"Biodiversity" was the word on everyone s lips in June, with the publication of an important document setting out priorities for conservation in Cornwall. Meeting our objectives will, of course, require even more effort and money. Without the help of our members, supporters and volunteers, just a few of whom are mentioned here, the progress we have made to date would not have been possible. Thank you all.
20th June 1997
Photo: Neil Lindsay
Robin Teverson, MEP for Cornwall and West Plymouth, and Mrs Doris Ansari, Leader of Cornwall County Council and Chair of the Cornwall Biodiversity Initiative Steering Group, launched the publication of Cornwall s Biodiversity Volume I: Audit and Priorities on a wet and windy morning at Bodmin Beacon.
The event was timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio, highlighting the link between the Biodiversity Convention signed there in 1992 and the local initiatives, such as this one, to which it has led. The launch was well covered by the media, receiving a full page in the Western Morning News as well as numerous television and radio reports.
Illustrator Sarah McCartney
The publication sets out for the first time the priorities for conservation in Cornwall, using a wide range of information from the Cornwall LIFE Project, local recorders and national experts. It is the most significant event for nature conservation in Cornwall for many years, and the Trust has been closely involved since the start, leading the process and hosting the initiative.
Twelve key recommendations are made in Volume I, and steps are already being taken to implement them with the support of all of the Cornwall Biodiversity Initiative Partnership. Robin Teverson said at the launch, "It s great to see Cornwall leading the way again. I hope the recommendations can be implemented quickly and effectively." More information on Volume I is in the conservation report (see page 8), where you can also find details of how to obtain your own copy.
The Habitat Appeal continues to break all records. Remember, we should be able to multiply everything you contribute by at least ten with funding from other sources, allowing us to own and protect important wildlife sites for ever.
Thank you to all those volunteers who so gallantly came to help at the Royal Cornwall Show, even though the weather was either wet, windy, or both! The event was still a great success, raising over ú1,500 from sales and the raffle. Thanks also go to Lorna Crewes, who created such a wonderful wildflower display, which not only promoted our nursery project but added to our custom.
Our new shop premises are looking very attractive now, especially as we have such a bright display of information about the Trust and its work. Thanks again to all the volunteers, customers and those people who have donated such a wide variety of plants and books for sale.
We have now cleared, painted and (thanks to Mary Johnson s donation) carpeted the upstairs room, ready for workshops, slide shows and talks. Please check in the diary for details of the workshops - Wildlife Gardening in September, Garden Birds and Boxes in October, Wildlife Drawing and Painting in November, and Bats in Your Garden in January. We hope to be running others not listed, so if you are interested, please ring the shop on (01736) 331824.
If you haven t thought about Christmas yet, please allow me to invite you to the coffee morning and bring-and-buy in the shop on Saturday 22nd November. We will have plenty of Christmas gift ideas, including the 1998 Wild about Cornwall calendar, Christmas cards and, of course, a good cup of tea or coffee!
If you would like to order our calendar or cards by post, please see the back page of the magazine, where you will find an order form. Please try to buy your calendars directly from us and urge your friends and relatives to do the same. While they are available from many major retail outlets in the county, you may pay more and yet we would make less of a profit!
Well done to everyone! It was another fantastic total for raffle ticket sales. This would not have happened without all your efforts at either selling or buying them. The total raised stands at over £7,000. Listed below are some of the lucky winners: First prize - Mr L McDonnell of Truro
Second prize - Mr A Pitt of Lanner
Third prize - Mr Staite of Pool
Fourth prize - Mr Wyatt of Truro
Thank you to Gail Cory of Caradon Branch and to Jackie Ellis-Martin of the newly formed Launceston Branch for all their efforts at various events in their districts. I would still like to encourage any other branches to get in touch if they would like to raise money for the Trust and, indeed, their own branch, through sales.
I have enjoyed some lovely hot summer days at Bosilliac tending to the wild plants I have grown there this year. The wild flowers on the field and in pots have been attractive to all sorts of bees, butterflies and birds. There is a pair of swallows nesting in the shed and the young are very noisy now. Their parents practise their acrobatics over the meadow, picking up insects on the wing. The blackbird sits on the fence post and is always a welcome sight - he seems to be attracted by all those little grey slugs I have too many of! The bumble-bees buzz around inside the tunnel, attracted by the wild thyme. They do seem to find it difficult to find their way out of the tunnel, which has two open ends that you could drive a bus through, so if the tunnel is particularly hot I spend some time catching them in a flower pot and taking them out.
I have let the meadow grow up and do its own thing, and I have been surprised by two plants that have grown there - yellow bartsia and trailing St John s-wort. The field poppies have been a pretty sight. I have to say, apart from these, the other plants spreading thickly across the meadow have been typical arable plants (and weeds!): docks, sow-thistle, hairy tare, groundsel, scarlet pimpernel and parsley-piert. But the goldfinches and ladybirds have been quite happy with this mix of plants.
I will be endeavouring to establish a hay meadow for next year!
Before I finish, I must explain how much help I have received from Stewart Clark, which has been entirely voluntary. He has done so much and I wouldn t have got everything up and running without him. He can turn his hand to anything, and has given me really good advice on the horticultural side as well. He has helped me organise everything so that the growing can be efficient, which is especially important as there are only a few people to do the work. At the same time, we are managing to keep away from the use of pesticides, and we are 90% peat-free - only 10% to go. Our other aim is to produce plants from seed collected in Cornwall. At present, we can claim to produce native plants from British seed.
If you do wish to visit to see how we are getting on, I would be delighted to see you any Saturday between 10.00am and 4.00pm and the telephone number there is (01326) 250922. (Call Trust HQ for a map, or see page 10 of the last Wild Cornwall.)
Photo: Lorna Crewes
The Trust s Annual General Meeting will be held in the Philbrick Gallery of the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, on Saturday 8th November, beginning at 2.00pm. Please note the change of date from 18th October.
The formal business will be followed by a talk on "Cornwall and the Atlantic Arc: Our Widening Horizons" by Dr Chris Page. Dr Page is an evolutionary biologist with a broad range of interests in natural history and geology. He was on the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh for 25 years. Retiring to Cornwall, he has become an active member of the Trust and chairs the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation of Biological Recorders.