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.

  • Partnership working offers solutions to address biodiversity loss in Cornwall

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    Making Space for Nature is privileged to be partners with The University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI).

    The ESI is an interdisciplinary centre leading cutting-edge research into solutions to problems of environmental change. Based on the University's Penryn Campus, their research and educations straddles themes that aim to enhance people's lives by improving their relationships with the environment. From its inception the ESI has been made possible through funding from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme and the South West Regional Development Agency, which means that providing benefit to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are at the heart of what it does.

    Earlier this year Making Space for Nature featured in the ESI video about the benefits of working with partners. This film will be part of Exeter University’s Greener Futures Conference on 12 June 2021 (day 2). The conference is a chance to listen and engage with world-leading researchers and teachers as they host a series of talks and conversations about how we can build a fairer, greener future. Topics being covered include building a circular economy, the role of space in supporting environmental intelligence, creating positive tipping points and food security.

    Find out more about the conference at: https://greenfutures.exeter.ac.uk/latest-events/


    Find out more about the partnership working going on at: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/esi/

  • New Green Gardening Groups

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    Join our new green gardening groups!


    In partnership with CORMAC, Making Space for Nature is pleased that three new, regular gardening groups are being set up to help look after our enhanced green spaces, whilst also offering a volunteering opportunity with social and physical health benefits.


    The first of the regular sessions to kick-off will be at Castle Park in Liskeard, starting on June 10th, and will be continuing on the second Thursday of every month. It is running from 10am – 3pm, meeting at 10am at the Bull Stone.


    It is not necessary to attend for the whole day. All tools and equipment and will be provided, please wear gardening appropriate clothes and footwear.


    Groups are also starting in Launceston (third Wednesday of the month) and Falmouth (forth Thursday of the month).


    For further information and to sign up, please contact Becky, Cormac’s urban ranger, on 0796996351 or volunteers@cormacltd.co.uk.


    Making Space for Nature in partnership with Cormac.

  • “Making Space for Nature” Photo Competition 2021

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    Cornwall Council has joined forces with the University of Exeter to create the Making Space for Nature Photo Competition 2021.

    Running from 14th May to 30th June the competition is encouraging people in Cornwall to get out and explore its green spaces by photographing urban nature within walking distance from their house.

    Photos can be submitted on two themes: “Urban Wildlife” and “Parks & People”. Submissions will be divided into two age categories, Under 16 and 16 and Over. The winner in the Under 16 category will receive a bee pot mini concrete planter and solitary bee house from Green&Blue while the 16 and Over winner will receive an Eden Project pass. Additionally, winning photographs will be displayed on the University of Exeter website and used to promote the Making Space for Nature project.

    The closing date for entries is Wednesday 30 June 2021 and winners will be notified by Monday 5 July. A prize presentation will take place on Friday 16 July at Castle Park, Liskeard.

    How You Can Enter

    You can enter the competition by emailing one photo per entrant to photo-comp@exeter.ac.uk. The email should include your photo, your name, where the photo was taken and the names of any subjects in the photograph, as well as your email address and/or phone number in the email. Your file size should not exceed 20MB and be formatted to JPG.

    Further information and full Terms & Conditions can be found at www.exeter.ac.uk/esi/community/making-space-for-nature/



  • Creating nature-rich spaces for people to enjoy in Cornwall

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    This video was created as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 (10th - 16th May), which was all about the positive impact that the natural world can have on mental wellbeing.

  • Annuals for Pollinators

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    Our Top Tip for May 2021

    Did you know that there can be more pollinators in our gardens than in surrounding agricultural land? The rich diversity of plants growing in Britain’s gardens, means that these outside spaces are critical to support a wide range of pollinators. However, pollinator numbers are in decline and there is always space for more pollinators in our gardens.

    Our top 10 annuals for pollinators


    Borage - their petals are great for adding colour to your salads too! Though it's an annual, it readily self-seeds, so you'll generate a year-on-year benefit
    Common marigold (Calendula) - vibrant and fragrant, attracts the bees and repels some pests too. flower heads can be added to salads in small quantities
    Cornflower - a very hardy annual that attracts pollinators in abundance due to its very high levels of nectar
    Cosmos species - so many different colours to choose from and great for a long flowering season
    Viper’s bugloss - we will admit this is a biennial, but it behaves like a annual. It gives vibrant blue flowers that show from May - September and are loved by bees of all types!
    Common sunflower (avoid pollen-free cultivars) - a British garden icon and attracts a wide range of insects
    Poached egg flower - a great companion plant for vegetable gardens, these flowers attract hoverflies which will feed on aphids
    Nigella love-in-a-mist - stunning flowers which are a cottage garden classic
    Common poppy - why say no to this undeniably striking and emotive flower when its the simplest to grow and most popular poppy species for pollinators
    Rudbeckia species - long-flowering, with a bright and colourful show which can also provide seed for birds in the autumn!

    Our top tips for sowing annual seeds

    1. Clear a patch of ground getting rid of all vegetation
    2. Loosen the soil so that it is open and not compacted
    3. Lightly rake the surface to level and get rid of large lumps
    4. Water the soil lightly before sowing
    5. Broadcast the seeds by hand by sprinkling over the soil or mark out drills (shallow groves) in the soil, this makes it easier for
    weeding as your plants will be in rows.
    6. Lightly cover with soil or leave the seeds on the surface, depending on the instructions on the seed packet.

    Ongoing care for annuals

    • Keep down weeds with light hoeing or hand weeding.
    • Water in dry weather, regularly checking to ensure seed bed does not dry out during the early stages of germination and
    seedling establishment.
    • Once well established, water at 10-14 day intervals during dry spells.
    • Remove spent blooms to prevent plants setting seed otherwise they’ll stop flowering. Snip off fading flower-heads regularly to
    promote a fresh flush of buds.

    Top tips for creating pollinator friendly flower beds

    • Choose a sunny sheltered spot
    • Sow seeds in groups or drifts, this makes colour and scent easier for pollinators to detect
    • Prolong the flowering season by selecting plants so you have flowers from early spring to late autumn as different species of
    pollinators emerge at different times of the year.
    • Choose plants with a simple flower structure or tubular shaped flowers, this makes it easier for insects to feed from. Single
    flowers also make it easier for insects to get to the central part of the flower and the tasty pollen and nectar!
    • Purple flowers are great for bees as they see this colour more clearly than any other, however other colours of flower will still
    attract bees and other pollinators.

    Other ways to help pollinators in your garden

    1. Allow lawn ‘weeds’ to flower by cutting less often
    2. Provide water for pollinators
    3. Avoid using pesticides wherever possible and never spray open flowers

    Useful links

    And the science bit

    Citizen science data reveals the need for keeping garden plant recommendations up-to-date to help pollinators | Scientific Reports (nature.com)

Page last updated: 20 Dec 2022, 01:09 PM