Why it's important to create 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.
Creating new wildflower patches will contribute to the national effort to turnaround the loss of British meadows. Providing 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.
Making 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
An area about the size of 28 rugby pitches will be wildlife and people friendly.
European Regional Development Fund
Green Infrastructure for Growth 2 is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with Cornwall Council and University of Exeter providing match funding.
We are working with University of Exeter to assess the impact of improving urban green spaces that make up the Making Space for Nature project.
Full details are outlined in our leaflet;
Making space for nature in Cornish towns
What we are doing in Cornish towns
24 spaces across Cornwall have been improved for wildlife and people. The project has improved a selection of
- recreation grounds
- closed churchyards
to create havens for bees, butterflies, birds and hedgehogs introducing
- wildflower meadow patches
- pollinator shrubs and perennials
Wildlife is not the only focus of the project. The project has improve access and understanding through signage, seating, paths and ‘natural play’ opportunities.
For details of which towns and spaces we are working in, please see below.
Work started in September 2020. The rolling programme will complete by December 2022.
For up to date information on individual sites and details of how you can get involved please check our Let's Talk pages.
Guidance and case studies
Making Space for Nature has been introducing wildflower meadows and orchards in a number of spaces across Cornwall. We thought it might be useful for you to learn from what we've been doing;
- Wildflower meadow creation guidance
- Starting a community orchard
- Case Study - Treveglos Meadows, Hayle
- Case Study - Warfelton Field, Saltash
- Case Study - Knights Way, Redruth
- Case Study - St. Mary's Churchyard, Penzance
Towns and spaces
Making space for nature in Falmouth
In conjunction with Cornwall Councillors, Falmouth Town Council and local communities the following areas were chosen to receive enhancements:
- Beacon Park
- Lambs Lane estate
- Swanvale open space in Boslowick
- Tregoniggie Woodland
New benches, an orchard, wildlife-friendly plants, bulbs, trees and meadow patches have been introduced to the site.
View the final plan for The Beacon. Please note some changes were made while works were underway.
Gardening sessions took place monthly throughout 2021, our final session will take place on Thursday 16th March between 10am and 3pm. These are drop in sessions so there's no need to book.
Please contact the team if you are interested in volunteering via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lambs Lane estate
The team met with the resident's association LLAMA. As a result of the meeting, the group agreed to improve the open areas between the houses.
Bulbs were planted and small meadow bubbles sown with lots of new trees introduced to provide spring blossom.
To see the plans for the improvements, please see the Lamb's Lane landscape plan.
Swanvale open space - Boslowick
This area is part of the Falmouth Green Corridor from Tregoniggie Woodland to Swanpool.
A consultation exercise was undertaken in March 2021. Results were analysed and the final plan adjusted to take account of local views. Works have completed with the clearance of the ditch which now allows the water to flow through the site and new pollinator-friendly planting surrounding the football pitch area.
Working very closely with the Friends of Tregoniggie Woodland (FoTW), the team undertook some tree works. We have cleared an area of non-native trees now forms an open glade. More appropriate species of trees have been planted as replacements. In addition, selected grassland areas have been renovated and re-seeded to improve the floral diversity.
The Tregoniggie Woodland landscape plan shows the approximate areas where the project delivered inmprovements.
The friends group commissioned a local sculptor to create sculptures in the newly created glade within the woodland.
Exciting news for Launceston
The team has worked with Cornwall Councillors and the Town Council to identify spaces that could be improved as part of the project.
A consultation event was held on Saturday 29 February 2020 where residents were able to view the plans for two areas in the park
- Windmill Hill (also known as Coronation Park) Planting Concept
- Wooded area beside Coronation Park Concept
Works have been completed here. The bulbs have bloomed and the new meadow area flowered over the summer. We would welcome any volunteers who would like to help maintain this beautiful space in central Launceston.
