In 2014, a group of community organisations and individuals came together and agreed a vision for the Penwith landscape:
“a resilient living, working Penwith landscape where farming prospers while protecting natural resources, restoring habitat connectivity and enhancing the archaeological heritage; a landscape that is loved, enjoyed and supported by local communities and visitors”.
This group – the Penwith Landscape Partnership Board – was successful in getting a generous allocation of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop several projects aimed at conserving and enhancing this unique landscape. A fully developed Landscape Conservation Action Plan was submitted to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in August 2017 and in December, the Partnership secured a grant of £2,529,100 to deliver the First and Last – Our Living Working Landscape scheme. Together with additional funding from Cornwall Council and other sources, and the commitment and enthusiasm of many volunteers from the local community, this money will be used to conserve, protect and enhance Penwith’s ancient farming landscape and field systems, its archaeology and natural environment for future generations.
The funding is available for five years until the end of 2022. Activities will include:
- Surveying and improving knowledge of the archaeology and ancient sites in Penwith
- Improving access to the landscape through footpaths, bridleways and cycle routes, as well as creating links to public transport
- Helping Parishes to survey and care for the heritage and wildlife within their areas
- Improving the landscape for wildlife by working with farmers and landowners to promote good soil, nutrient and habitat management
- Recording the value of Cornish hedges and “upskilling” volunteers to repair and rebuild hedges and reinstate gateposts
- Researching historic place-names to discover what they can tell us about the landscape and the history of the area
- Encouraging exploration of the landscape through the arts
- Helping farmers and landowners find economic uses for redundant farm buildings and also manage rough ground through controlled burns, scrub cutting and clearing by hand
- Supporting the growth of efficient, resilient family-farm businesses through setting up monitor farms and discussion groups
Our work is based within Penwith, predominantly in the far West of the area- see our map for more details.