A giant vacuum is being used to collect wild flower seeds on the Bath Skyline so that they can be spread over meadows and improve plant diversity. Continue reading…
Twenty-five years of dedication to saving the cirl bunting as a breeding species in Britain has been rewarded, with the threatened bird’s population topping 1,000 pairs.
Farmers in Devon and Cornwall have responded brilliantly and helped the RSPB make a giant step towards achieving conservation security for this farmland bird.
Tregullas farm, sitting on the tip of the Lizard was acquired by the National Trust in the early 1990s and is closely linked to the local community of the Lizard as well as providing much of the feeding ground for the first breeding pair of Cornish choughs in the county. Situated either side of the footpath to Lizard Point, hundreds of thousands of visitors pass through the farm on their way to the most southerly point
Tregullas is no ordinary farm and comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges. The new tenant farmer, who can choose between an initial 10 and 20 year tenancy needs to be someone who wants to be a part of the community, and understands the importance of the farm for people as well as wildlife and who can run a successful business.
Alastair Cameron, The National Trust’s property Manager for the Lizard explains “The farm is on the edge of Lizard village and so when the previous tenant left, the Trust took the time to listen to what the local community wanted from the land on their doorstep and to give them an opportunity to be involved in its future. We found that most people wanted a working farm, that wildlife, access and views were important and that people were really interested in being able to buy local food, so now we are looking for a new tenant who wants to work with the local community and ourselves to help make the most of this opportunity”.
The Trust has been working with three local groups set up as a result of this consultation, one looking at a community food growing scheme, another looking to find new uses for the old buildings and a third looking at the wildlife potential of the new tenancy . Alastair says “it has been great working with the local community and trying to develop these new projects. It’s not all been successful but we’re hoping that the partnership approach can continue with our new tenant and we can move forward with projects that benefit the people of the Lizard as well as our tenant”
The Trust has been very involved in this area of the Lizard for over 20 years and has carried out a number of access, landscape and nature conservation projects aimed at making theLizard Pointarea better for people and wildlife. Such work includes a new footpath between the Lizard andLizard Point; under-grounding of overhead wires; restoration of historic buildings such as the Lizard Wireless Station and the Polbrean Youth Hostel; and landscape improvements such as removing poorly sited buildings. Conservation improvements have helped the re-establishment of a population of choughs inCornwalland protected and improved habitats in the area.
An estimated 200,000 people visit theLizard Pointeach year, all of whom will walk, cycle or drive past the farmhouse and through the farm to reach their destination, this iconic stretch of Cornish coast. The Trust’s intention with much of its access and landscape work has been to make the Lizard a more enjoyable experience and encouraging repeat visits. The Trust has been careful in all its work to not upset the balance of businesses within the community and has sought to complement and not compete with existing enterprises.
Justin Whitehouse, Head Ranger for the Lizard said: ‘ We want Tregullas farm to be a ‘flagship’ farm for the Trust, demonstrating that farming with high conservation standards can achieved in a profitable and sustainable way, benefiting wildlife, the community and visitors and producing quality local produce”.
Tenancy of the 96.6 hectare Tregullas Farm includes a house and buildings and the farm, which has a Higher Level Stewardship agreement, needs to be managed as an arable and livestock farm.
For further information on applying for this tenancy please click here