With a photo opportunity at every turn, it’s little wonder why Cornwall steals so many hearts. However, behind many of Cornwall’s greatest sites and natural treasures there are hardworking teams of staff and volunteers dedicated to keeping Cornwall and its environment as happy and healthy as possible.
Cornwall Wildlife Trust is one such organisation. A charity committed to protecting Cornwall's wildlife and wild places, both staff and volunteers of the Trust are passionate about conservation, and have been helping people to enjoy nature for over 50 years.
Recognising the vital work of Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the importance of lending a helping hand, a group of Classic Cottages’ staff made their way up to the Trust’s Head Office in Five Acres, near Truro. Managing 60 sites is no mean feat, but by doing so rare and endangered species are allowed safe refuge across 5,500 acres of Cornwall Wildlife Trust land.
Accepting that 5,500 acres was probably a bit optimistic for a day’s work, we were given a tour of the Trust’s beautiful Five Acres site instead before turning to our tools. Kitted out with various pieces of equipment, gloves and a packet of Rich Tea biscuits, we were ready to go. Spread out in front of us was a large, green field neatly dissected by a line of trees. A small but distinct grass-mound sat at the far end, which although not conspicuously impressive, turned out to be a scheduled ancient monument.
Having only been recently acquired, the land in front of us was to be turned into a natural wildflower meadow. A long-term project, our aim for the day was to clear wood and invasive species from the plot. It seemed a shame to be cutting back live plants, but to get wildflowers to grow you need to create conditions of low nutrients. This is so they don’t get out-competed by more lively species, so with that in mind, we set to it.
With some of us directed towards a mountain of logs that had been cut from wrongly-planted trees and the rest handed shears to tackle the jungle of brambles, everyone got stuck in straight away. Joined by David May, the Trust’s Practical Projects Officer whose enthusiasm was infectious, all the team worked energetically in lovely sunshine.
With a couple of tea breaks and lunch thrown in, the day kept a good pace and by the end of it, a huge amount of wood and bramble had been cleared, ready for the next stage of the project. We even made some new friends along the way.
Cornwall really is one of the most magical places on earth, and that’s why countless people from across the globe holiday here each year to experience first-hand its boundless natural aesthetics. Simon Tregoning, Chairman of Classic Cottages, says: “we love where we live and we try and put as much back into our environment as possible. For years we’ve been working with local charities and businesses to ensure Cornwall has a long, sustainable future ahead”.