has an overall sponsor with Cornwall tourism company Stayincornwall.co.uk

The four-acre garden at Trenarth is set around a beautiful 17th-century farmhouse in a lovely pastoral setting, with a 16th-century courtyard, listed garden walls, gravel and palm area. Year round interest comes from unusual plants; a courtyard listed garden, yew rooms, a vegetable garden, an orchard and a new woodland area and gravel garden with some amazing panoramic views.

Visitors can take a walk down an ancient green lane to the old animal pond, and on through bluebell woods to Trenarth Bridge, and then back up along a different woodland footpath.

In fact, there is all sorts to see in this splendid garden, with its diverse variety of plants and planting. And if you need a loo on your way, there is one in an original red telephone box – worth a trip to see in itself!

Dogs are permitted on leads. Sadly the garden is not good for wheelchairs.
The wildlife is of major important interest at Trenarth, and the garden is home to a resident bat colony. A maternity roost of lesser horseshoe bats on the site has in the past been featured on BBC television.


Chris Betty, Communications Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“We love going to Trenarth and look forward to seeing it in the summertime. The estate has a real sense of history about it, as well as being home to lots of wildlife.”


More details of the Trenarth event and all the other gardens opening this year can be found at www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/opengardens 

Other gardens opening for the Trust this year are: August 20th Bolts Quarry Farm, at St. Breward near Bodmin, September 3rd Mazey Cottage, Tangies, Helston, and September 10th Tanglewood Wild Garden, Newbridge, Penzance.
 

Categories: Environment

Bags of Help for Cornish Dolphins

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Thu, 06/07/2017 - 13:51
Release date:  Thu, 06/07/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  There are few experiences more thrilling than watching dolphins from the clifftop, or out on a boat. But there is nothing more heart-wrenching than seeing them washed up dead on the beach and so far this year there have been almost 200 dead dolphins found on Cornish beaches.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Marine Strandings Network is the licensed recorder for all marine strandings in Cornwall and consists of a team of over 100 volunteers who record all strandings of marine organisms on Cornwall's coastline. They man a 24/7 hotline which takes calls from the public when they find a dead animal on the coast, and they send trained volunteers to record every animal and where possible facilitate retrieval for post mortem. But it all needs funding.

Now you can help in this vital work and all you have to do is go shopping at Tesco between now and the end of August and support the Trust through the Tesco Bags of Help Scheme.

Bags of Help is Tesco’s exciting local community grant scheme where the money raised from the 5p bag charge is being used to fund nominated local projects.

When you buy a bag you will be given a token which you then need to put in the appropriate voting box for Cornwall Wildlife Trust. If you don’t receive a token ask for one at the checkout. Online shoppers can take their Customer Delivery Note into their local store in order to be given a voting token.
Following the vote, the project that receives the most votes in its area will receive a grant of up to £4,000, second place receiving up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000.

Ruth Williams, Marine Conservation Manager at Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“Tragically in Cornwall, we have had an unprecedented number of animals washed ashore this year, with almost 200 dead animals being reported since the beginning of 2017. We desperately need to find out more about why these animals are dying which is why Cornwall Wildlife Trust is appealing for your support through the Tesco Bags of Help scheme.”

Ruth Williams continues,

“Recording and examining stranded animals such as dolphins, seals and sharks, provides us with information about the marine environment and the health of marine creatures. This information is vital in helping us to determine the cause of death and threats to survival. We can then use this information to actively help us to conserve our seas and the marine life that lives in it.’

“By recording every stranded animal reported over the last 25 years, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and its dedicated volunteers have worked tirelessly to protect the county’s marine life. We work with industry and government to try to find practical solutions to reduce the number of strandings, but we need the funding to continue to monitor our shores and gather this vital evidence”.

To report a stranding please call the 24-hour emergency hotline on 0345 201 2626.

 

Categories: Environment

Messages from the Deep Found In West Cornwall

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Tue, 04/07/2017 - 14:18
Release date:  Tue, 04/07/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  A rare satellite tag from a Spanish deep-water shark has been discovered washed up in West Cornwall, prompting marine experts from Cornwall Wildlife Trust to uncover the mystery of its origin and return this valuable piece of equipment back to the scientists who sent it out to sea.

