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Wildlife on 'threatened land' in West Cornwall protected forever
8:00am Friday 30th August 2013 in News
Two "nationally important pieces of threatened land" in West Cornwall have been protected thanks to the work of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and funds from the National Lottery.
The future of wildlife at Bostraze Bog and Bartinney Downs was secured thanks to a £199,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, alongside with £28,000 donated by the public.
The trust says that Botraze Bog, between Newbridge and St Just and Bartinney Downs next to the Trust’s Caer Brân Nature Reserve near Sancreed are some of the most important wetlands and heathlands in the country.
Adding that the sites were under "very real threat" due to changes in Common Agricultural Policy, the Trust is now able to purchase 84 acres of land across these two areas of land and ensure that the sites and many species such as skylark, cuckoo, fritillary butterfly, otter and the iconic barn owl will now be protected forever.
In addition to buying the land the Trust will employ a part-time officer who will work with local people to help develop the new nature reserves. This work will form part of a wider strategy to restore and reconnect wildlife habitats in Penwith.
Volunteers will be trained in a variety of practical skills such as plant identification techniques, habitat management and Cornish hedging. Access to the site will be vastly improved and new walking and riding routes will be introduced to help visitors move around the site with ease and better understand and appreciate this rare heritage landscape.
Callum Deveney, head of nature reserves at Cornwall Wildlife Trust says: “The award of this Heritage Lottery Fund grant is brilliant news as these sites and their wildlife are so important. The Trust’s appeal shows how many others cherish this special part of Cornwall. We would like to thank everyone who donated and can’t wait to get started on the project and encourage others to join in and help us.”
It’s not only important habitats and species that will form part of the conservation project, heritage features like the prehistoric hut circle, a possible Bronze Age barrow, a scheduled ancient monument, and a medieval track will also explored and protected.
Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, says, “These two sites are jewels in the South West’s natural heritage crown and are very deserving of Heritage Lottery Fund investment. This funding will reconnect Bostraze Bog and Bartinney Downs and carry out important conservation work to the most ‘at risk’ areas. It’s great to know that local people will have the chance to get involved with all stages of the restoration project and will be able to share their learning with a wider audience, raising awareness of the critical importance of these habitats we are so lucky to have.”