Nature in Cornwall

A project that transformed parks and open spaces across Cornwall into vibrant community areas and wildlife havens has won a prestigious international award.

Making Space for Nature, a collaboration between Cornwall CouncilCormac and the University of Exeter, was crowned a winner in the Landscape Institute Awards 2022 in the ‘Excellence in Biodiversity, Conservation and Enhancement’ category.

There were a record-breaking 200 entries for this year’s awards, including 53 from international entrants. The judging panel selected 75 finalists and a total of 24 winners.

Making Space for Nature has transformed 34 hectares of urban green spaces in eight Cornish towns – Bodmin, Falmouth, Helston, Launceston, Liskeard, Newquay, Penryn and St Austell.

This great green infrastructure network provides buzzing hubs for wildlife and people and is recognised as part of Cornwall’s nature recovery network.

The project has improved the ecological and social value of 27 urban greenspaces, including parks, small green spaces, road verges and closed churchyards. It has increased biodiversity in urban areas and will help to mitigate the effects of climate change by storing carbon and creating a more flood resilient landscape.

The project has also linked urban green spaces within the wider landscape for wildlife and for local communities.

Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change at Cornwall Council, said: “I’d like to congratulate everyone who has worked on this fantastic project which has made such a difference to so many spaces that are enjoyed by our local communities.

“We are committed to creating a cleaner, greener Cornwall with more space for nature, and bringing nature closer to people. This project is a brilliant example of how schemes like this can benefit wildlife, the environment and local communities.”

Richard Keast, Project Manager at Cormac, said: “The Cormac team are delighted that the project has received this award. A multitude of disciplines from across Cormac have come together to deliver this project in close collaboration with our Cornwall Council colleagues. All involved have taken great pride and satisfaction in creating the schemes, which have made such a positive difference to our communities, improving the lives of people in Cornwall.”

Professor Juliet Osborne, from University of Exeter, said: “This project is a wonderful example of bringing local government together with the University and local contractors to deliver real environmental benefit at scale in the landscape. This award demonstrates that the project has gained international recognition as well as having received such positive feedback from local communities.”

Prof Juliet Osborne is one of a team of researchers from the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute who have worked closely with Cornwall Council and Cormac to bring their scientific rigour and ecological expertise to the project.