UPDATE: On 2nd November 2011 the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Environment, approved our application to erect livestock fencing on Rosenannon Downs. This presents a great opportunity for Cornwall Wildlife Trust to care for these neglected Downs. The application decision can be seen on the Planning Portal website with a map of the scheme here. Please note: the height of the fence stated in this decision notice is incorrect. The fence will be 1.15m high, not 1.5m as stated. Work on the cattle grids is due to commence on 28th November 2011, and the fencing will start in December 2011.
The Trust have been leasing Rosenannon Downs since 1999 and in 2009 the site was bequeathed to the Trust by the late Theresa Knowles. Tregonetha Downs was purchased by the Trust in 2005. Both sites are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). The Trust became involved in both sites so they could be protected indefinitely for the benefit of wildlife and people alike.
There are issues on both sites relating to annual uncontrolled burning (arson) and dominance of grasses and bracken, both of which are adversely affecting wildlife. Following ongoing monitoring by Natural England, both sites have been given ‘Unfavourable’ status for wildlife. As the land owners, we have a responsibility to maintain these sites in good environmental condition and we would like to see them in the best condition they can be for wildlife.
Our proposed solution to these problems is the re-introduction of cattle grazing after an absence of at least 40 years, which we would like to do without affecting people's enjoyment of the Downs. The re-introduction of grazing means that fencing will have to be constructed to make the sites stock proof. We have listened to local concerns and we believe that we have come up with a fencing design which will have minimal impact on the landscape and people's access to the Downs. We have produced a leaflet which gives the background to and more information on our proposals and includes simple maps.
Download the Rosenannon Downs and Tregonetha Downs leaflet detailing the heathland management proposal
We have also produced a detailed report for each site outlining the proposed fencing design and a map for each site showing the proposed features such as gates, cattle grids, styles and fences that will enable grazing and access for people.
Download Rosenannon Downs stockproofing proposal report (April 2010)
Download Rosenannon Downs map of proposed features to enable grazing (April 2010)
Download Tregonetha Downs stockproofing proposal report (April 2010)
Download Tregonetha Downs map of proposed features to enable grazing (April 2010)
We have included cattle grids in our designs for both sites. An information sheet has been produced by the Open Spaces Society supporting the use of cattle grids on common land, please take a look:
Download 'The Case for Cattle Grids on Commons' Information Sheet
If you have any thoughts on our proposals for the Downs once you have read the information, please contact Sean O'Hea, Mid Cornwall Reserves Officer on (01872) 240777 ext 248 or 07971 542185 who will be happy to talk to you.