Since the last magazine the Trust has
had the first figures for recent habitat
loss from the LIFE Project, which
show that the decline in wildlife habitat
continues apace. As part of the Trust's
action to stop the decline, a
Countryside Advisory Service has been
established with a dedicated project
officer. Other immediate action
includes the appointment of a
Biodiversity Initiative Project Officer tth
work on the Biodiversity Audit for
CornwalL Both actions have resulted
in immediate benefits for wildlife.
The Trust is working hard to increase
its action in the marine environment,
and I hope that by the next magazine I
will be able to report good news with
respect to this as welL
Regional Biodiversity Initiative
Copies of the audit are available from
the RSPB - see page 7.
The 20 regional biodiversity action
plans being drawn up by the partnership
are nearing completion, with substantial
input from Trust staff and others in the
county. The next stage is to implement
these plans and see some real changes
on land and at sea.
Wildlife Trust's Conservation
Technical Advisory Group
I continue to represent the South West
Trusts Cornwall, Devon, Dorset,
Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon and
Gloucestershire on this national group.
My responsibilities include taking
matters of concern in the re~~ion to
meetings and reporting hack to the
region any decisions that are made.
Cornwall Local Biodiversity
The initiative now has a dedicated project
officer, Philippa Hoskin, who is based at
Trust HQ. David Brown at North
Cornwall District Council (Higher Trenani
Road, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 6TW;
is still the secretary of the group.
Philippa is concerned mainly with
producing an audit of Cornwall's
biodiversity, including species and
habitat accounts, trends and key issues.
Priorities will be identified in
consultation with other experts in
Cornwall and the audit will be published
in June 1997. At this stage the partners
in the initiative, which include over 50
representatives from District Councils,
the County Council, businesses and
voluntary bodies, as well as individuals,
will set up smaller groups aimed at
drawing up and implementing specific
action plans for the identified priorities.
Black Darter over Bodmin moor. Illustration: Sarah McCartney
Countryside Advisory Service
The Trust has established a Countryside
Advisory Service to combine the work
being done as part of the RSPB LIFE
Heathlands Project, the response to
individual approaches made to the Trust
by members and others, and the targeted
advice work needed to act on the results
of the LIFE Project habitat analysis.
A dedicated project officer, Sion
Brackenbury. has been appointed for an
initial six-month period to deal with
most of the advisory work. although
existing staff will still be involved with
All advice provided will be tailored to
suit the individual landowner's
requirements and circumstances.
Services will range from an advisory
visit, followed up by a short written
report, to the preparation of a full site
management plan. Sion will work
closely with other organisations such as
English Nature, RSPB, MAFF and the
Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.
One of the main aims of the service is to
promote the effective uptake of land-
based grants such as Countryside
Stewardship. This will benefit wildlife
and people, by providing the funds for
landowners to carry out
management as well as bringing
national funds into the Cornish
Roadside Verge Audit
With support from English Nature, the
Trust has appointed a project officer to
undertake a roadside verge audit in
Cornwall. Catriona Neil will be
compiling an inventory of verges which
are of conservation interest. including
geological and biological sites. Results
so far show that Cornish verges are
important wildlife habitats: some
support Red Data Book insects and
plants, others have attractive flower
swards where orchid colonies thrive.
and recent roadworks expose interesting
and important rock formations.
The Trust deals with over 400 planning
applications every year. and recent
important cases involving prime sites
for wildlife have included the proposals
for a recycling centre at Newlyn Downs.
and the planned new sewage treatment
works in the Seaton Valley.
In all cases the Trust puts forward the
nature conservation case and advises on
whether the proposals are acceptable
from a nature conservation point of
view. It is then up to local plannin~
officials to balance this with other
factors and make a recommendation to
their elected members. The final
decision is taken by the appropriate
elected planning committee at district or
Staff news: congratulations to Conservation Officer Tania Acuna on the birth of her son Pelham - we look forward to her return in the spring.
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