Community Woodland & River Conservation

by Friends of the Fal in Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom

£430

raised so far

23

supporters

Help children connect with their environment, wildlife, nature & help towards Climate Change. How we act now shapes the future for children.

by Friends of the Fal in Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 5th April 2022 we'd raised £410 with 20 supporters in 35 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Our Vision

1626268341_img20210510185657_2.jpgSpringtime alongside the river Fal 

The vision for this project is that we will provide a play and learning area for children to connect with and embrace their natural environment, also for the community as a whole to be involved in creating more biodiversity to the site, with the aim of protecting and enhancing wildlife habitats for generations to come.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has seen that more people are turning to being outdoors in a natural environment where their spirits are lifted by the abundance of sights, sounds and smells that being immersed in nature brings. To most of us, it's a sanctuary that offers peace & happiness, well being and that feeling of safety.  

However, Mother Nature is in need of help and we are determined do our bit locally

1626267911_square_3x3_(3).jpg                                  Life By The Fal 


Support for our vision

We have the support from Grampound with Creed Primary School, Westcountry Rivers Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and our Local Independent Councillor, Michael Bunney, who is incredibly enthusiastic about our project - he funded the supply of 2 picnic tables in the play & learning area through his Community Chest Fund. 

We also have the backing of the landowner at Trewithen Estate who is leasing the land to us, with the view to managing the woodland over the next 10 years and beyond.

Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) are working with us and we will be taking part in their Citizen Science Investigation (CSI) which will help to monitor the river Fal. This engages the children in learning how to monitor the river condition and test the water for pollutants etc, also to note the wildlife seen in and around the river. WRT are really excited to be working with us and we hope to dove-tail with some of the projects they are already involved with.

UPDATE: We have just had a CSI training day with WRT with all 60 pupils from the school which gained a lot of interest & enthusiasm from the school teachers, Friends of the Fal volunteers as well as the pupils. We're all looking forward to getting more involved in CSI!

What Our Supporters Have To Say


"I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and Sarah for organising and supporting this afternoon's CSI with Westcountry Rivers Trust. What a lovely team they are and what a great opportunity for our school! The children learned so much and were so excited to talk about it all when we got back to the classroom. I learned a lot, too!!" 

Lizzie Grubb, Senior Teacher, Grampound with Creed School

                                   ..............

“I have enjoyed supporting the Friends of the Fal to work with the children of Grampound with Creed School to plant the native hedgerow trees, erect the bug hotels and take part in other environmental activities such as, Citizen Science Investigations (CSI) with Westcountry Rivers Trust. The children thoroughly appreciated having the area so close to their classroom and the educational benefits are significant. It is a wonderful project and allows children and families to engage with nature, the environment and biodiversity. Adding an outdoor learning area to the play area will be so important, to enhance environmental education, especially as younger generations face such a critical climate emergency” 

Cllr Michael Bunney

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The Learning Area Picnic Tables

 

Cornwall Wildlife Trust

In 2021, we applied for & received funding for a Phase 1 Habitat Survey carried out by Cornwall Environmental Consultants who are an arm of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. The survey helps us to know more about our woodland environment, how we can apply management to the area and what we can do to enhance biodiversity prospects instead of a monoculture of brambles!               

The survey also revealed that our woodland area is a County Wildlife Site.

County Wildlife Sites are the most significant areas of semi-natural habitat in Cornwall outside statutory protected sites such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs).                     

County Wildlife Sites range from small copses and linear features like river valleys, to ancient woodlands, large moors and wetlands. Many of these are Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitats; these are habitats which are considered of conservation significance either locally or nationally. Cornwall has its own list of BAP habitats. 

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One Of Our Cheeky Resident Robins


There is a real sense of urgency to make this project a success story, but we simply cannot do it alone, we really need help from supporters like yourself. Your donation, no matter how small, will help us to provide valuable assistance to - 

                  Children  Community  Conservation


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Our project is totally reliant on funding and donations, as our own pockets are now empty!

We would love you to be a part of our woodland & river conservation project, to watch it grow and bloom, with the knowledge that you helped to make it happen. The funds we raise will be well spent on providing our community group project with:  


  • An Arborist who will provide a management plan, tree condition & site survey, tree surgery & future planting recommendations 
  • Tools & Equipment  With the right tools & equipment, our volunteers will be able to carefully liberate the young trees which are struggling to survive within the mass of brambles and invasive species. Tools are essential to the varied work we will undertake.


  • Training courses will help us and our volunteer team to develop new skills and may encourage older school children to seek careers in conservation.
  • Container (Depot) This will be a metal (vandal proof) container to house tools & equipment and for first aid administration.


  • Information Boards will provide guidance and information of the site such as what type of trees/mammals/birds/invertebrates etc can be seen here.
  • Learning Centre This an extension of the main play area and will be used by the school children where they can sit at the picnic tables and enjoy their nature studies. Outdoor learning aids are an essential part of outdoor education which help children develop their own risk assessments out in the environment. (with teacher guidance)

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Fal River Snowdrops


Our Story

Friends of the Fal was born in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, when we were experiencing the first ever lockdown and having travel restrictions imposed. We were 'locked in' in our village! We couldn't think of a better place to be locked in, so we set about an idea for an area in the woods alongside the river, with kind permission from the landowner.

