Making space for nature

Making space for nature in Cornish towns

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding has been secured to invest in urban green spaces as part of the Making Space for Nature project. We will be working in Bodmin, Falmouth, Launceston, Liskeard, Newquay, Penryn and St. Austell.

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With support from the University of Exeter and match funding from Cornwall Council, we will be spending £2.9m by 2022 transforming green deserts into wildlife-friendly spaces. In total, an area approximately the size of 28 rugby pitches will be renovated.

We are looking to enhance spaces such as recreation grounds, parks, edges of sports fields, verges and closed churchyards to create havens for bees, butterflies, birds and hedgehogs.  There will be wildflower meadows, ponds, hedges, trees, pollinator shrubs and bulbs to brighten up selected areas.

Wildlife is not the only focus of the project. The improvements will improve access and understanding by introducing signage, seats, paths and ‘natural play’ opportunities.

For more information about the project, please download our leaflet

Why do we need to make space for nature in our towns?

Cornwall’s Environmental Growth Strategy calls for creating the space and conditions for more abundant, productive and healthier habitats, species and natural systems which in turn, improve the lives of people.

For a host of different reasons wildlife is gradually being lost from towns. We need to provide homes for our bugs, birds and other wild creatures, just as we do for people.

Children are spending less time outdoors, so providing local high quality urban green spaces for play and interaction with nature, is more important than it has ever been.

Creating new wildflower patches will contribute to the national effort to turnaround the loss of British meadows and provide pollen, nectar and shelter for our butterflies and bees.

New hedges and woodland will provide homes for hedgehogs and may help to reverse the national decline in hedgehog numbers across the UK.

How will making space for nature make a difference?

Making Space for Nature will be good for people and wildlife in lots of different ways by:

  • creating attractive spaces in towns
  • planting flowers, trees and shrubs
  • improving spaces for birds, insects and wildlife
  • enhancing space for people to relax and exercise
  • providing volunteering opportunities
  • educating people and encouraging them to join in to help nature

If you'd like to get involved or have any suggestions for spaces in one of the seven towns, please email spacefornature@cornwall.gov.uk.