Great news for Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places!

We did it! Thanks to an online campaign and some hard work behind the scenes, Cornwall's wildlife and wild places now have more protection.

Revised national guidance for planning, published by the Government earlier this week, now includes reinstated protection for Cornwall’s wild places following an online #saveourwildlife campaign here in Cornwall and across the country.

These places, known locally as County Wildlife Sites, cover around 10% of Cornwall and were identified by Cornwall Wildlife Trust in the 1980s. They provide havens for wildlife including ancient woodlands, heathland and green spaces in our towns and villages. The campaign, led by The Wildlife Trusts, shows that getting involved and speaking up for wildlife really can make a difference.

Professor Jan Pentreath, President of Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said:

“Thank you to everyone who joined our campaign – you have really made a difference. County Wildlife Sites have now been reinstated as important havens and safe spaces for Cornwall’s birds, bees, plants and all aspects of nature across Cornwall.

Of particular note in the new planning guidance is the requirement that Local Authorities in their neighbourhood development plans should conserve, restore and enhance priority habitats and ecological networks, and protect priority species.

The guidance also requires such local plans to identify and secure opportunities for securing measurable net gains for biodiversity. The reinstatement of protection is great news for Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places and I want to thank everyone in Cornwall who got involved in this campaign. From now on, it is essential that all neighbourhood development plans fully incorporate these new requirements “

The new guidance aligns with the overall aim of Cornwall Wildlife Trust to protect Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places and has been published just as Cornwall Council are preparing to refresh Cornwall’s Local Plan.

The Trust is keen to work closely with Cornwall Council to inform the refresh of the Local Plan, drawing on both the evidence collected by the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (hosted by the Trust), and its long-standing experience of managing 57 nature reserves across Cornwall.

Overall, the Trust wants the next Local Plan for Cornwall to respond positively to the ambitions for wildlife set out in the national guidance, and in partnership with local organisations, communities, volunteers and members of the Trust, to secure – and ideally grow - the amount of land being managed as a haven for Cornwall’s wildlife.



Tom Shelley, Conservation Manager, (01872) 273272 or 07896 420863

All credits – Sue Hocking
1. Open mosaic of trees and wetland area typical of a County Wildlife Site
2. southern marsh orchid D. praetermissa
3. wasp beetle Clytus arietis
4. demoiselle Calopteryx virgo

Editor’s Notes:

Further information about County Wildlife Sites can be found here:

Cornwall Wildlife Trust
• Cornwall Wildlife Trust has been protecting Cornwall’s wildlife, both on land and in our seas since 1962.
• It is the county’s leading wildlife conservation charity, with over 17,000 members which includes over 4,500 junior members and 160 Business Supporters.
• Cornwall Wildlife Trust has Local and Specialist Groups based around the county. All play an important role in the Trust’s work and are always looking for more volunteers.
• The charity manages 57 nature reserves all over the county, including a range of habitats such as woodlands, meadows, wetlands and heaths.
• The Trust runs a number of marine and terrestrial based conservation projects in partnership with others – these include Upstream Thinking, Penwith Landscapes Partnership and Your Shore Beach Rangers.
• The Trust hosts the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS).
• The Trust relies on charitable donations, grants and the generous support of its members and the general public to raise more than £2.2 million every year. Money raised is spent on wildlife conservation and education in Cornwall, for present and future generations.
• The Chief Executive sits on the board of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Natural Partnership who launched Cornwall’s Environmental Growth Strategy in 2016
• The Trust is one of 47 in the UK. Together, they make up the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts.
• Cornwall Wildlife Trust also runs Cornwall Environmental Consultants Ltd – a consultancy business providing professional ecological, landscape and tree advice and consultancy services to developers, utility companies, landowners and farmers.
• To find out more about Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s work, events and news visit
• The President of Cornwall Wildlife Trust Jan Pentreath (previously the Chief Scientist of the Environment Agency) is the Secretary of State’s appointee to the UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee
• Press contacts at the Trust: Chris Betty (01872) 302235