At the beginning of June, a member of the public stumbled upon an unusual find lying amongst the seaweed on Cape Cornwall. On presenting it to marine experts at the Trust, it was discovered that it was in fact a wildlife satellite tag, used on animals to discover more about their ecology and behaviour in the wild. Using the international phone number provided on the side of the tag, clumsy conversations in broken Spanish lead to the discovery that this tag had been placed on a deep water shark over four years previously off the coast of Spain near Santander.

Abby Crosby, Marine Conservation Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust, says

“Finding something as exciting as a deep water shark satellite tag which can uncover the secrets of the deep is like a dream come true for any marine biologist or enthusiast. We know so little about the ocean and the species which live in them particularly in the ocean depths, so I knew immediately that this tag was valuable not only in cost but in the data that it held and that the scientist who deployed it would want to have back."

The electronic tag belongs to a project at the Oceanographic Centre of Santander in northern Spain, financed by the National Program of Research (2011-2016) and named DEEPCON. The main objective of DEEPCON project was to study the connectivity between deep-water marine areas based on shark populations. 

The sharks investigated during this research were the leafscale gulper shark, and the Portuguese dogfish, due to these species being extremely vulnerable to fishing exploitation and other anthropogenic threats. The sharks were tagged on board fishing boats, which sailed from a village called San Vicente de la Barquera in north Spain. The tag found here in Cornwall was attached to a leafscale gulper shark (Centrophorus squamosus) on the 13 June of 2013. It was fixed on a male of 118 cm total length and programmed to release after 90 days. It worked and detached from the shark on 13 September 2013. Once on the surface it started to send data via satellites to the scientists. What was discovered was that the shark had traveled at least 548 nautical miles in a straight line from its origin point. This was an incredible finding, a first for this species, giving important evidence for the first time that this animal could travel such long distances. It also showed the shark lived between 800 and 14000 meters - an inhabitable depth for most species with darkness and immense pressure.

Abby Crosby continues,

“Since 13th September 2013, after nearly four years of floating in the ocean, it arrived at Cape Cornwall here in Cornwall, and by pure chance it was picked up by a member of the public, making it quite an amazing story. You never know what you will find when out walking on our Cornish beaches, and if this doesn’t motivate you to explore our wonderful coastline I am not sure what will!”

About 57 % of the data recorded was received by satellite from the tag back in 2013 until the battery ran out. Now that the marine biologists have recovered the tag there is a chance that the full dataset will be downloaded to tell us more about this fascinating creatures, however after 4 years at sea it was a little damaged. Either way, superb results have been gathered already to giving us an invaluable insight into the ecology of these elusive animals.
 

Categories: Environment

The Wild Cornish Bee Walk

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Thu, 29/06/2017 - 13:58
Release date:  Thu, 29/06/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Cornwall Wildlife Trust are thrilled to have joined celebrated Cornish artist Kurt Jackson’s latest exhibition ‘Bees (and the Odd Wasp) in My Bonnet’ which both celebrates the importance of bees and pollinators to our environment and acknowledges the dangers they face. Disease, chemicals and disappearing green spaces have all contributed to their dramatic decline in recent years.

Event details:
• Full title of event: The Wild Cornish Bee Walk
• Date and time of event: Saturday 8th July 2.30pm to 4.00pm
• Where to meet: Bartinney Downs Nature Reserve near St Just
• Cost of event: Free

Joining Friends of the Earth at the Jackson Foundation’s upstairs charity space, the Trust will be celebrating Cornish bees through their displays, illustrating ways people can help pollinators in their own garden and highlighting the importance of wildlife recording. 

In addition to this Cornwall Wildlife Trust will be hosting a guided bee walk alongside local bee expert Paddy Saunders and Friends of the Earth. ‘The Wild Cornish Bee Walk’ will take place on the Trust’s Bartinney Nature Reserve near St Just and be led by West Cornwall Reserves Manager Nick Marriott. 

At 25 acres, the reserve is a small site but offers a wealth of wildlife including cuckoos, short-eared owls and some very rare bees…

Nick Marriott, West Cornwall Reserves Manager for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says, 

“On the walk expect to see meadow pipits, dartford warblers, small heath butterflies, small red damselflies and two of Cornwall’s rarest solitary bees. The site has a very strong population of the rare tormentil mining bee. Not only does the nature reserve have tormentil mining bees but is also one of only six sites in the UK where the tormentil nomad bee has been recently recorded. This bee is a cleptoparasite and lays its eggs in the burrows of the mining bee, the nomad's larvae emerge and eat the host's larvae and stash of tormentil pollen”

Cornwall Wildlife Trust manages some of Cornwall’s best bee habitat, this includes grassland, heathland, woodland rides and brownfield sites. Many solitary bees make their nest tunnels in the ground, choosing either bare soil or areas of short turf. Other solitary bees nest in tunnels made in rotten wood, or they make use of vacated tunnels in dead wood made by wood-boring beetles. 