Also on Saturday 29 February 2020, a workshop was held at St Thomas' Church Hall. Residents of Ridgegrove Estate and Lane gave their views on what improvements they'd like to see at the green spaces in this area.
After the event, the team reviewed all the comments before putting together the plan. A summary of the main findings of Ridgegrove Consultation and how we used this to guide the design has been prepared.
Works were completed here in February 2021 based on the landscape plan
Cornwall Council acquired land to the south of Ridgegrove Lane to enable a new crossing over the River Kensey for pedestrians and cyclists.
This new public open space is now open and buzzing with biodiversity. Urban Ranger events will be taking place until December 2022. View the Ridgegrove Outline landscape plan.
Newquay urban spaces benefit from improvements
The Making Space for Nature team has been working with Cornwall Councillors and the Town Council to agree the focus for wildlife improvements in selected spaces across Newquay.
The following areas were agreed for interventions;
Towan Blystra Green
A workshop was held by University of Exeter to gather views of local residents on Saturday 14 March 2020.
After the event, the team reviewed all the comments before putting together the plan. A summary of the main findings and how we used this to guide the design has been prepared.
Based on the suggestions, a landscape plan for Towan Blystra was developed which takes account of community use on the main grassed area with wildlife friendly planting around the edges.
Works have now been completed here.
St Columb Minor play area
Working in conjunction with Officers responsible for play, we have introduced new planting to complement the equipment at this site. Works were completed in May 2021.
View the landscape outline plan for St Columb Minor
Listry Road Recreation ground
An event was held on 24 August on site to share the plans with local people. If you would be interested in getting practically involved with the space, please email the team email@example.com. Works have been completed here.
The Making Space for Nature team has been working with Liskeard Town Council, Liskeard Together and Cornwall Councillors to agree works
The team took part in the Liskeard Unlocked event on Saturday 12 September 2020. Thank you to everyone who came to talk to us and completed a survey to give us feedback on the designs.
St Martin’s Churchyard
Thank you for the responses to our on-line consultation which closed on 26 May 2020.
The main works have now been completed. View St Martin's Churchyard landscape plan. Some changes to these plans were made during the on site works.
We want to set up some community events to involve local people.
If you would like to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Works including creating a wildlife hedge, adding picnic tables, planting fruit trees and pollinator plant beds, creating wildflower meadow areas to complement patches and colourful spring bulbs have now been completed.
Please have a look at the Castle Park landscape plan
New access, tree works and drainage solution were delivered here in autumn 2020. Local people have embraced these changes and have started to organise regular litter picks. If you would be interested in helping out, please contact the team.
The ‘Making Space for Nature’ programme has completed in St Austell.
The first project transformed the A391 into a stunning town gateway. A ‘river of wildflowers’ perfect for pollinators runs along the road verges.
Planted in March 2020, 4000m2 wildflowers bloomed. A passer-by took time to tell us how much they enjoyed our work;
'The wildflower meadow areas are truly fabulous. The balance of flowers is magnificent. It is a great accomplishment and they are to be complemented on the initiative.'
In September 2020, the project added more native wildflower areas. This forms a 2.5km wildlife corridor between Tregrehan Mills and Treverbyn roundabouts. A footpath / cycleway runs alongside much of the verge giving up close contact with nature.
The meadows include a combination of annual and perennial species. The mix will evolve over the years. The changes will provide colour and nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. The meadows will also provide cover and food for birds, small mammals and amphibians. Uncut meadow patches will act as refuge areas for creatures to shelter in over winter months.
Local residents and visitors to the town should enjoy the change over the years to come. This is one of many projects in St Austell for ‘Making Space for Nature’ and the Coastal Communities funded ‘St Austell Fresh Green Futures’
This project has brought together many partners with a shared goal to bring more colour, enjoyment and access to nature to St Austell.
The Making Space for Nature team has been working with;
- University of Exeter
- CC Highways
- St Austell Town Council
- Darren Hawkes Landscapes
- MeiLoci Ltd
- Pictorial Meadows
- National Wildflower Centre / Eden Project
Land south of the Meadows
Thank you to all who responded to a separate on-line consultation which closed on 12 June.
