Making Space for Nature

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The Making Space for Nature project is enhancing 24 spaces in seven towns to create havens for bees, butterflies, birds and hedgehogs. The project also seeks to improve access for people.

Part of our ambition is to make sure we take people with us. If you live close to any of these spaces, we'd appreciate your involvement. New dates for our gardening drop-in groups have just been added for May - see the Key Dates on the sidebar.

Green Infrastructure for Growth 2 is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The Making Space for Nature project is enhancing 24 spaces in seven towns to create havens for bees, butterflies, birds and hedgehogs. The project also seeks to improve access for people.

Part of our ambition is to make sure we take people with us. If you live close to any of these spaces, we'd appreciate your involvement. New dates for our gardening drop-in groups have just been added for May - see the Key Dates on the sidebar.

Green Infrastructure for Growth 2 is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

  • Gardening and meadow creation day at Glasney College Field

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    At the end of last month the MS4N team and Becky our Urban Ranger hosted one of the volunteer gardening sessions at Glasney College Field in Penryn. This site is of great historical importance as well as being a favourite with the residents of Penryn as a place to come and sit in the sunshine and walk their dogs.



    There was a great turnout for the day with local residents and members of community groups from all walks of life and ages. The good growing weather had made plenty of work for everyone with lots of cleavers and nettles growing up in our plant beds. But with gloves, determination, shovels and hard work the volunteers all did an amazing job and made the plant beds look like new again.

    After the weeds had been tackled it was time to re-sow the wildflower meadows. As the grass and soil is so rich at Glasney College Field the initial attempt at meadow creation hadn't really been effective. So the decision was made to do a very light turf strip and sand of the meadow areas and then re-sow the wildflower seed mix that contains 32 different species. Wildflowers do well in poor quality soil and the sand is there to give them a head start over the grass. The volunteers had great fun learning about the process,sowing the seeds and then raking the areas to help bury the seed slightly and protect it from birds and the elements.

    Overall this was a great day and the volunteer gardeners achieved a lot. If you would like to be a volunteer gardener for the day check out our schedule on the right of the homepage. We run lots of events at sites all across Cornwall and everyone is welcome.

    So next time the weather is nice and you can't think of what to do, come along to one of the sessions and help care for and improve your local greenspace.

  • Making Space for Nature Shortlisted for CIEEM award!

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    The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management has shortlisted Making Space for Nature for its prestigious CIEEM Best Practice – Large-Scale Nature Conservation Award.

    MS4N is up against three other projects in this category and the winner will be announced in a ceremony on June 22nd in London.

    More information about the awards can be found here on the CIEEM website and a full press release is available on the Cornwall Council website here.

  • New dates for drop in gardening events UPDATED

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    Our Urban Ranger is out and about again in preparation for spring. New dates have been set for drop gardening sessions in Bodmin, Falmouth, Liskeard, Newquay, Penryn and St. Austell.

    All the dates are on the bar on the right hand side of the page and include all our gardening sessions in April, May, and June.

    There's no need to book, just turn up or contact Becky 07796996351 to let her know if you're interested or want more information.

    We look forward to seeing you at one of our sessions.

  • Listry Road Recreation ground, Newquay

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    Works have been completed at this central site next to the football ground. We'd like to invite residents to join in our Urban Ranger gardening sessions which take place monthly. The first one is on 21 April 10am - 1pm.

  • Stones from Glasney on loan to another College

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    History Leaders, Sowena, Maddy, Thomas, Thora, Zen and Rosie welcomed stones from Glasney College to Penryn College at the end of 2021.

    The loan from Cornwall Council is part of a project to raise awareness and engagement with the public open space at the site of the former Colligate Church, one of the most important religious and cultural centres of learning in medieval Cornwall. They now take pride of place in the school entrance along with multiple shields and awards, reflecting the importance of this history to the Penryn community, and will be used as a teaching resource.

    The students tried guessing what the stones had been used for: Being fragments of Beer Stone chalk from Devon, a soft stone that was easily carved, they would have featured in the interior of the church. One is a section of door head-jamb, with roll moulding, whilst the other is a fragment of a gothic archway, Glasney having been of the Decorated Gothic style. The stones have been recorded by an archaeologist, prior to the loan, having been re-found during recent works to enhance the site for biodiversity and public interest through the ERDF funded Making Space for Nature project.

    “The scheme has been a pleasure to deliver, with such rich heritage to take as inspiration”, said project advisor Charlotte Evans, a former Penryn College student herself, “working under the conditions of the Scheduled Monument Consent approved by Historic England, meant we had to be innovative in our planting scheme”. Design elements to use only minimally intrusive methods include the construction of raised beds at the site of the former tower, both evoking a sense of the former structure and hosting a mix of pollinator friendly herbs inspired by the plants grown in mediaeval monastic gardens.

    You can visit the site to see the enhancements, and the relic wall of Glasney Church at:

    Glasney Playing Field, College Hill, Penryn TR10 8JS

    Find out more about the project at: www.cornwall.gov.uk/spacefornature

    The stones now on loan to Penryn College.

    History Leaders, Sowena, Thora and Rosie receive the stones.

    Green Infrastructure for Growth 2 is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund

  • Winter sun for Community Planting at Saracen Way Woodland

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    An area of amenity woodland and grass verge in Penryn is being enhanced for biodiversity and community benefit, and the community have been keen to get involved with the transformations.

    Inspired by the journey between the domestic gardens of the housing area down into the wooded valley, the area around the zig-zag path from Saracen Way was planted with a forest garden design by volunteers working with Cormac and the Making Space for nature team on Thursday 16th December - and who would have thought we would have had the beautiful weather we did!.

