Only rain down the drain in Helston!

Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Loe Pool Forum have teamed up with children from St. Michael’s Primary School in Helston to keep the River Cober cleaner. Children from the school went into Helston armed with yellow paint and fish-shaped stencils. 

They carefully painted Yellow Fish symbols next to Helston’s historic kennels and surface water drains, to clearly mark the places where water empties straight into the River Cober.  The Yellow Fish symbols are to remind people that it should be ‘Only Rain Down the Drain!’

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This Environment Agency initiative helps to reduce river pollution - Yellow Fish is part of a bigger effort by multiple organisations to bring benefits for water quality, wildlife and people in and around the River Cober.  

Farmers are also making land management changes, like planting a wider variety of deep-rooted grasses and flowers.  Wildlife, including pollinating insects, benefit from this exciting mix of species, and cows get a more varied diet which can help fend off illness.  Deeper rooting plants make the soil spongy, holding onto water better and then releasing it slowly.  More fields like this can catch pollution before it gets to the river, as well as ‘slowing the flow’ during heavy rain which helps to reduce the risk of flooding in Helston.

Soil condition, its ability to absorb water and prevent run off is fundamental to natural flood management. In recognition of this the Cornwall Catchment Partnership now has a specific working group looking into this issue.

Sustainable soil management supports clean water, produces healthy food (profitably), and enhances ecosystems, something central to the future of Cornwall, both economically and environmentally. Looking after our soil means protecting our most precious asset, improving the soil is about developing systems that support our people, our economy, protect our environment whilst forging new methods for food production.

To find out more about the Group or how you can get involved contact the Cornwall Catchment Partnership Officer Mark Summers mark.summers@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk.