Making Space for Nature, funded by Cornwall Council as part of its green infrastructure for growth projects, is investing in three sites in Bodmin: - Kinsman Estate and Treningle Play Area, Tredanek Play Area and the Burgage Plots, with ground works already underway at each.
Whilst these schemes are underway, Charlotte Evans, Project Advisor, plans to involve the community in their development with several events already having taken place and more planned over the coming months.
Take a look at the projects that Making Space for Nature has focused on so far...
The Burgage Plots is a series of long, narrow plots behind the properties on Fore Street. The term 'burgage' derives from a medieval system of land tenure, where plots were leased by individuals from the King or Lord. The plots would have yielded a range of crops, harvested and sold in Bodmin’s historic market as well as supplying domestic produce. Comparison of the 1840 Tithe Map with the 1841 census reveals that several plots were in use as gardens and at least one described as a meadow in this period.
The Making Space for Nature scheme respects the value of the woodland habitat for wildlife, celebrating the rarity of such a space so close to a town centre, while also nodding to the prior land use through integration of fruiting trees and meadow flower strips.
Project Adviser, Charlotte Evans, in bright orange hat and hi-vis jacket, led a team of volunteers, who planted 648 bulbs of bluebells, lily of the valley, winter aconite, wood anemoneand wild garlic on either side of the path between the car park and Meadow Place. The bulbs will enliven the walkway with spring colour, while also offering a nectar source to early pollinators.
Kinsman & Treningle
Charlotte also visited the Treningle Play Area, to support a community project to make a hibernaculum – a cosy winter refuge for many types of animals including insects, toads and lizards.
The scheme at Kinsman is a great example of retrofitting biodiversity enhancements in dense residential landscape, presenting the opportunity to show that nature can thrive around us and bring the health and wellbeing benefits of living close to rich green space right to our doorsteps. It will also enable wildlife to expand from The Beacon nature reserve.
The scheme at Tredanek Meadow is transforming an area of low diversity amenity grass into a haven for wildlife and people. It takes inspiration from the natural stream-side location by creating a wet-meadow on this seasonally damp site and planting a mix of trees native to Cornish river valleys alongside a mini-orchard and shrub beds providing community interest and habitat diversity.
The location beside Berrycoombe school has brought a huge benefit, as children from Year 3 fed their ideas into the design make in May. One of their ideas, a steppingstone spiral, is under construction, and will lead adventurers to a specimen weeping willow. Now in Year 4, the class will be contributing further by building a Bug Hotel for the site later this year.