The Trust suggest creating your own artificial nest sites by drilling holes 2-8mm in diameter in fence posts or hanging up bundles of hollow plant stems, drinking straws or cardboard tubes.

 

Categories: Environment

The ‘good life’ at Meadowside

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 15:19
Release date:  Wed, 21/06/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  Meadowside, a six-acre smallholding at Trevarth, Redruth, is managed with wildlife in mind and it attracts a large variety of birds and insects. Hedgehogs are often seen here, along with rabbits and the odd fox.

On Sunday, July 2nd it will also welcome ‘human visitors’ when it opens its gates to the public for the first time in aid of Cornwall Wildlife Trust, as part of the Trust’s Open Gardens event.

The smallholding includes a large vegetable garden, two highly productive poly tunnels, an orchard, a fruit cage, and a glorious wildflower meadow with many southern marsh orchids. A walled garden has herbaceous and a shrub border, all planted to attract pollinators, as is the south facing gravel garden. As well as the wildlife, there are sheep, pigs, hens, turkeys and bee hives as well as an impressive array of vegetables grown in the garden.

Admission to the garden is from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, £5 per adult, with under 16s free. Pasties, cream teas, and beverages will be provided by Crantocks Bakery, Roddas and Cornish Coffee. The scheme now has an overall sponsor with Cornwall tourism company Stayincornwall.co.uk

Dogs are welcomed to Meadowside on leads. Toilet facilities will be available but are unsuitable for wheelchair users.

Chris Betty, Communications Officer for the Trust, says,

“Meadowside is a new garden opening for the Trust, and for anyone who has yearned to run a small holding then this is the one to visit, particularly to see the vegetable areas.”

This will be the sixth year the Trust has run their Open Gardens fundraising scheme which has grown year on year and provides much-needed funds to protect the wildlife and wild places of Cornwall.

Other gardens opening for the Trust this year are: July 23rd Trenarth, High Cross, Constantine near Falmouth, August 20th Bolts Quarry Farm, at St. Breward near Bodmin, September 3rd Mazey Cottage, Tangies, Helston, and September 10th Tanglewood Wild Garden, Newbridge, Penzance

More details can be found at www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/opengardens
 

Categories: Environment

Final Call for Wildlife Friendly Business Awards

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Tue, 20/06/2017 - 08:49
Release date:  Tue, 20/06/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  With just one week to go before the deadline, competition for the Cornwall Tourism Awards is gaining momentum. Cornwall Wildlife Trust has once again been invited to judge the ‘Wildlife Friendly Business Award’ category and is calling on all businesses that are interested in entering to do so now.

Antonia Mullaly, Business Support Manager at Cornwall Wildlife Trusts says,

“We would urge all tourism businesses that choose to make space for nature and promote wildlife to their customers and guests to enter the awards. Taking part is a great way for us to help you to improve your existing business and focus on best practice for the future. Whether you have entered before or decide to do so now on the spur of the moment, this is your opportunity to shine.”

Cornwall is highly regarded across the UK as a go-to holiday destination, largely due to its stunning scenery and impressive coastline. Managing the demands on this environment is a challenge that tourism businesses in the county face on a daily basis. Cornwall Wildlife Trust hopes to boost the emphasis on sustainability within the sector by being involved in the awards and encourage business to deliver a high-quality visitor experience whilst being mindful of their impact on the environment.

Cornwall Environmental Consultants (CEC), which provides ecology and landscape architect services, is sponsoring the category.

Phil Hills, Consultancy Manager for CEC says,

“We are delighted to sponsor the ‘Wildlife Friendly Business’ category for this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards, as it rewards businesses that are recognising the importance of the environment and the wildlife which surrounds them and the work they do. In our line of work, and supporting the Trust in the way we do, it’s fantastic to see such efforts from local businesses, big and small. We are happy to put our name to such a prestigious award and wish everyone the best of luck!”

Tourism businesses who would like to enter must do so by noon on Monday 26th June. Please see the Cornwall Tourism Awards website, with full details of how to enter, top tips and entry forms - www.cornwalltourismawards.org.uk.

