Initiated by Cornwall Council, the Forest for Cornwall is an ambitious planting project. The principle aim is to fight climate change but it also has great benefits for biodiversity too. When it is complete, the aim is cover approximately 8,000 hectares which is around 2% of Cornwall’s land cover. Forest for Cornwall is not a single are of new ‘Forest’. It is looking at increasing all forms of tree canopy across Cornwall as well as strengthening the protection of existing trees, woodlands and hedges.
The Tamar Valley AONB is supporting the delivery of this vision and a team member is working one day a week to support delivery in this area. A key element of this work is supporting the development of the Forest for Calstock as a community pilot project. Calstock Parish Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and secured funding for Phase 1 of the project in 2020 through the Forest for Cornwall Crowdfunder campaign. The vision of the Forest for Calstock project is to use Calstock Parish as an example of how community owned assets and publicly accessible areas can be used to generate a positive environment that mitigates against climate change and enhances biodiversity. It is a community led initiative focussing on planting opportunities across the parish. You can find out more about the Forest for Calstock vision in the video created for this campaign.
Following extensive public consultation, plans for Phase 1 are now been finalised and will focus on 3 sites – Recreational Ground – Calstock, King George V Playing Field – St Ann’s Chapel and Millennium Green – Albaston. The planting will be a mix of native species, a new hedgerow, small orchards* and foraging hedges. The fruit trees also provide a link to the market gardening heritage of the area. The trees will be planted and maintained by community groups in each of the 3 areas.
This is just the start of a wider Forest for Calstock scheme with Phase 2 looking to extend opportunities across the parish.
For further information contact the Forest for Cornwall team or Calstock Parish Council. You can also subscribe to the Forest for Cornwall newsletter to receive all the latest news about the project and find out how you can get involved.
*funding was secured for 20 apple trees from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species – Orchard Grant.