Volunteers are welcome to help us with our forest garden and nature conservation work. For more details, click here.
In the 1800s the river Kennall powered an important series of mills producing gunpowder for the Cornish mining industry. Many trees were planted in the valley to retain humidity in the atmosphere in order to reduce the likelihood of explosions. The trees are now a mature mixed deciduous woodland with a high proportion of beech trees .
Our private nature reserve is at the top of the Kennall Valley and borders the larger Cornwall Wildlife Trust nature reserve. About half our land is a woodland wilderness area where nature is left to its own devices with the minimum of human intervention. There are 2 small nature conservation lakes established more than 15 years ago. These were designed with a view to creating the widest possible range of habitat.
On the northern side of the valley is former agricultural pasture land that has been left fallow since the 1980s. The fields are mostly sheltered by windbreaks of Leylandii or fast growing willow. This is where we are establishing a forest garden. The first stage of the canopy layer was planted in February 2007 and includes old and new varieties of various fruit trees including pears, plums, apricots and apples. There are some more unusual trees and shrubs like sea buckthorn, Siberian pea and bluebean.
There are several areas of mature, mainly beech, woodland. Many of the trees are now coming to the end of their life span. When trees fall we usually leave them in situ to encourage regeneration in the long term.
We have planted a number of trees including Rowan, Beech, Maple, Oak, Willow and Pine. There is also an area where oak trees are naturally regenerating among bramble patches with great success.
Not all areas are not suitable for public access. However we are happy to show people around by arrangement.
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