    The plant list contains many fragrant herbs, berry bushes and blossoming fruit trees that are great for pollinators - a key stone in the natural foodweb - and could easily be grown in people's gardens.

    If you would like to get involved in 2022, please contact the project to find out about future volunteer opportunities and events.

    Volunteers from Penryn help to plant a sensory bed full of fragrant and colourful perennials and shrubs that are great for pollinators


  • Preview of installation at Glasney College

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    Local craft sculptor Stephane Rouget is currently working on a new feature for Glasney College. The bird bath, being made from Carnsew Granite, will be decorated with carvings representing the storey of Glasney's founding which is deeply intertwined with the natural heritage of the site.

    The short video gives a glimpse of the overall design and the methods being used. Installing the crafted piece at the site also serves to acknowledge the skill of the masons involved in building the complex in the 13th century, where carved architectural stones and ornately decorated interior mouldings featured strongly.

    Fragments of Beer Stone with floristic patterns excavated from the site, along with many other artefacts and remains from Glasney College can be seen at Penryn Museum.

    View the video in our sidebar menu.


    Image credit Stephane Rouget

  • Woodland Nature boost at Saracen Way, Penryn

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    The woodland in the Glasney Valley is a very special place, much loved by the community and already representing an important habitat that supports nature whilst also being near an urban population.

    Making Space for Nature has clear goals that have been central to the enhancements planned, and now underway at the site:

    • Increase urban biodiversity
    • Improve access & contact with nature
    • Engage local communities
    • Provide value for money

    The project is also working towards accreditation by Building with Nature – which sets out standards supported by best-practice guidance to deliver high-quality green infrastructure, against which schemes must demonstrate net benefits for nature and a contribution to nature recovery.

    To understand the existing habitat at all of our sites, we work with an ecologist embedded in the project. At Saracen Way recommendations recognised the value of the existing woodland with our plan integrating this to protect the good habitat that exists whilst enhancing habitat where it can be improved, thereby creating more space for more nature. The diverse ground cover, shrub and tree planting that is being established will add to the site’s biodiversity, habitat value, and the resilience of wider ecosystem services, such as surface water regulation and community benefit.

    a. The wetland area that has been cleared of non-natives to enhance water holding capacity and planted with a diverse mix of ground covers found in Atlantic Wet Woodlands. B. Improved accessibility from Brook Place, with fly-tipping removed and the entrance planted with woodland bulbs that will bring colour and early nectar in the Spring.

    Community Engagement

    Additionally, investment through the project acts to safeguard the site as a public open space enhanced for wildlife into the future compared to not receiving this investment. We are very keen to engage the community and welcome the level of interest seen through our consultation and subsequent engagement.

    A community planting event will be held on 16th December, installing a forest garden inspired area including fruit trees and berry bushes: Key Dates | Making Space for Nature | Let's Talk Cornwall

    Further volunteer sessions will be planned in 2022 so please do get in touch if these are of interest to you.

    You can find out more about this space, and other Making Space for Nature schemes at: Making Space for Nature - Cornwall Council or sign up for regular updates via spacefornature@cornwall.co.uk

  • Swanvale Open Space, Falmouth

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    This space forms a vital link along the (20) Falmouth Green Corridor | Facebook leading from Tregoniggie Woodland to Swanpool. The Bickland Water Stream runs underneath the football pitch and discharges into Prislow Woods.

    Work has been completed at Swanvale open space.

    The ditch has mainly been cleared and replanted with wetland species to improve the diversity of the plants. Years of flytipping is also been taken away giving more space for nature to colonise. New trees, spring flowering bulbs, pollinator-friendly perennials, and native hedge species have been planted. A new wetland area has been created to absorb more of the surface water. These will be small but vital changes to the edge of this public open space.

  • Busy for Nature in Bodmin

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    With Making Space for Nature schemes at three sites in Bodmin now in full swing, Project Advisor, Charlotte Evans, has been leading activities, with the week commencing 1st November seeing two community events in the town.

    The Burgage Plots to the west of Fore Street car park are a series of long narrow plots extending from the backs of the properties that front Fore Street.

    On Thursday 4th November, with bright orange hat and hi-vis jacket, Project Advisor, Charlotte Evans led a team of volunteers, armed with 648 bulbs of Bluebells, Lily of the Valley, Winter Aconite, Wood Anemone and Wild Garlic, to plant along either side of the path running from the car park to Meadow Place. The bulbs will bejewel the walkway with spring colour, whilst also offering a nectar source to the early pollinators.

    As the scheme continues, expect to see access improvements, with a glade being created from the carpark and a set of sets improving the informal access from Meadow Place. Some hedges will be managed through coppicing to promote robust growth, whilst planting a mix of native Holly, Hazel, Spindle, Blackthorn and others will provide a more diverse woodland understorey, building the habitat’s resilience to disease and climate change.

    Image: Busy volunteers at the Burgage Plots.

    On 7th November children from the Kinsman Estate and Treningle View built a hibernaculum on the small paly area – a cosy place for many types of animals including insects, toads, lizards that seek refuge over the winter. This activity followed an earlier community meadow making on 10th October, where families planted an array of wildflowers including blue Viper’s Bugloss, yellow Bird's foot Trefoil and bright pink Knapweed, that will be a welcoming display for both people and wildlife come next summer.

    Look out for the unique signage created by children of the estate for the habitat that has recently been planted across the site, who have also vowed to keep an eye on the hibernaculum whilst remembering not to disturb any residents that may make it their home as they snuggle away for winter.

    Image: New Hibernaculum at Kinsman/Treningle.

Page last updated: 10 May 2022, 02:59 PM