1625746279_img_20200731_081820.jpgThe Woodland Play Area      

We cleared an area by the river and securely attached a couple of rope swings to a large Monterey pine tree, built a bivouac, installed a mud kitchen and an pirates chest full of chunky chalk. The children & their families in our village community thoroughly enjoyed spending time there, it gave them opportunity to get away from lockdown restrictions for fresh air and play and to connect with nature. 

1626096724_img_20200731_081851-collage.jpg Naming The New Play Area

 

We asked our local primary school to come up with a name for the new play area and the name they chose is;

'Gwydhenn Avon' which is Cornish for 'River Tree'.

1625812707_img20210329062829.jpgJust one of the school children's letters that melted our hearts 

The thanks and appreciation we received (especially from the children) inspired us to do more for our community, school, wildlife and environment by stimulating education and early learning, improving health & well being and social inclusion. This was the beginning of the vision for a Community Woodland & River Conservation Project. It was no longer just an idea, it had developed into reality.

There will be events for the children & families to get involved with, such as planting trees & hedgerows (we planted native hedgerow trees during National Tree Week Nov 27th - December 5th 2021, with the help of the school children), planting bulbs in the autumn for their arrival in Spring. 

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Tree Planting in the Woodland 2021


We are also hoping to do some arts & crafts and have a few story telling sessions and plays in the woods. We'll be organising a bat walk in the summer and installing some bat and bird boxes.

Young children today are the future caretakers of their environment and we will endeavour to supply them with inspiration and the skills to care for and nurture the place where they live.

1626098961_img-20210302-wa0038_2-collage_(1).jpg                             More Life By The Fal 

 

Friends of the Fal are members of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and through TCV we are about set up a 'Green Gym', where members of the community can join us as volunteers regularly to help restore the woodland, create new paths, plant native trees, hedgerows and wildflowers, with the view to supporting wildlife with an abundance of food/shelter/nectar. There are large areas of land which are smothered with brambles which is preventing other plant species from existing, especially the young trees which were planted several years ago. We also have invasive species which if left, will have an adverse effect on the area. 

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   Hazel Hurdle made by Friends of the Fal's Volunteers


Green Gym will be available for all to join and our local doctors surgery are also happy to refer patients to join our group for activities which will benefit their mental and physical well being.

How can Green Gym improve mental & physical health?

• Reduce stress levels

• Reduce depression

• Improve self esteem

• Connecting with people

• Provide varied activities to get  involved with

• Learn new skills and boost confidence

• Build up resilience

• Boost physical activity levels

• Connecting with nature and contributing to the environment

• Being enjoyable and fun!

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     Some of our Fabulous Friends of the Fal Volunteers!


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Coba 

Sarah's African Grey Parrot Coba comes with us when we are working in the woods and is very much at home in the environment and very much a part of the team, although she can be a bit of a Diva! She also sits in on our admin meetings, even the members meetings we have in our village pub, The Dolphin Inn. She's a real hit with all who venture into the woodland.

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            Two Women on A Mission With Their Vision!

                Fran                                                Sarah

Fran

With our groups mission and vision in mind and our involvement with Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Westcountry Rivers Trust & The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), we will endeavour to make this conservation project inclusive, educational and accessible to all in the community, especially our local school. 

The importance of learning about nature and how we can help wildlife to thrive has never been more important than now.

Climate Change is very real and if we can make a difference even on a local level, no matter how small, it's still a step in the right direction and a big step towards helping our local environment thrive and survive and have fun whilst doing it.

                     'If Nature Thrives - We All Thrive'

1625846798_baqrjpo3_2_imgp9028-optimize-gamma-correction.jpgFootpath alongside the Fal in Autumn  

Thank you for reading our story, please be assured, your donation to our project will mean the world to us, it will help our wildlife and future caretakers of this precious area. We hope it will mean the world to you too, knowing that your action of donating will live on for generations to come.

 

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£40 or more

Tree and Greeting Card with Certificate

The tree is a UK native and will provide food & shelter for wildlife in our woodland. Comes with a gift card for you to keep,with a handmade paper insert containing wildflower seeds to plant directly in the ground. The tree comes with a certificate in the name of the recipient, which can either be yourself, friends or family. We can plant the tree for you and with the 'What 3 Words' App, give you the location of your tree so you can visit it.

£10 or more

Wildflower Seeds & Greeting Card

1 packet of 'Friends of the Fal' wildflower seeds inside a gift card for your very own garden or special place or to gift to a friend or family member. The Gift Card comprises of a collage of 9 photos of wildlife seen down by the river Fal. When in bloom, the wildflowers will attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

£20 or more

Handmade Wildflower Seed Greetings Cards

A pack of 5 Wildflower Seed Cards lovingly made by Friends of the Fal community. Each card is a collage of 9 photos of wildlife seen around the Fal woodland. Inside the card is handmade paper which has been sprinkled with wildflower seed. The seed paper insert can then be planted in the ground. An ideal and unique gift for friends and family (or yourself) who wish to attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators to their garden or special place

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