Wildlife Groundswell 6-23

Hope you’re all well and enjoying the sunshine. We’re trying a new format for our June newsletter – hope you like it.

Wildlife Groundswell business update: becoming a CIC

Our Committee, together with some of our members, met on 10 May to discuss whether to change from being a small unincorporated association to being a Community Interest Company (CIC).

To help us with our deliberations, we heard from Charlotte Caldwell – Projects Officer at Helston Town Council. We decided that we were in favour of this change if the membership supported it too, so sent round a survey to gauge opinions. The survey was anonymous and information was provided to everyone about the ‘pros and cons’ of CIC incorporation. The results were:

  • Of the 376 members on our email list, 49 responded = 13%. (This number exceeds the 38 – i.e.10% of the membership – that our current constitution would require us to be ‘quorate’ at a General Meeting held to consider this formally.)
  • Of those 49, 45 (92%) support the Wildlife Groundswell committee’s recommendation to apply for Community Interest Company (CIC) incorporation. None were against the recommendation.
  • Of the 4 who were “unsure”, 2 would be prepared to attend a General Meeting to hear more about CIC incorporation. 

We considered this result at the Committee meeting on 6 June, and decided to go ahead with an application. We’ll start with three directors:

Caroline Richardson
Sarah Board
Maggie Freegard

Ideally we’d like more directors, so if this interests you, please email us or discuss in person with one of the three above. You’ll find at least one of us at our events.

If our application is successful, we’ll post more detail of the CIC and its directors on our Wildlife Groundswell website.

Upcoming Events

National Meadows Day Safari
Saturday 1 July, 10.30am–5pm, multiple locations

Building on last year’s successful wildflower meadow safari day, we’re planning to do this again, in collaboration with the University of Exeter’s Wildflower Collective, and are grateful to the University of Exeter for funding this event. Join us for one, two, or all three meadows – at Goongillings Farm, Kestle Barton and Windmill Farm.

Cornwall County Plant Recorder, Ian Bennallick, will join us at all three locations, helping identify the wildflowers, grasses and other plants. And of course, we’ll be spotting insect and other wildlife too!

This event is FREE, and includes a pasty (which you’ll need to order in advance – book your tickets for meadows and pasties) – to pick up at Kestle Barton. Otherwise, feel free to bring your own picnic.

See our Wildflower Meadow Safari blog post for the full schedule and directions.

Annual Conference:
Let’s Get Wild – Fire and Air
Saturday 23 September, 10am–late, Rosuick Farm

Following the wonderful gathering last year’s conference, Soil and Water, this year’s theme is Fire and Air.
We’re inviting all wildlife enthusiasts who are keen to do what they can to boost Nature’s chances of recovery. In our experience, that means just about everybody!
Morning talks will take place in the beautiful Camel Barn at Rosuick Farm, St Martin. We’ve lined up some excellent speakers to inspire and inform us about how Nature is responding to the challenge of warming temperatures, drought and extreme weather, and what we can do to help Nature adapt and prosper.

New blog post

Beaver time

Discover how beavers live and the positive effects they have on Nature – from boosting biodiversity to reducing flood risks downstream – with Chris Jones from The Cornwall Beaver Project. Following his series of beaver talks across The Lizard and Helston this spring, we share some top takeaways…

Enabling Nature recovery on The Lizard

On 10 May, Sarah Board gave a fascinating talk at Mullion School about her project for Natural England, assessing what is known of the quality and extent of Nature on The Lizard. She discussed everything from dwindling numbers of plant species on lowland heath, to the need to aim higher with targets. Discover more in our new blog write-up.

Community News

Cornwall Butterfly Conservation

Sunday 13 August, 11am, Windmill Farm Nature Reserve

Join the volunteer ranger at Windmill Farm to see late summer butterflies – including the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and the Grayling – as well as dragonflies and damselflies around the pools, and the chance of seeing Marsh Fritillary larval webs.

Windmill Farm is a 85ha (210 acre) farm that’s home to an array of habitats including wet and dry heaths, hay meadows, wetland, ponds, and arable land. Bought jointly by the Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society and Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) in 2001, its mix of habitats means the farm is home to a huge variety of plant, bird, and invertebrate species.

Meet at the car park by the windmill which is down a lane off the A3083 (SW693152) TR12 7LH. Please note dogs are not allowed anywhere on this site. Please bring a packed lunch. Leader and contact: Sue Allen (01872 240246) and Dougy Wright, CWT volunteer warden.

Clean Ocean Sailing Crowdfunders

Clean Ocean Sailing, an organisation which collects marine litter under sail and raises awareness about ocean plastics, is currently Crowdfunding for two different projects:

One is to look at removing some plastic boats abandoned on the Helford River that are disintegrating slowly and releasing plastics and other pollutants into the river:

The other is to set up support for young people to join them in coast and ocean cleans and improve wellbeing at the same time:
If you know of beaches that need cleaning, then you can reach out to Steve/ Mona who can help get a team together and remove and recycle all the stuff too!

Book recommendations

The Book of Wilding: A Practical Guide to Rewilding Big and Small by Isabella Tree and Charlie Burrell is a comprehensive manual of how to do it, with lots of illustrations, photos and references, drawing both on their own experiences at Knepp and also on other rewilders’ journeys and achievements world over.

Beastly: A New History of Animals and Us, by Keggie Carew
Recommended by Mark Avery – read his full review

Reflections: what wildlife needs and how to provide it, by Mark Avery
Published on 4 July 2023, preorder here
“If you love wildlife, read this, think about this, and act upon this.” – Chris Packham, broadcaster and author of Back to Nature

Next newsletter: July 2023

Any contributions most welcome; please email us by 30 June