natural capital

Cornwall AONB 2016 Annual Conference



We held the Cornwall AONB annual conference at the Bedruthan Steps Hotel on the 7th May with the appropriate theme of ‘Landscapes with Benefits’.

The Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty does so much more than it ‘says on the tin’ not only does it provide us with outstanding natural beauty, it also provides us with exceptional benefits for our health and well being, as well as economic benefits that only a natural landscape can provide to the business community.

The conference opened with a welcome from our Chairman, Dr Robert Kirby-Harris, followed by a short inspirational aerial film tour around Cornwall which has been very kindly provided by ‘Visit Cornwall’. Steve Double MP then officially opened our conference and our Partnership Manager, Colette Beckham reflected on the past year and what we’ve been up to.

After a short break, it was time for our keynote speakers.  Jonathon Jones, Managing Director of Trading at the Tregothnan Estate who discussed the economic benefits of living in an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. The Tregothnan Estate not only grows English tea but also produces a wide range of herbal infusions and the diversity of land on the Tregothnan Estate also allows them to produce sustainable coppiced charcoal, Cornish Manuka honey, wildflower honeys and a very fine Kea Plum jam.

Then followed by Professor Kevin J Gaston of the Local Nature Partnership  and Director of the Environmental Sustainability Institute – University of Exeter, who discussed the benefits of ‘Natural Capital’ which is available to us all and includes the world’s stocks of natural resources including geology, soil, air, water and all living organisms. Natural Capital provides humans with a wide range of free goods and services which underpin our economy and society.

Following lunch, the afternoon consisted of a series of interesting workshops, where delegates were able to participate in both outdoor activities and some indoor thought provoking, interactive sessions provided by Red Hotels Group, the European Centre for Environment and Human Health and West Country Rivers Trust.

This year’s annual conference, attended by around 80 delegates, was extremely successful, with positive feedback received from the delegates, who found it a very worthwhile and interesting day.