Cornwall Wildlife Trust Discovery Day

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust Discovery Day at The Eden Project was filled with great topics, speakers and a diverse mix of content.

Our highlights of this well thought out day of events focusing on Living with Nature:-

George Eustice presented the facts of The agricultural bill offering a new and welcome political path for agriculture. It appears the new bill will see an end to subsidising farmers with the current parameters of land size, gate width etc but instead financially rewarding farmers for good environmental practices.

I asked when will we see an end to the Badger cull & fully embrace a vaccination scheme instead? Additionally whether the new bill included farmers being financially rewarded for the vaccination of badgers? George Eustice in short replied yes, farmers already are and they do not wish to kill badgers forever, the next steps through vaccination could potentially form an exit strategy for the cull. The research being developed hopes to incorporate an oral vaccination which will inevitably stop the need for trapping.  After attending a meeting for Cornwall TBEG we recently learnt from Andy Robertson, Ecologist at University of Exeter of his development of a bait and deployment strategy for oral badger vaccination. We hope to hear more from Andy again soon. Andy Robertson on Twitter

We watched a beautiful and informative film Living with beavers and presentation with John Shelley Conservation manager at CWT and film maker Nina Constable. The film showcased how the future is bright for our introduced beavers in Cornwall and the UK. This is providing the projects future support for coexistence and all land issues are well managed with fast responses. We urge you to head over to the Cornwall Beaver project and have a look below at Living with beavers filmed when the CWT team headed over to Bavaria where beavers were released in the 1960’s. The film features project leader and land owner Chris Jones from Woodland Valley Farm in Ladock, a charismatic farmer working with the Cornwall Beaver Project lead by Cheryl Marriott, Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Head of Conservation who couldn’t be more committed to the future management of the project. We also meet the Bavarian farmers who have lived with the Beaver introductions successes and pitfalls in a vast agricultural area. The narrator David May has a rather charming and soothing voice too!

We were fully engaged with Sophie Pavelle whilst learning how we should be communicating to the millennial’s and generation X (anyone born in the nineties or naughties) and keeping the online community engaged. Ultimately how to make the rather “un-sexy” topic of conservation punchy, fast and exciting. Sophie can sure pack a punch with what she’s got to tell you, with a fun delivery every time! Follow her twitter feed here: Sophie Pavelle on twitter

I only wish I could do what Sophie achieves when introducing our own inspired woodland project, love of trees & wildlife friendly tree surgery services. #needacrashcourseinspeaking. However, whilst I can’t get my head around the short twitter feeds, I can pop it in a blog instead and bore the pants off everyone that bothers to read past the 1st paragraph. Are you still with me? Hope so, here’s Sophie!

Ian McCarthy the renowned wildlife director and film maker talked about his up coming wildlife films. Breathtaking cinematography. One of the films showed is about the people and their thoughts when working in nature. It’s a calming piece which resonates. Matt Slater, CWT’s Marine Awareness Officer featured and I’m a fan! I could talk to him all day. So enthused himself, interested in what you’ve got to say and picks up on anything positive. There couldn’t be anyone in a better position of motivating people to do good for our oceans and marine life. Great film and looking forward to seeing the rest.

Here’s one of Ian’s trailers.

We learn’t a lot from Emma Pearce, Horticultural Scientist at The Eden Project with her talk on Gardening with Nature. Great advice on what to plant for wildlife and quite rightly pointed out many times, leave certain elements of the garden for wildlife. Save your energy, don’t clear everything because its past it’s best and have a cup of tea instead. Plants carrying seed pods in Autumn look incredible with a frost and a bit of sunshine. I’m not sure Emma was aware of my little friend I met outside?


Carolyn Cadman’s last year with the trust is an amazing achievement and we were all really appreciative of her journey so far as Chief Executive. The year for the Trust also marked some fabulous milestones. Carolyn is currently keen to motivate all with the Cornwall Nature Reserves Fund

I’m sure the 200 strong audience will agree it was a fantastic day out with great content. Looking forward to next years AGM and Discovery Day.

We were delighted to receive our business membership certificate on the day. Thank you for the opportunity and for what lies ahead.

About the author: Angie Cruse

As well as working hard on the ground here in the UK, Angie has spent ample time volunteering in conservation abroad and continually studies habitat management in conservation.