Rewilding is one of the key ways we can support our ecosystems and mitigate the impact of climate change.
From growing wild flowers in the back garden to protect bees, to planting trees in water-logged areas to deter flooding, every big (and little) way we ‘rewild’ is one step closer towards a more sustainable future.
So, what is rewilding?
Essentially, it’s the practice of using the landscape and nature around us for conservation. Restoring and protecting natural processes and wilderness areas builds stronger ecosystems, increases carbon removal from the atmosphere and can even reverse the likes of soil erosion and species loss.
The good news is Penzance is already leading the way when it comes to rewilding projects throughout the town; in fact, take a quick glance through this website, and you’ll quickly realise just how many tiny projects are working to make every little action count.
Here, we’ve summed up some of the key projects happening right now (and open for everyone to get involved):
Residents of Weethes Cottages, Penzance, have transformed their neglected community green into a thriving social space.
Managed by just a small group of volunteers since 2019, it’s become a hub of their tiny community and is now an outdoor space where neighbours can catch up and take a break. And, as the garden has grown, residents have seen a huge rise of birds and butterflies in the area, thanks to the stunning wildflowers on their doorstep.
Local resident Nadia says she often finds herself gazing at it from her kitchen window: “For me it has, and will continue to, provide a sense of calm, a chance to reflect, and at times, as simple as a place where I can just let my eyes rest. A coming together of a community, in all weathers, at all stages. A flourishing mini land of wonder, colour and my window oasis.”
A field in Heamoor is also being transformed into a community space, where local residents can enjoy the fresh air – with sustainability at the heart of it. The development, put forward 18 months ago, has now received funding from Penzance Town Council and work is already underway.
Part of the project will see a sustainable planting area, led by the Heamoor Community Group, and will support tree planting elsewhere locally to neutralise the area’s carbon footprint.
Friend of Rosebud Gardens in Newlyn
Friends of Rosebud Gardens & Bowjey Woods is a wildlife and local history conservation project, all about promoting biodiversity in Newlyn and helping both visitors and residents learn more about the local lore (particularly around the voyage of Rosebud PZ87).
Now, they’re looking for new volunteers who are keen to get involved with wildlife gardening, bird watching and history, with a particular focus on rewilding and conservation.
Volunteer Matt said: “Our aims for the future are to involve more local residents in the fight against climate change, loss of biodiversity and the loss of Newlyn history that might happen if the sites that we look after were to be sold off for development.”
To find out more about how to get involved, click here.
Treenere Grows is headed up by a group of volunteers who live in Treneere (or the surrounding area) and is made up of people who enjoy growing things in their gardens, or want to care for the local green spaces.
From sharing ideas and supporting one another in their gardening adventures (like growing fruit and veg) to caring for the wider environment, it’s about teaching the community to grow food for themselves while improving diversity and wildlife in the local area.
You can find out more or join the project, right here.
Growing Links spans a number of projects to create a more sustainable, resilient and accessible local food system. That also means wins for the local environment – and people. One of its projects is the Community Garden in Gulval, which aims to work with nature and people in a way that benefits all, giving Penzance residents a chance to access locally-grown veg while supporting vulnerable people.
Inspired by permaculture, wellbeing and holistic values, the project now offers weekly veg bags, as well as numerous horticulture courses throughout the year. Most recently, the group has acquired new land next door to the site, which will the implementation of a tree nursery, growing native trees that will go towards repopulating green spaces all over Cornwall.
Volunteer Nathan said: “I am very proud to be a part of this organisation. There are so many people who are finding things difficult in so many ways at the moment. However, there are just as many people who are willing to step in and help in any way they can.
“Growing Links is a community effort and mutual aid at its finest.”
Find out more about the venture, which also runs the well-established Street Food Project, here.
With spectacular views of St Michael’s Mount, Trenow Fields is a 30-acre regenerative farm that was once a mining site.
Today, the team, which steward’s the land for the National Trust, is busy planting thousands of trees as part of the project to restore the environment and support biodiversity, while also welcoming foragers, chefs and more to enjoy the organic veg (such as beans, grains, herbs and salad) currently being grown there.
Mark, who works on site, said: “We aim to demonstrate how organic farming is best for people and plant, and the regenerative aspect looks at how we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, the use of plastic while paying our land workers good living wages. This is a puzzle we are busy working on! We have ambitious goals and dreams, and know that we can achieve our vision by working together!”
For volunteering opportunities, email Mark on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mousehole Community Garden
Headed up by the team at the Solomon Browne Memorial Hall and Mousehole School, a new community garden is coming to life in this historic fishing village.
Sitting at the lower end of the school field, it has seen numerous volunteers get involved with building a polytunnel, compost toilers and connecting water to the site already, all spear-headed with a particular focus on health and well-being.
Tamsin, from the Solomon Browne Hall, said: “We have plans to create a forest school playgroup here, run workshops and outdoor learning sessions, and to enable members of the community to use the garden improving health and wellbeing. The school are also using this garden to enhance the children’s learning and life skills.”
Anyone who would like to get involved can email Tamsin at email@example.com.
Looking for more ways to support sustainable ventures in Penzance? Head over to our sign-posting page to check out all of the amazing projects happening in our area.