Local conservation charities Cornwall Wildlife Trust and South West Lakes Trust have teamed up with South West Water, who have provided funding to deliver an exciting project in the Fal River catchment.

The Upstream Thinking project, which is already running successfully in the Drift and Cober areas, looks at working with local farmers and land owners within the Fal catchment to offer advice and practical help with conservation and water quality management. This work upstream aims to help improve the quality of water that ends up in our local reservoirs.

Pete Warman from Cornwall Wildlife Trust said, ‘We are working with South West Lakes Trust to ensure delivery of Upstream Thinking in the Falmouth Reservoirs.  Their volunteer group carries out hands-on habitat management on farms and small-holdings in the catchment, creating wildlife habitats and protecting drinking water for people living in and around Falmouth. The collaboration makes a lot of sense – it helps SWLT to expand their volunteer groups and enables us to deliver the project successfully.’

Over 5 years the plan is to carry out a range of tasks with lots of local landowners including scrub clearance, Cornish hedging, invasive species control, drainage work and bracken clearance.

As well as farms and small holdings, the volunteer group will also be working on tasks at some interesting and unusual sites in the area, including Mabe churchyard and BF Adventure quarries.

BF Adventure CEO Adrian Richards said, ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for BF. With the support of the Upstream Volunteers we will be able to tackle the encroaching areas of bracken and gorse upon our site, enhancing our native wildlife habitat and enabling our many disadvantaged and disabled clients to see and learn more about the fantastic wildlife, flora and fauna upon our 60 acre site.’

This project cannot run without the help of volunteers, so if you are interested in spending time outdoors, learning new skills, meeting new people and being involved in a really important and exciting local conservation project, please get in touch.

The volunteer group currently runs fortnightly on Wednesdays from 10.00am – 3.30pm(ish). if you are interested in joining in or coming along to a session to see what it’s all about please get in contact with Beth Heasman, South West Lakes Trust West Cornwall Countryside Warden on 07872 194812, 01209 860301 or email bheasman@swlakestrust.org.uk.