For more information about how your business can work for wildlife with Cornwall Wildlife Trust, please visit www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/business.
 

Categories: Environment

Beavers Are Back In Cornwall!

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 17:23
Release date:  Mon, 19/06/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  After being hunted to extinction in the UK 400 years ago beavers are now back in Cornwall thanks to a partnership between Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Woodland Valley Farm in Ladock near Truro creating one of the most exciting wildlife stories in Cornish history.

The ground-breaking Cornwall Beaver Project backed by a hugely successful Crowdfunder appeal hopes to show that beavers can help create new wildlife habitat, make our water cleaner and crucially reduce flooding.

A pair of European beavers, one male and one female were reintroduced to a five acre fenced area on Woodland Valley Farm on Friday 16th June, upstream of Ladock village that has been subject to severe flooding. The Trust’s partners at the University of Exeter will be closely monitoring and studying the impacts of these new residents to Cornwall and building upon research from other reintroductions in the UK and across Europe.

The results will help the Trust determine whether this native species could once again become part of the Cornish landscape and help us combat flooding – naturally.

Chris Jones, owner of Woodland Valley Farm said,

Friday was one of the best days of my life with the release of a pair of adult European beavers at our site near Ladock. The whole day progressed with excitement building up until we actually let the beavers out of their crates at 4pm, in bright warm sunshine. The beavers seemed to be enjoying exploring their new home, and the assembled witnesses were fascinated at having such a tremendous view of these normally shy and hard to spot animals. It has taken three and a half years to get this point and followed from my thinking about natural ways to reduce flood risk following the flooding incidents in Ladock in 2012. Cornwall Wildlife Trust has been brilliant partners in getting this project off the ground, and the Crowdfunding campaign, without which we could never have got here.

Cheryl Marriott, Head of Conservation at Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“What a privilege to see a species returning to Cornwall so many generations after it was lost. It is now over to them to exhibit their natural dam-building behaviour and create more ponds and pools for wildlife and begin coppicing willows. We will be monitoring the effects of the beavers and will share the findings so we can all learn more about what these incredible animals can do.”

Cornwall Beaver Project has been made possible thanks to fantastic support from Trust members and the people of Cornwall generously donating to the project’s Crowdfunder page. The £15,000 target was reached which has paid for the installation of the 650m beaver-proof fence and for the two beavers.

The Trust and Woodland Valley Farm are now excitedly planning for the future and are really pushing the boundaries with a £5,000 stretch target, hoping to reach £20,000 by the 30th June.

This extra money will help to pay the expenses of project volunteers, purchase equipment to enable catching the beavers for regular health checks and buy at least six trail cameras which will enable the Trust to be able to share amazing footage of these charismatic and industrious creatures on their website and social media channels.

One last thing that is also still needed for Cornwall’s new beavers are names! What would you call them?! There is a chance to enter a prize draw to name them by donating £25 or more to the Crowdfunder page. Please see www.crowdfunder.co.uk/cornwallbeaver for details.

Photgraphy by Jack Hicks. 

Categories: Environment

Rare earthworm discovered for first time in Cornwall

Cornwall Wildlife Trust: News pages - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 10:22
Release date:  Tue, 06/06/2017 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  An extremely rare species of earthworm, only recorded once before in Britain has been discovered on Tremough Campus, Penryn during a Recording Workshop organised by the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS) who are hosted by Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Alison Laing and Charlotte Bain, both students at the campus, found the worm while attending an ERCCIS identification workshop on earthworm recording. Matthew Shepherd from Natural England confirmed their identification of the earthworm as Aporrectodea cupulifera, which previously only had one British record, from Cumbria.

Laura Fox, ERCCIS Workshop Coordinator says,

“It is unclear whether this species truly is as rare as it seems, or merely very under-recorded. The main purpose of ERCCIS workshops is to improve skills and confidence in identifying and recording species groups in order to help fill the gaps in our knowledge.”

The specimen will be taken the Natural History Museum in London, and the record supplied to the Earthworm Society as the official national recording scheme, who share their records with the NBN and local record centres.

ERCCIS and Cornwall Wildlife Trust are always keen to hear about your wildlife sightings, anything from earthworms to humpback whales. You can share your sightings through the Online Recording Kernow and Scilly website www.ORKS.org.uk or via email to WIS@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk.
 

Categories: Environment
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