The Tamar Valley is a gem, but how will the landscape and the people fare in future? Cordiale was a collaboration between the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and teams from other protected landscapes in southwest England and northwest France. Cordiale officially concluded in September 2013.
Cordiale project objectives
1. To restore orchards and market gardens to the Tamar Valley landscape by re-establishing local supply chains.
2. To increase public understanding of landscape evolution and produce spatial plans for two parishes for the conservation of the natural and historic environment.
3. To work with people in two parishes to define the changes in land use and management that would make us more resilient to climate change and rising fuel and food prices.
4. To secure the characteristic landscape of hedges and woods by creating a viable new market for woodfuel.
What we did
We delivered our contribution to the project through four ‘field trials’ focusing on woodfuel, local food, biodiversity and the historic environment, and planning for the future. Below is just a selection of what the project achieved.
- Developed a woodfuel audit toolkit for farmers and landowners to assess the amount of woodfuel that could be harvested from their woodlands and hedges. We also were involved in events at Stourtown Farm and North Devon focussed on the value of hedges for farmers and woodfuel users.
- A number of case studies are available including Woodfuel in the Tamar Valley.
- Devon Hedge Group produced a downloadable Woodfuel from Hedges guide.
- Worked with consultants and communities to put together a toolkit for setting up a Community Supported Woodlands and Hedges group.
- Hedge survey: Around 40 volunteers signed up to survey the Tamar Valley’s significant hedges, resulting in almost 200 completed survey forms. All of the data has been collated and report of the findings is now available to download. A map showing all the hedges we surveyed can be downloaded as a PDF . The results are also available as a ‘clickable’ GIS dataset; contact us for more information.
- A free training event for parish councillors in Clearbrook and Buckland Monachorum to discover more about landscape character, biodiversity and historic buildings; & how you can influence decisions affecting where you live.
- Harvesting Time: Artists created a contemporary piece to celebrate the community and heritage of the valley – a collaboration with Drawn to the Valley. Find out more in our ‘Harvesting Time’ storyboard. Our ‘Harvesting Time’ film shows recollections of life and landscape in the Tamar Valley.
- Tamar Valley Food Hubs: To find out where you can buy fantastic local produce from the Tamar Valley, take a look at the Tamar Grow Local website. Or shop online through Tamar Valley Food Hubs!
- @Diarykeepers: Thank you to everyone who took part in Diarykeepers throughout June 2012; we received 90 diaries and held a successful community play in St Dominick in October. Typed-up versions of the diaries are available at the Calstock Parish Archive at the Tamar Valley Centre for anyone to view. Please watch our beautiful and moving film about the project.
- We held two BioBlitzes at the Pentillie estate in September 2012 and April 2013. 300 people attended the September event (including 100 children from local schools) and identified 227 species.
- What’s in your back garden? Over the 21-22 July 2012, residents in Bere Alston village dug a pit to look for history in their back gardens as part of the Festival of British Archaeology. The event was a success with over 40 people taking part over the weekend, and 36 children from Bere Alston Primary School digging on Wednesday 18th July. The assessment report can be read or downloaded here*. A small exhibition of 5 ‘pop up’ banners is available to borrow for events and festivals; contact us for more information.
- Disseminated the results of our work alongside our partners at a final conference in Finistere in June 2013.
*As a result of technical issues the asssessment report is not currently accessible online.
The results of the Cordiale project will now be used to inform the management of the Tamar Valley AONB, by understanding how the landscape of the valley has evolved and changed (for both good and bad) and helping us to recognise what is important about it. The project’s outcomes will work towards making the landscape and livelihoods more resilient, considering the challenges of climate change, dwindling fossil fuels and globalisation.
Cordiale was selected under the European Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF