A gift of up to £30,000 will help continue a “monumental” nature recovery scheme in Cornwall.
The Bedruthan Community Fund, which has been created from donations gathered by the Bedruthan Hotel and Spa and the Scarlett Hotel in Mawgan Porth, will help the next phase of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s re-wilding scheme at Helman Tor near Bodmin
Pigs and native breed cattle have already been introduced at Helman Tor.
The team introduced three pigs, which are a native breed Oxford sandy and black, to part of the reserve in the summer.
They were loaned by a local farmer as part of a ‘re-wilding’ trial to create germinating opportunities for plants and to knock back the dominant ones, like bracken, to help wildlife flourish.
Fifteen native breed longhorn cattle were introduced to the moor last month.
It is hoped that they will shape the landscape through habitual grazing. The cattle disturb the ground with their hooves and graze in a way that encourages an array of wildflowers.
Cornwall Wildlife Trust will introduce three Tamworth pigs to the new farmland over the next month following the success of the pig trial.
This new land, which covers 97 acres, was previously farmed intensively, so the charity is working hard to bring it back into a more natural state.
This involves removing nutrients and reversing the drainage which has taken place over the years.
It is hoped that the pigs’ activities will bring many positive benefits.
Andy Collins, Mid-Cornwall reserves manager, said: “Pigs are nature’s plough.
“They rootle around in the ground – turning over sods of earth with their strong necks – as wild boar would have done in Britain hundreds of years ago.”
The Bedruthan Community Fund have offered £30,000 to match fund Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Christmas Appeal to help develop its ambitious re-wilding plans.
Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s use of re-wilding principles takes inspiration from past landscapes in which wildlife thrived, enabling a wide area to become more biodiverse and more resilient.
The activities of the pigs and cattle are an ancient and sustainable alternative to the use of heavy machinery.
This management strategy needs to be carefully controlled and monitored, and public access must be improved so that people can see the project’s progress for themselves. A new phase of the appeal is being launched for Christmas to fund this vital work.
Emma Stratton, CEO of Scarlet & Bedruthan Hotels, said: “Cornwall holds such a special place in the hearts of our team and the many visitors who come here each year to enjoy its wild beauty.
“The stunning scenery and rugged coastline, however, should not mask the uncomfortable reality that nature is in serious trouble in Cornwall.
“We find that our guests are very glad to contribute to our Bedruthan Community Fund as part of their holiday – and this year we’re delighted that it will be able to support Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Christmas Appeal through this match fund.
“The ambitious re-wilding plans for Helman Tor nature reserve are truly inspiring and we hope many other people and businesses will dig deep to support them in nature’s time of need.”
Andy Collins said: “We’re so grateful to the team at Scarlet & Bedruthan Hotels. Thanks to support from businesses like this, the public, and our members, this landscape-scale nature recovery project is the best gift Cornwall’s wildlife could wish for.
“It is really exciting that we’re making this progress. But there’s still a lot more to do, and any help would be much appreciated. Your gift this Christmas can help nature make a comeback.”
To support the appeal visit www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/rewildingappeal