Our operations team programme supervisor Henry Marriner shares upcoming plans from the G7 Legacy Project for Nature Recovery.

“For the first three months in 2023, Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) and G7 Legacy Project for Nature Recovery (G7 LPNR) is moving into the delivery phase of an exciting partnership to improve a large section of wet woodland within the Luxulyan Valley.

“The area includes a section of the Saints Way trail that is used by both locals and tourists as a means of enjoying the beautiful Cornish

“In recent years, the boardwalk running through the woodland has fallen into significant disrepair, causing an obstruction to access.

“Additionally, the stream that feeds the wood has become disconnected from the floodplain because of historical tin streaming.

“These factors have led to a reduction in foot traffic as well as a drop in the diversity of the woodland floor as non-native flora like Himalayan Balsam have been allowed to flourish in the overgrown and shaded woodland, starving the native species.

“Through multiple surveys from staff of both WRT and CWT, several sites have been identified as focal points for conservation efforts.

“Following a successful partnership with Cornwall Council, access to the sites was granted and the Saints Way boardwalk has now been fully repaired and conservation delivery may begin in earnest.”

“The WRT & G7 LPNR conservation effort will focus on two key delivery areas. First, the woodland floodplain, where we intend to clear a number of the more juvenile tree species.

“This will create glades within the woodland, allowing sunlight to penetrate the canopy and provide a more stable and healthy environment for native understory species such as ferns.

“Our secondary objective will be to reconnect the stream to its natural floodplain. Years of tin streaming have incised the stream bed to the
extent that now even the highest rainfall amounts do not provide the stream the opportunity to flood its banks and soak the woodland floor.

“Not only does this raise the risk of flooding further downstream, but native species that would otherwise thrive in the wet woodland are now
without their optimum living conditions.

“With the help of site-sourced natural materials, we intend to raise the stream bed in key areas to work in parallel with our newly created glades.

“The overall aim of our project is focused on nature recovery, restoring natural processes and improved resilience to climate change.”

Final dates are yet to be confirmed, but we plan on delivering these works throughout the first quarter of 2023.

Volunteers are welcome to help in the clearance efforts on both the glade creation tasks, and the in-river work that will follow. Tasks can vary but various opportunities will suit all ages and abilities.

If you are interested, please sign up to the G7 newsletter or get in touch with the G7 volunteer team at Cornwall Wildlife Trust.