Atlantic Coast & Valleys Project work

A group of staff and volunteers from Natural England and the National Trust showed excellent partnership working in helping maintain valuable habitat in the valley at Dannonchapel, a National Trust property, on the north coast of Cornwall. The valley, a site previously known for the re-introduction of the Large Blue Butterfly is included as part of the Atlantic Coast and Valleys Project.

The Project is a partnership between Natural England, Cornwall Council, The National Trust, Spalding Associates and local landowners. Primarily the project aims to maintain and recreate valuable habitat which is of great value to birds, such as the Chough, reptiles, plants and insects such as the rare Brown-Banded Carder Bee which has been threatened or lost through modern agricultural techniques. Bruce Hosie, Natural England’s Project Development Manager for the ACVP said “It’s great to see real work carried out on the ground that contributes to the Project’s aims”

Much of this work is planned through the introduction of Higher Level Stewardship agreements on holdings within the project area, but there are times when volunteer work can prove invaluable. An area of gorse was removed in the valley bottom following controlled burning being carried out previously by National Trust. The Natural England volunteers were drafted in from the local Goss Moor National Nature Reserve where they normally work in safeguarding quite different habitats.

Jim, a Natural England volunteer stated “It’s really good to work in a different place and appreciate different surroundings, definitely a change from Goss Moor!”

The National Trust team were made up of the property Rangers and a trainee full time volunteer. Mike Simmonds, Head Ranger for the National Trust’s properties in this area, helped to plan the day – “This type of joint working to achieve common nature conservation goals is a really valuable. Meeting the Natural England volunteers and sharing experiences, whilst undertaking worthwhile habitat management was great to be part of, and we definitely don’t want this to be a one off opportunity.”

The group spent the day working hard on the steep valley sides removing the scrub and treating the stumps to prevent immediate regrowth. This will enable the desired species of plants to colonise a wider area of the valley enhancing the habitat for the target species of the project. The work will also enable more access for cattle that graze the valley as part of the long term maintenance regime.
The next key activity will be Wild Thyme planting in April, when we will be planting thyme plugs on the valley sides to further enhance the habitat, particularly for the Large blue butterfly.

This is scheduled in the Easter Holidays on Wednesday 20th April as part of the NT’s Local Volunteer Group’s activities, when more volunteers are more than welcome to come and join us.

More details nearer the time – please contact or call 01208 863821
For more information on the Atlantic Coast and Valleys Project contact Bruce Hosie: