Helston has hosted an historic visit from 20 people from its twin town in Plougasnou in Brittany.

The trip was funded by the British Embassy in Paris’s Climate and Biodiversity grant, which was awarded last autumn. The aim was to showcase some of the work being done locally to help combat climate change and encourage biodiversity.

One of the first places the visitors visited was a tour of Fishermen’s Mission shop in Coinagehall Street, as charity shops in France are not common, so it was a good opportunity for the Bretons to see one aspect of recycling, that they might like to replicate.

They then went on to plant trees in a gardening event in the Sunken Garden. The four apple trees were donated by Helston and Lizard Friends of the Earth. Mayor Tim Gratten-Kane spoke at the planting and emphasised the importance of maintaining international friendships, especially for young people and of his pride at Helston being one of the first places to re-establish links since the pandemic.


Visitors first tour was Helstons Fishermens Mission charity shop.

Visitors first tour was Helston's Fishermens Mission charity shop.


Other visits included a trip to Hayle, to the green waste facility which recycles garden and other plant waste into compost, a trip to Bodmin to see how recycling is managed and to get a wider view of waste management in Cornwall, and then a trip up Helman’s Tor to hear about Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s re-wilding project.

On Saturday the visitors had a tour of the food hub and of the Incredible Edible Garden, which is co-ordinated by Helston Climate Action Group.

Finally, the group was treated to a fabulous lunch and a farm tour at Rosuick Farm, on the Lizard. The farm is not only organic, but is farmed explicitly to encourage nature and biodiversity, so the methods were of particular interest to the visitors who are hoping to encourage an exchange of expertise between Brittany and Cornwall.


Helston welcomes visitors from twin town Plougasnou.

Helston welcomes visitors from twin town Plougasnou.


On Friday, they visited the Blue Anchor and played skittles, and joined in on a Barn Dance.

Friendships were forged and now the Cornish contingent are looking forward more than ever to their visit to Plougasnou in late May.

For more information about twinning and what it can offer, email the Helston group secretary via hdttasec@gmail.com or, visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/plougasnoutwinning