BAFTA-award-winning TV presenter and public speaker, Michaela Strachan, led an outpouring of action against the ecological emergency at the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership Ecological Summit last week.
The renowned naturalist called for everyone to do their bit by making a change – however big or small – for the health of nature.
The sentiment was echoed by Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife & Countryside Link. He welcomed some of the ambitions set out in national policies for the environment but highlighted that these are rarely matched with the tools needed for delivery on the ground, for example in relation to the Environmental Land Management Schemes, the necessary agri-environment funding or effective environmental enforcement.
Returning for its second year at Heartlands in Pool, the one-day event brought together over 200 people in-person and online, from landowners and managers to those representing public authorities and charities.
Attendees also joined a series of action-oriented themed sessions run by a collaboration of partners, including environmental protection organisation Tevi – all designed to tackle the ecological and biodiversity crisis at different scales.
In a showing of commitment and proactive change, 55 ‘Pledges for Nature’ have been made as part of the summit. This means around 14,000 hectares have been committed to nature as part of Cornwall’s environmental growth ambitions. Lucy Wilson Richards of Tirwel has pledged to incorporate nature within her work as a landscape artist and Red River Cruisers conservation volunteers have promised to continue to do all they can to manage wildlife sites along the Red River Valley.
Lord Robin Teverson, chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership, said: “This year’s Ecological Summit was an inspiring and thought-provoking day for all. It was incredible to feel a groundswell of passion and determination with attendees coming together to share ideas, collaborate and make a positive difference to nature. This summit was the launchpad – now it’s about implementing all that we learned and driving forward change.”