Focus on…CORNWALL WILDLIFE TRUST

There are 47 Wildlife Trusts in the UK known collectively as the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. On a personal basis I have been involved with just three of these: North Wales, Essex and Avon. For today’s ‘focus on’ post I thought I would look further afield, to Cornwall specifically, to discover the work that is going on there in relation to conservation projects.

Like other wildlife trusts key strategies are implemented partly through the ‘Living Landscapes’ and ‘Living Seas’ programmes, as well as actively engaging with planners, members of the public and landowners on a case by case basis. Much of the Trust’s work is steered by the Cornwall Biodiversity Action Plan , which takes a habitat based approach with an aim of achieving specific habitat targets. The BAP runs in line with the broader UK Biodiversity Action Plan. There is additionally a ‘geodiversity action plan‘ which aims to provide ‘clear guidance for the future of Earth science conservation’ in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. One of the key campaigns for CWT has been regarding Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). Despite a lengthy consultation by DEFRA and significant engagement by CWT in support of MCZs only 5 of the potential 13 inshore MCZs have been designated. Nonetheless, in the long run it is clear that MCZs will have to be part of a new sustainable marine strategy.

CWT has 57 nature reserves across the county, an active environmental education programme and runs hundreds of events every year. They also host the Environmental Records Centre for Conwall and the Isles of Scilly at their head office at Allet. This acts as a central database that collects, manages and disseminates information about both the biological and geological state of the county. Like other wildlife trusts CWT receives no direct government aid and relies on donations and membership.

For more information on CWT visit their website.

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