Green Infrastructure for Growth - What is Being Done and How.

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


The aims of the Green Infrastructure for Growth

The project team is working to improve urban open spaces so they become more sociable community hubs. It is hoped they will be celebrated and enjoyed by local people.

We aim to:

  • plant
    • wildflower meadows
    • trees
    • orchards
    • pollinator friendly flower beds
  • create Cornish hedges and ponds
  • work with local communities to re-think areas of our green space

We want to encourage existing uses, such as responsible dog walking and sports to support healthy living.

The University of Exeter's environmental specialists are working with our project team. They will help to ensure that we can measure and understand the benefits of the improved green spaces: both for nature and local communities.

Why we are doing it

In 2015 Cornwall Council launched the Environmental Growth Strategy. Protection alone is no longer enough. Through this strategy we are working on investing in and growing the environment as well as protecting it.

The GI4G project is leading the way in environmental net gain. We will be investing in urban greenspaces so that they are of greater benefit to people and wildlife. Through this work we will develop a range of best-practice maintenance techniques. These will support environmental growth and can be used on other public open spaces in Cornwall.

Public consultations were carried out in the project towns to gather local points of view on their open spaces. 

Funding

The project is receiving £2,800,500 of funding. This is from the European Regional Development Fund. Cornwall Council has put forward £670,000, and the University of Exeter is providing £32,500. This includes both capital investment and establishment works.

For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Community engagement

The Green Infrastructure for Growth team conducted a series of public consultation events. Residents in the seven towns were able to provide feedback on the plans to public open spaces.

The events were very successful. We gained a spread of opinion about the environment and public open spaces in each town. These fed into the final design stages of each project.

TheRoyal Cornwall Show

The team had a stand at the summer show to help direct engagement with residents from across the county. The Kehelland Trust's 'Biodiversity in a wheelbarrow' showed in miniature the aims and objectives. This was a great attraction to visitors. Workshops also took place to make wildflower seed 'bombs'. This was to encourage people to create their own mini wildflower meadow.

Places for people and wildlife

Residents took part in activities across the sites to experience the enriched green spaces and get involved in further improvements.

The first spring event took place in Penzance on 30 March 2019.  We'd like to thank all the volunteers who gave up their Saturday to help out.

Also completed in 2019 were community days at:

Email the team for more information GI4G@cornwall.gov.uk.

Green Infrastructure for Growth Projects

Green Infrastructure for Growth launched at Treskerby Playing Fields, Redruth on 18 April 2018. Partners, councillors, and local communities came to find out more about the project.

Children at Treleigh Community Primary School built over 100 rooms for the bug hotel.  Bug hotels provide homes for insects. Together with flowers, trees and meadows wildlife will flourish.

Treskerby Playing Fields is the first one of 30 sites completed. The towns to benefit are Redruth, Pool, Penzance, Bude, Camborne, Hayle and Saltash.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Sue James, said. “Over the next two years, £3.5m is to be spent on public open space areas, roadside verges and churchyards. This will make them better places for people and for wildlife.

“The bug hotel these students have built are the beginning of the nature revolution. More projects are underway or planned across Cornwall . It’s about creating nature-rich habitats. Which will cover an area equal to 35 rugby pitches” Cllr James said.

“We are on a mission to improve urban open spaces. They will become community hubs, celebrated and enjoyed by local people. We’ll be planting wildflowers, trees and orchards, creating Cornish hedges and ponds. We will work with local communities to improve parks, building on how they are currently used.”

Professor Juliet Osborne, Director of the Environment and Sustainability Institute and Chair in Applied Ecology at the University of Exeter said. “Urban areas are increasingly acting as refuges for our pollinators. This project is a fantastic opportunity to increase bumblebee and solitary bees numbers across Cornwall. The University of Exeter is glad to be part of such a positive project. Contributing to our local environment.”

Yellow rattle is an annual grassland plant. It suppresses grass growth which allows a variety of native wildflowers to appear. This reduces the need for mowing and attracts pollinating insects.

At the end of each growing season, as the annual yellow rattle plants die away, gaps are left into which new wildflowers can flourish.

Wildflower seed sown in areas where yellow rattle already exists does well.

The project trialled harvesting Cornish yellow rattle from Tehidy Country Park. These seeds were sown on two sites in Pool. The seed was collected in July and sown in October 2018.

Over the years, we hope that the yellow rattle will reduce the coverage of grass. This will reveal the underlying seedbank to restore original Cornish meadow wildflowers.

For a more detailed outline of how this was done in partnership with other organisations, please read the yellow rattle case study.

If successful, we hope this will be employed on other sites across Cornwall.

Treveglos Meadow in Hayle has been awarded a level 5 - Outstanding award from Britain in Bloom South West. 

Treveglos Meadow was previously known as Bay View Terrace. Local residents were given the opportunity to choose a new name for their upgraded new space. This came in the form of a post construction questionnaire sent out by the Making Space for Nature team. Treveglos Meadow was the preferred option. The open space has been well-received with lots of people using it. They appreciate the wildflowers and new benches that make it more welcoming.

"...thanks for the hard work by the workers, and for providing the whole project as its so positive on many levels. Do it in every town!"

The planted beds and trees are doing well. The wildflower margins are thriving, adding colour and attracting pollinators to this urban area. We are excited to see how the areas of wildflower meadow mature over time. 

At the same time, Hayle in Bloom attended the South West in Bloom presentation on 4 October 2018. They picked up a Gold Award in the Champion of Champions.

Congratulations to everyone involved!

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