Connecting the Red River

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Connecting the Red River is an ambitious project seeking to understand long-term environmental change in the Red River Valley in order to design enhancements and inform management that will deliver:

  • Water Environment Benefits and Nature Recovery
  • Improved Accessibility and Connectivity with a Nature-rich Landscape for People

The Red River is steeped in history and character, from its source near Bolenowe, through the mining heartlands of Brea and Tuckingmill right through to the coast at Godrevy's iconic dune-flanked sandy beach. It pours through a landscape that has been modified by human activity over centuries of mining industry that has resulted in the river being predominantly contained in a constructed channel, disconnected with the natural floodplain.

Helping to re-naturalise the river's environment could bring greater diversity of rare wetland habitats, and the wildlife these support. Additionally, the Red River Valley has long been a place for people, historically a place of work as well as leisure, and a natural corridor between the urban area and the stunning coastline.

The project brings together Cornwall Council and the Environment Agency in a new collaborative approach which, if successful, will identify landscape opportunities for multi-functional benefits, addressing the priorities of each organisation.

The project, which will run from April 2022 to August 2022, will result in the production of a Vision Plan for the Red River from Tuckingmill to Godrevy, the development of which will include direct consultation with the community, landowners and other stakeholders.

Community workshops will be held as part of the development phase and we encourage you to check here for details of these, plus information on other ways to feed into the initiative.

Cornwall Council would like to thank the Environment Agency for making this project possible.


Connecting the Red River is an ambitious project seeking to understand long-term environmental change in the Red River Valley in order to design enhancements and inform management that will deliver:

  • Water Environment Benefits and Nature Recovery
  • Improved Accessibility and Connectivity with a Nature-rich Landscape for People

The Red River is steeped in history and character, from its source near Bolenowe, through the mining heartlands of Brea and Tuckingmill right through to the coast at Godrevy's iconic dune-flanked sandy beach. It pours through a landscape that has been modified by human activity over centuries of mining industry that has resulted in the river being predominantly contained in a constructed channel, disconnected with the natural floodplain.

Helping to re-naturalise the river's environment could bring greater diversity of rare wetland habitats, and the wildlife these support. Additionally, the Red River Valley has long been a place for people, historically a place of work as well as leisure, and a natural corridor between the urban area and the stunning coastline.

The project brings together Cornwall Council and the Environment Agency in a new collaborative approach which, if successful, will identify landscape opportunities for multi-functional benefits, addressing the priorities of each organisation.

The project, which will run from April 2022 to August 2022, will result in the production of a Vision Plan for the Red River from Tuckingmill to Godrevy, the development of which will include direct consultation with the community, landowners and other stakeholders.

Community workshops will be held as part of the development phase and we encourage you to check here for details of these, plus information on other ways to feed into the initiative.

Cornwall Council would like to thank the Environment Agency for making this project possible.


  • Red River Vision Plan released

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    Over the past six months the Environment Agency and Cornwall Council have been working in partnership to develop holistic vision plan for the Red River corridor from Tuckingmill to Godrevy.

    One result of this collaboration is a Vision Plan document outlining key trends and opportunities for the corridor over the short, medium and long term.

    Additionally, the partners, along with other key stakeholders will be continuing to work together through a steering group format to keep a holistic focus on the Red River, prioritising and, where possible, progressing towards opportunities identified in the vision plan.

    If you are interested in finding out more about the Red River steering group please do get in touch.

    The vision plan can be viewed at: LDA_09_Submission_Plain_A4_P (amazonaws.com)

  • Notice of Public Consultation Event

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    The Red River runs from Bolenowe through the industrial heartland of Pool and Brea Village, under the A30 at Tuckingmill and out to meet the sea at Godrevy. Cornwall Council and the Environment Agency are jointly running Connecting the River to explore how the river is changing and consider enhancements for people and nature recovery. The focus area is the main river north of the A30, from Tuckingmill to Godrevy.

    Come and have your say on the opportunities we are exploring through the vision plan project.

