Newsletter April 2022

NEWS

Litter Clearance from Wild Places

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Wildlife Groundswell are delighted to have been offered support to clean up litter from wild places by Carol Hurst who started ONE BAG in 2017. https://www.beachguardian.org/2020/04/30/one-bag-beach-clean/ Our first wild places, on 18th March, were the roadside verges from Traboe Cross towards Kuggar as far as the road to Gwendreath.

Total rubbish collected was 49.7 kg (not including the car wheels and hubs, metal and road signs).

13.8 kg of this was cans and bottles which will be recycled.

If you know of a particular piece of ground which needs clearing, please contact wildlifegroundswell@gmail.com.

Follow One Bag on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/onebagbeachclean/

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Please distribute the attached poster about how to make our beautiful Helford River plastic free. It was created by One Bag in collaboration with Clean Ocean Sailing https://www.facebook.com/cleanoceansailing/ and Helford Voluntary Marine Conservation http://helfordmarineconservation.co.uk/

How to Grow Trees and Make Money

This fascinating event was both informative and hugely enjoyable. Rosuick Farm was looking splendid on the first day of Spring. Thanks to the Oates Family for hosting, and to Forest for Cornwall and Tevi for inviting us. Thanks particularly to Dave who told us so much about the way his family run their farm, with sustainability always top of their agenda. They have embarked on a 10 year plan to establish woodland pasture involving (sequentially) hay making, short term grazing -first of sheep and then cattle - and ending up with cattle grazing as part of a rotation. 

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We learned from Nick Jarvis how Working Woodlands CIC is bringing small woodland back into active management, with timber products sold locally. They also encourage greater public access to woodland. They have a long term plan to coppice hardwood trees every 20 years.  The fruits of their work include solar kiln dried firewood, BBQ charcoal, poles for treehouses, woodturning, boat building, chestnut garden fencing, tree stakes and flooring. Regeneration of their woodland includes increasing diversity, as poor diversity is associated with poor resilience to storms, fire and disease. 

See https://workingwoodlandscornwall.com/about/

Steve Evans has designed his business, Tree Investment, around what he describes as environmental arboriculture. For every step of the business process he considers and analyses the environmental impact. He advocates the local production of common timber products, including fence posts and woodchip. (Currently, the UK is the second greatest importer of timber – the greatest being China.) He inspired an enthusiastic discussion about woodchip. If you wish you could have joined in, there is good advice on the Soil Association’s website. https://www.benraskin.com/general-8 and a new book by Ben Raskin ( see our booklist below).

A key message from Steve was, for woodchip as well as all other timber products, source locally and produce your own if possible. http://www.treeinvestment.co.uk/about.aspx

Shaun Sullivan of the Cornish Pilot Gig Association explained how the traditional craft of gig making is alive and well, but how there has been difficulty accessing elm thanks to Dutch Elm disease. We were encouraged to try to plant elm and source disease- resistant stock.  

Jonathan Jones, whose day job is directing the production of tea with the Tregothnan Estate, told us about an exciting new venture called “Tremap” which is being developed in Cornwall and piloted in Falmouth, but which has gained worldwide interest. The aim is to record every tree on the planet, by using the world population’s mobile phones as well as satellite observation. That’s some data set! Clearly the applications are extensive and this provoked a searching discussion.

Living Willow Arch Making with Geraldine Jones

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The weather was terrible for this workshop, so those of us who turned up were a few Geraldine had not been able to contact to say it was cancelled! She taught us some rudimentary skills in working with living willow, including making fences and trellises, and advised how to care for the trees in order to harvest the wood. If the opportunity comes round again, the workshop is highly recommended.

You can see some of Geraldine’s work in her Salt Cellar Workshops in Porthleven and on her website. https://www.geraldinejones.co.uk

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March Monthly Sunday Lunch at Trethewey, St Martin  by Caroline Richardson 

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Seven of us got together at Trethewey near St Martin on a breezy but beautifully sunny spring day.  We shared delicious food and enjoyed some stimulating conversation on a range of subjects including adaptation and building resilience in the face of coming climate change impacts, and the way in which community initiatives in Falmouth, Frome and elsewhere have brought about significant practical improvements in people's lives.  Lots to ponder upon here, and hopefully something which can be developed for our own communities in Helston and the Lizard.

