Farmers and landowners have gathered to discuss the future of wildlife on the Lizard Peninsula and how to increase nature.

The Wildlife on the Lizard conference, organised by Wildlife Groundswell, was attended by more than 80 people and looked at 'rewilding' on the Lizard.

They heard from speakers including the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Natural England and Cornwall Council, as well as local farmers and landowners Andy Tylor of Boscarnon Farm and Sir Ferrers Vyvyan of the Trelowarren Estate.

Feedback from the meeting showing that those attending hoped that as a result of the event they could make connections with other people, including further meetings, to bring about projects such as creating woodland and meadows, and look at fencing and scything.

Dave Oates, who hosted the event at Rosuick Farm near Goonhilly, said: "The event was a huge success and we filled all available spaces at the conference with ease.

"There's clearly a big demand for a group such as Wildlife Groundswell on the Lizard and the group aims to help people get involved to protect and enhance biodiversity on the peninsula.

"Events both big and small will be key to linking people with others and sharing knowledge, resources and opportunities amongst our community."

The a fully booked event took place at Rosuick Farm near Goonhilly on the Lizard Peninsula

The a fully booked event took place at Rosuick Farm near Goonhilly on the Lizard Peninsula

It was a chance for landowners of all sizes of land to recognise the work that was already being done, and suggest ways to increase wildlife recovery at a greater speed.

Sir Ferrers Vyvyan told those gathered that they needed to agree on how carbon in the soil was being measured, and with some urgency, adding his belief that clusters of land managers should be formed in the area, to bring people together with similar values.

There was then a stark warning from Rachel Holder, ranger for the National Trust, who said that despite all the conservation efforts that had been taking place in Cornwall and the Lizard Peninsula, the Cornwall Nature Report in 2020 showed that while there was evidence that pond wildlife and conservation grazing has increased in recent years, nature generally and – farmland wildlife in particular – was still in decline.

The Trust is already working on converting some traditionally farmed land into woodland pasture, with a low density mixed grazing of coastland and heath.

It is also planning to create orchards, planting elder from cuttings and oak from acorns, and convert ryegrass to mixed species, and at a former dairy farm at Gunwalloe they are creating reed beds.

Grazing on coastland and heath was discussed

Grazing on coastland and heath was discussed

Andy Tylor, of Boscarnon Farm near Coverack, told the meeting how he grazes Ruby Red North Devon cattle on 140 hectares heathland scrub, woodland and pasture. The heathland is part of the National Nature Reserve and the cattle are out grazing most of the year, meaning they take longer to mature – three years instead of two – because they don’t gain weight in the winter.

It results in "circular" agriculture, with the cattle's foraging producing plant diversity, natural grazing made them and they produced nutritious meat.

The meeting was followed by pasties from Gear Farm at nearby St Martin, before a group of 40 of those attending followed Dave Oates on a walk through the organic farm.

Wildlife Groundswell said: "Our sincere thanks to Dave, Janet and Chris for hosting the event in the delightful setting of Rosuick Farm."

Further conversations and meetings will now take place regularly, at different venues around the Lizard.

With thanks to Wildlife Groundswell