A The Meadows consultation summary of the main findings guided the final The Meadows landscape plan.
Works competed here in February 2021.
Thank you to all who responded to our on-line consultation which closed on 12 June. A Cemetery Park Consultation Summary of the main findings has guided the final Cemetery Park landscape plan.
Works completed here in March 2021.
The ancient harbour town of Penryn is already well known for its green credentials, from the story of Bishop Bronescombe founding Glasney (Glasneth meaning vegetation) there, to its history as a ‘town of orchards’, and it is this context that Making Space for Nature is aiming to integrate with our objective to increase biodiversity in public open spaces, throughout our schemes for the town which are due autumn/winter 20021/22.
Glasney College Field
The scheme for this significant heritage has been granted consent from Historic England and will be delivered in accordance with the conditions set out. An innovative approach has been taken to using planting arrangements to evoke a sense of the heritage, with a formal raised flower bed design planned in the area where the church tower once stood to planted with medical and sensory plants symbolic of those found in medieval abbey grounds. Works are complete now. Regular events will be taking place at this historic site over 2022.
Woodland below Saracen Way
Following Public consultation in spring 2021, plans have been developed to enhance the existing woodland environment of this cherish space with a mind to increase its resilience to future uses and environmental changes, including increased storm events and higher temperatures as a result of climate change for instance.
The main formal park for Penryn occupies an important location on a gateway to the town, with an existing play area and the Treluswell Stream running through the middle. Here, a mini-orchard is planned to reflect the town’s historic industry, whilst also bringing rich-blossom, much loved by pollinators. Works have now been completed including new seating surrounded by bubbles of meadow flowers, whilst you’ll be invited to explore the undergrowth of the stream-side ‘jungle’ through an enticing network of informal paths.
Penmarin Pocket Park
Proving that even modest green spaces are vital in our goal to deliver sustainable nature recovery, Making Space for Nature has teamed up with Cornwall Housing and members of the community to transform this pocket park into a haven for wildlife and people, bringing about improvements that have been a long-held ambition of local residents. Enhancements include a surfaced path connecting to a new second gated entrance. Sensory, wildflower and orchard style planting has been added, along with picnic seating, whilst an area of amenity grass has been retained for recreation.
In Bodmin, Making Space for Nature has enhanced three sites over autumn/winter 2021/22.
Kinsman Estate and Treningle View
This residential area is ideally situated for extending space for nature, being beside the Bodmin Beacon Local Nature Reserve. The scheme introduced pollinator-friendly shrub and perennial planting, sensitively located blossoming fruit trees, hedge enhancement, along with swathes of bulbs and wildflowers adding colour and enjoyment to grassed verges. A new accessible style, sustainably produced picnic bench was added to the existing play area. Works are complete and we would welcome any local involvement in the long-term management of these new features.
Tredanek Play Area
Located beside the Camel Trail at the end of Scarlett’s Well Road, this area will be managed as a semi-wet meadow habitat including meadow patches and a wetland. Making Space for Nature has transformed the current area of amenity grass by introducing beds of sensory planting, native trees and orchard varieties, new seating and picnic tables, and features to inspire natural play based on suggestions made by children at Berrycoombe Primary School.
The Burgage Plots
A special historical site, representing the rich heritage of Bodmin as a medieval borough, the field pattern of the Burgage Plots is covered by naturally regenerated secondary woodland, dominated by Sycamore and Ash. The enhancements carried carried out by Making Space for Nature respected both its current value to nature as an emerging woodland, and the historic importance of the relic hedge lines demarking the ‘plots’. Understorey planting with shrubs and trees, including hazel, holly and hawthorn, will provide a suitable habitat for the next generation of woodland canopy trees to mature within and reduce opportunities for incursion by non-native invasive species.
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