Cornwall Wildlife Trust welcomes today’s launch of a consultation billed by Environment Secretary Michael Gove to be a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of English farming and the environment”.
Cornwall is 80% farmland, so this must be managed in a way which provides shelter, food and nesting sites for wildlife. Cornwall Wildlife Trust is working with several hundred farmers across seven project areas, to support business decisions which boost food production as well as protecting wildlife.
Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s work with farmers often focuses on cleaner rivers for drinking water and bathing waters, using public money for public goods. In partnership with South West Water, the Upstream Thinking initiative supports and advises farmers on practical ways they can reduce soil and nutrients getting into rivers which in turn helps to safeguard Cornwall’s drinking water reservoirs.
As well as protecting the rivers – healthy and active soils also support a wider ecosystem. In particular, worms and insects in the soil are critical for the survival of farmland birds. The lapwing feeds exclusively on worms and insects and has sadly declined by 58% since 1970 in the UK.