Kennall Vale - Coronavirus Side Effects on Nature

The experience of lockdown and removal of the freedoms we all took for granted, has led many of us searching for new things to do. This has seen an increase in people rediscovering the great outdoors.

The wellbeing benefits of getting out in nature are well documented; space to breathe, beautiful scenery, outdoor exercise, slowing down to look and listen.  All provide a sense of comfort and wellness in times of crisis. And where better to do that than the amazing coastline and countryside of Cornwall.

Many of us have embraced nature during the pandemic.  So many in fact, that in some areas nature is taking a bit of a hit.

The picturesque woodland and open glades scenery of local hotspot Kennall Vale have been so heavily visited in recent weeks, it is causing concern.  Before Coronavirus, the popular site was already experiencing issues related to a high footfall of visitors.  This has now been compounded as even more people flood into the countryside to visit. The wear and tear on the Cornwall Wildlife Trust reserve, increase in littering and traffic congestion are an unwanted side effect of more people enjoying nature.  

Parking problem at Kennall Vale

Reserves Manager, Nick Marriott from Cornwall Wildlife Trust commented;

“We encourage everyone to connect and care for Cornwall’s wildlife. Nature is inclusive, it’s here for all to enjoy.  My role is to manage nature on the reserves, but recent volumes of visitors to Kennall Vale has shifted attention to people management rather than wildlife management.  This weekend saw more traffic and parking chaos, when a fire engine got blocked by badly parked vehicles, which is a serious problem.   There are understandable frustrations coming from the local community which we want to address,  so we are looking to come together with the Parish Councils, Fire Brigade and residents to discuss and find solutions to overcrowding at Kennall Vale.

In the meantime we would ask visitors to avoid Kennall Vale during its busiest times, Saturdays and Sundays. Be considerate when parking. Enjoy your time in nature, and be mindful of doing that with minimal disturbance to wildlife and the local community.  Leave the reserve as you found it, and please take litter home with you. 

We need to nurture Cornwall’s wild places.  Nature has been here for us during lockdown, when we needed it most.  So we should return the favour and as we connect with wildlife, protect it at the same time.”

Fire Engine blocked at Kennall Vale

Historical image from local resident for illustration only

If you would like to get in contact with any comments or suggestions to ease the overcrowding at Kennall Vale,  please email KennallVale@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk.

For more information on looking after yourself and nature during Coronavirus and beyond please visit https://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/coronavirus.