Last chance to see?

"It seems we never fully appreciate what we've got until we're threatened with not having it any more." This line from Sifting through the Embers, a Cornwall Wildlife Trus play based on an old wives' tale from the Douglas Adams book Last Chance to See, just about sums up the message ~ conservationists are desperately trying to get across.

The play, written by Fund-raising Assistant Jo Pagan, performed by pupils from the Roseland School and filmed ir the woods at Kennall Vale by Alan Griffiths as part of a promotional video which the Trust hopes to make, has an underlying theme of people's unwillingness to take destruction of nature seriously until its effects become catastrophic - by which time the solutions (if any) to environmental problems will be much more costly.


The cast of Shifting through the Embers
The cast of Sifting through the Embers pictured in Kennall Vale with the Trust's Jo Pagan (fourth from left) and Alan Griffiths. photo: Amber Budden

Marine Week and Wildlife Week in June are just two of the platforms from which the Trust has tried to show Cornwall how much it has to lose if the destruction is allowed to continue. On a scientific level, we have been heavily involved in "biodiversity audits" (see conservation news on page 6) to assess this natural resource in detail.

Are we to be the last generation to see and enjoy wild Cornwall? Will the people of Cornwall allow their unique natural heritage to disappear? The Trust and its colleagues in other countryside organisations can only do so much - the whole community must take action to protect its own environment.

One encouraging sign has been the growing involvement of"'ordinary" people - as opposed to recognised conservationists - in community conservation projects. A recent example has been the establishment of the Swanpool Local Nature Reserve in Falmouth, in which the local residents have joined forces with the Trust, Carrick District Council, English Nature, the Environment Agency, Cornwall Countryside Services, the Falmouth Green Centre and the RSPB to protect and enhance wildlife on their doorstep. Partnership and co-operation of this kind are crucial to wildlife's future - let's all act together before it's too late.

Mark Nicholson

The Mayor of Falmouth, Mrs Brenda Bowers, officially opens Swanpool LNR. Also pictured are representatives of the community and the organisations involved, including the Trust's Sarah Mccartney tiust right of board) who designed the interpretive panels. photo: Stuart Hutchings

Peter Pool

Trust members will have learned with regret of the death of Peter Pool. He agreed to act as our first Honorary Solicitor when the Cornwall Naturalists' Trust was formed in 1962.

Peter steered us through the legal formalities of our incorporation and registration as a charity. Trusts like ours are frequently confronted with legal problems and he unstintingly gave us the benefit of his sound legal advice in those early years.

Peter Pool's own interests were primarily in archaeology and the Cornish language and culture, but he was always acutely aware of the importance and the unique nature of the county's environment and its wildlife.

Cornwall is the poorer for his loss, but his great contribution to the county will long be remembered.

Peter was buried in Zennor which he so loved. Frank Ansell represented the Trust at the funeral.


Ken Williams

Contents | The woodland of wild Cornwall