    Event information

    Thursday29th September

    Drop in: 2pm – 7pm | Presentations: 2.30 and 6pm (replicated)

    At The Red River Conservatory, Heartlands, Pool, TR15 3QY | www.heartlandscornwall.com

    If you can't attend but would like to give share your ideas and feedback with the project, please complete our survey on this website: Connecting the Red River | Let's Talk Cornwall

    Or contact us via the contact information below:

    Phone 07749712452

    Email charlotte.evans@cornwall.gov.uk


  • Community Walk to "Camborne's Shangri-la"

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    On Sunday 28th August members of the Treswithian Circular Pathways Community Group headed away from the town, down into the Red River Valley over a route that demonstrates both how easily connections between the town and the Red River could be improved today, as well as the rich cultural and historical connections that underpin why the valley has been called "Camborne's Shangri-la".

    The following text summarises a report submitted by the group as part of Connecting the Red River's community consultation process - If you want to submit your stories of the Red River to also inform our project, please do just get in touch:

    "This year's August longer group walk started at the Trevithick Inn, Camborne. First we had coffee and poured over maps and books on the history of the Red River; from Frank Turk's 1970's articles, to the Camborne Town Council booklet of walks, a route that was similar to ours. After a historical talk on Treswithian and the Glebe lands of Crane Manor we followed the main road to Weeth Road. We then turned left down Marriot's Road through new housing that leads to a footpath beside the A30, linking to Willow Drive.

    Stopping at Reskadinnick Road Playing Field, a nice little park, we spoke of the folklore of kissing-gates before continuing through the A30 underpass (foot) and considered the graffiti, whether it would be possible to have workshops with talented graffiti artists to help make such places feel more safe and attractive, perhaps reflecting the local environment and culture of the area. Moving on along the old Reskadinnick Road, we noted how the A30 divided up the old horticultural experiment fields (now Duchy College) where they tested flowers and vegetables under Cornish weather systems.

    We noted the history of Reskedinnick House, the former 19th home and woodland estates of Captain Vivian of Dolcoath Mines. The author Ann Hugh's wrote lovingly of the way of life here and the many friend's they had. Several writers, scientist's and artists have lived in Reskedinnick and felt drawn to the still rural feeling of Puggis Hill lane. Many of our group were intrigued by this name.

    Where the footpath joins Puggis Hill lane we continued straight on towards the Red River and Roscroggan, on a corner we admired the view over the marshlands of the River towards Coombe.

    We continued along the lane passing the cottage Shangri-la and paid homage to the memory of Frank and Stella Turk, in many ways the inspiration and backbone to the conservation of this area. At the end of the row of cottages was a watermill and here we turned left down a track to a wooden bridge over the Red River itself.

    Image: Exploring the Red River Local Nature Reserve

    We noted how greenish yellow and pink the water was looking and the accumulation of sediments on the rocks. We also looked at old photographs of the extensive Tin Stream Works here and contrasted it with much regrowth of Willow and Alder there now forming a rich and often flooded habitat of biodiversity. Even I remember the old red slime clay banks that we used to walk over now completely covered in overgrowth, a brilliant sight.

    We continued along the Red River towards Coombe on old mining paths of clay still filled with gorse, heather and broom. The Red River Path continues towards Keive Mill passing an outlet into the Red River from the sewage Works on the hill opposite.Coming out onto the lane by Cuttings Hill we turned left again down the green lane, over bridges of the Red River and Tehidy stream where they join and continued down about a mile to the footpath opening to beautiful Bell Lake noting some red fungi! The mill lake used to be a lot bigger and this can be studied on maps.

    We continued up the hill towards Grass Valley and stopped for the superb view of the Red River Valley woodlands towards Menadarva and Gwithian to the west and towards Tehidy Woods to the east. Here in an area where the farmer has left an area to grow more naturally we had a picnic. On leaving we discovered a toad had joined us!

    Image: Boletes Fungi and Picnic

    Coming back by Grass Valley we noted the sites of ancient wells or springs. Here, new ponds or lakes have been created down to marshes by the Red River, large gardens with apple trees and orchards indicative of long term land usage. There is a large site of previous market gardening now grown wild. The wooded area is know =n to overlay medieval field systems and would make an ideal spot for a community project on natural resource use including coppicing, orchards, wetlands and access.

    We completed our walk by field footpaths and green lanes to the Treswithian intersection where we started at Trevithick Inn".