Time did not permit a full discussion on trees in the Lizard landscape, but you might be interested to watch a series of short videos called 'Wood for the Trees', available on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eogLsGeXWUI

Future Events

Nansloe Woodland Creation Open Day, Saturday April 2nd 3-6pm

The Old Cattle Market, Helston TR13 0SR. The National Trust will share their plans to restore 6 hectares of land on the Outskirts of Helston.

Restoring Cornwall’s Land and Sea – with Gillian Burke Tuesday 26 April 2022 5:45pm - 8:00pm, Heartlands

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Restoring 30% of Cornwall’s land and sea for nature by 2030: is it really possible?

https://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/events/2022-04-26-restoring-cornwalls-land-and-sea-gillian-burke

Explore your Local Working Woods – a walk and talk in Devichoys Wood, Thursday 5th May 13.00-15.00pm 

To book tickets, see https://workingwoodlandscornwall.com/events/

Wildlife Groundswell AGM, followed by a talk from Lawrence Sampson, Monday 16thMay 6.30pm at Trewoon Farm, St Martin TR12 6DT.

Lawrie is the regional Farm Environment Adviser for Farmers and Wildlife Advisory Group South West, FWAGSW. Save the date – everyone interested in local Nature Recovery is welcome.

Scything Course Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May, Mullion.

For details please click on this link https://1drv.ms/w/s!AoROvjKqhOFCqhHcpqEZVqLNOcvp

Lizard NNR vegetation survey Monday 20th - Friday 24th June

Natural England invite external volunteers to join NE staff to take part in their Long Term Monitoring Network Project LTMN@naturalengland.org.uk. They expect mixed ability groups with "roving experts on hand, surveying permanent 2 metre squared plots, and record all the plants, mosses and lichens. It's a huge amount of fun.....and will help you scrub up your plant ID skills!" It is suggested we attend on Monday and at least one other day. Apply by 14th April via this booking link https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=UCQKdycCYkyQx044U38RAg9RGbrE_lxJhhzpXQKCD5xUMVVFWUQwMTZHSEhLN0YwSVlQUjQxUkswVy4u

Wetland Creation, Saturday 9th July 10.00am-12.30pm

See Nature increasing at some new ponds on Goonhilly Downs - led by Morgan Ravine, Lizard National Nature Reserve Manager, Natural England. Save the date. 

COMMUNITY MESSAGEBOARD

Tree Production Innovation Fund 

This government fund is now open, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-production-innovation-fund It may be of interest to people wondering whether to start up a tree nursery as a business, or as a part of the business they run already.  The fund will support research and development of new technologies and ways of working which will supply young trees at scale. Applicants are invited to submit multi-year proposals valued up to £300,000 per year, and a minimum of £20,000.

If you want to partner with Wildlife Groundswell as a community group, we would love to hear from you.

Local electricity for local people Thursday 28th April 09.50-17.00 Chacewater Village Hall.

Do you want to help to create a publicly–owned green energy company in Cornwall? See attached information sheet and application form. 

National Meadows Day 2nd July

Wildlife Groundswell would like to celebrate Plantlife’s Wildflower Meadow Day, https://meadows.plantlife.org.uk/national-meadows-day/

https://youtu.be/qScUwn0HHjM.

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HOW shall we celebrate it? 

Firstly, we invite anyone who looks after a wildflower meadow and who would like people to visit and admire, please let us know.

Secondly, we need your ideas – for example, we could arrange a cycle ride around as many wildflower meadows as possible on the Lizard Peninsula. Or we could arrange for a workshop to identify species of flowers and invertebrates.

Our aims - to admire and appreciate the beauty and wonder of a wildflower meadow, to encourage the preservation of the remaining few intact wildflower meadows  (Plantlife tells us 97% have been lost) and, of course, to encourage the creation of many, many more wildflower meadows.

And ultimately, CONNECT THEM UP!! 

Would someone like to lead on this project? Please write to wildlifegroundswell@gmail.com

Booklist

The Woodchip Handbook by Ben Raskin, recommended by Steve Evans of Tree Investment, https://www.benraskin.com/general-8

Our Place by Mark Cocker, recommended by Sandy Pulfrey

Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard, recommended by Carolyn Thomson

Creating a Forest Garden by Martin Crawford, recommended by Lizzy Griffith

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