Cornwall AONB Conference

Celebrating Cornwall’s unique and diverse landscape was top of the agenda at a special event on 7th March. Over a hundred delegates took part in the annual conference of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Workshops and speakers highlighted everything from the biodiversity of rivers to the importance of Cornwall’s environmental growth.

 Guest speakers included the Chair of the recently formed Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership, Matthew Thomson (also CEO of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall).  He enthused about the new opportunities to gain prosperity for Cornwall whilst also achieving ‘environmental growth’.

 Brigit Strawbridge, addressed how landscape management can assist Cornwall’s bee population. She said: ‘It was a tremendous event and I was delighted to take part. The AONB Partnership does exceptional work in Cornwall and we need to celebrate their achievements.’

 Pat Smith, of Bosinver Farm Cottages, who recently won the Cornwall Sustainability Award for connecting business with nature, spoke of the importance of getting people engaged with the environment. She said: ‘If each small business owner took steps to protect and value our local landscapes and get their customers involved, then we can ensure a very positive future for Cornwall’

 Delegates also enjoyed an afternoon of workshops hosted by a range of Cornwall AONB Partnership organisations including Cornwall Wildlife Trust on ‘River Catchments’; CRCC and the AONB Unit on ‘Neighbourhood Planning’; Cornwall Council on an ‘Environmental Growth Strategy for Cornwall’ and ‘Achieving Biodiversity gain in Developments’ and Timber Strategies on ‘Future Woodlands’.

 Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager, Colette Beckham was really inspired by the event. ‘We’ve had a really great day and have come away buzzing with ideas of how to move landscape and environment forward in Cornwall, from the very strategic, right down to what we can do in our own back yard.’

 Held at the Royal Cornwall Showground on Saturday, the conference marked a new chapter for the protected landscape and the Cornwall AONB Partnership, as it looks ahead to the next five years. During the day Partner representatives signed a new Partnership Agreement, renewing their ongoing commitment to the AONB.

 Colette Beckham said: ‘It was great to work with so many of our partners and to have so much support about the future of the AONB… As nicely demonstrated by the first episode of ‘Poldark’ on Sunday night, we have lots to celebrate about Cornwall’s protected landscape’.