    Many thanks to the group for allowing this summary to be shared - They hope it inspires more of you to get out and enjoy the delights of Cornwall's Red River.

  • Red River Rescuers celebrate 10 years of conservation in the Red River Local Nature Reserve

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    On Sunday 10th July ecologists and interested individuals joined the Red River Rescuers to celebrate their 10th anniversary on a special Dragonfly Day, in which members of the conservation group were able to see the fruits of their labour – various species of dragonfly and other wetland wildlife conserved in the Red River Local Nature Reserve as a result of the habitat management carried out over winter months.

    The day started at Great Wheal Seton, a former tin streaming works of the c.1870s which is now home to number of scarce and rare species of insects reliant on the marginal freshwater pools occupying the abandoned settling tanks and tailings dams (https://redriverrescuers.weebly.com/gt-wheal-seton-species.html).

    Great Wheal Seton is one the easier sites that the Rescuers manage – here activity includes removing willow & gorse to keep those species in check before the pools, which are rare habitat, become overgrown.

    Among one of the special species seen at this site is the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, an insect whose fate tells the story of change in the Red River valley, as group leader Steve Jones explained. The small dark damselfly with a pale blue coloured tip to the abdomen was at one stage on the brink of extinction in the UK. From the 1960’s to 1990’s Cornwall was recognised as a stronghold, with the insect able to make use of the many shallow, slity, open pools leftover in the landscapes of former tin and china clay works. As organic mater has slowly increased in the sediments, however, vegetation has begun to recolonise and the pools have reduced, becoming dry and overgrown with sedge, willow and gorse amongst others.

    The team recording species in the pools at Great Wheal Seton

    Now Great Wheal is the only site in the Red River Local Nature Reserve with recent recordings of the Scarce Blue-tailed, indicating the loss of one of the habitat types making up the internationally unique mosaic that Cornwall’s post-industrial landscapes are famous for. Steve continued, “In 2021 the British Dragonfly Society reported that five species of dragonfly and damselfly are currently declining in the UK – Four of those five are found along the Red River and it is therefore vital that appropriate habitat management takes place to ensure these few remaining sites survive.”

    After lunch the party moved to Bell Lake Marsh, some three miles downstream, the largest site managed by the volunteers and one which, despite a set-back in conservation works over the covid lockdown, could potentially be managed back into a condition to support the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly once more. Here the wetland is once again perched above the channelised Red River, and again held in disused tin-streaming settling tanks, demonstrating the bygone landscape of a near continuous array of independent secondary tin works through the river corridor.

    The Rescuers have worked at Bell Lake Marsh since initiation in 2012, having restored the more open cover and reinstating pools and channels, creating a rich mosaic of intermingled habitats across the site. With their valuable contribution the site will continue to be protected and used as an example in the techniques needed to maintain and restore habitats for some of our most threatened species.

    Mating Keeled Skimmer, Bell Lake Marsh

    To find out more about the ecology of the Red River Local Nature Reserve and if you are interested in joining the Red River Rescuers for their next season of conservation works, please visit: https://redriverrescuers.weebly.com/about-us.html


    Many thanks to Steve Jones, Jo Poland and all the Red River Rescuers for a great first 10 years, and many more to come. Well done!

  • Notice of Public Consultation Event

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    The Red River runs from Bolenowe through the industrial heartland of Pool and Brea Village, under the A30 at Tuckingmill and out to meet the sea at Godrevy.

    Cornwall Council and the Environment Agency are jointly running Connecting the River to explore how the river is changing and consider enhancements for people and nature recovery. The focus area is the main river north of the A30, from Tuckingmill to Godrevy.

    You are all invited to have your say as we consider a vision for the future of one of Cornwall’s most intriguing rivers.

    Event information

    Thursday 30th June

    Drop in: 2pm – 7pm | Presentations: 2.30 and 6pm (replicated)

    At The Red River Conservatory, Heartlands, Pool, TR15 3QY | www.heartlandscornwall.com

    If you can't attend but would like to give share your ideas and feedback with the project, please complete our survey on this website: Connecting the Red River | Let's Talk Cornwall

    Or contact us via the contact information below:

    Phone 07749712452

    Email charlotte.evans@cornwall.gov.uk(External link)

Page last updated: 17 Dec 2022, 07:00 PM