Last chance to vote – help Cornwall farmer to win national competition

Charlie Watson Smyth from Padstow  is one of eight farmers shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Nature of Farming Award.  Charlie and his family, who manage Tregirls, has won the South West Award  and has been shortlisted for his achievements in looking after wildlife and the environment while running a productive mixed beef and arable farm. Charlie said; “'We're delighted to have made some real tangible changes to the wildlife on our farm here in Padstow. My late father-in-law saw the last Cornish chough on his farm in 1973 and I want my own grandchildren to grow up watching a chattering of choughs at Tregirls like generations before. Voting for our Cornish farm may help us win this prestigious award and would mean real recognition for all of our hard work, now and in the future.”

Eight farmers from across the UK are through to the final of the Nature of Farming Award with people across the land voting to decide who they think should come out on top. People who cast their vote will be automatically entered into a draw to win a luxury break for two people.
Now in its sixth year, the Nature of Farming Award celebrates farmers who do wonderful things for nature, finding the one who’s done the most on their land to help our threatened countryside wildlife. The competition is run by the RSPB, supported by Butterfly Conservation and Plantlife, and sponsored by The Telegraph.
The award was set up to help share wildlife-friendly farming practice and encourage public awareness of the important role we need farmers to play in conservation. It celebrates farmers who work hardest to help threatened countryside wildlife, such as skylarks, brown hares, bees, butterflies and plants.

Please vote for Charlie to win!  Deadline is tomorrow at midnight
Here's the link http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/farming/natureoffarming/finalists/charlie-watson-Smyth.aspx

Stepper Point in the background is part of Tregirls and managed by extensive grazing
Stepper Point in the background is part of Tregirls and managed by extensive grazing

 

 

A Day for Nature

Building on the success of last year's event, ‘Cornwall Day for Nature’ on 3rd and 4th August promises even more opportunities to enjoy nature first hand.  The event is sponsored by South West Lakes Trust and will be held at Stithians Reservoir.

On Saturday 3rd August, the event will start with an evening focused on Moths and Bats, where you can find out about nature in Cornwall at night with local specialists running moth traps and taking a bat walk (subject to weather).  Overnight on site camping is available.

Sunday 4th August will start with an early morning ‘Dawn Chorus’ walk to a bird ringing site and a small mammal trapping demonstration, which will be followed by a range of walks during the day.

Conservation Groups will exhibit and publicise their conservation work and activities providing a great opportunity to get find out more and involved!  Exhibitors will include Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society (CBWPS), South West Lakes Trust, The National Trust, Natural England, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT), Cornwall Bat Group, Cornwall Mammal Group, Butterfly Conservation and an introduction to the Robin Song Project, a South West Children’s Hospice Project to bring wildlife into the lives of children.

Fun for all ages! The National Trust, RSPB, Natural England and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Fox Club will be offering nature themed fun for children of all ages. The National Trust will have with their arts and crafts marquee, together with demonstrations of green woodworking and bush craft. Come and talk to their Rangers about the ongoing work for wildlife on the spectacular Lizard coastline, where choughs and rare plants abound.

Try and buy the latest optical equipment for all price ranges! Trade exhibits will feature South West Optics, Leica, Swarovski, Nikon, Zeiss and Opticron.

Local wildlife artist, Griff, founder of the Robin Song Project for the South West Children’s Hospice, will be displaying his work in the marquee.

South West Lakes will be offering kayaking, archery  and climbing wall taster sessions  (a small fee will apply these activities to cover costs).

Refreshments will be available at the popular Watersports Cafe within the complex to eat and drink inside or on the lakeside.

The event is free but they hope to raise funds for a new proposed viewing screen  at College Reservoir and on going conservation work at Stithians Reservoir.

For more information visit the Facebook page or visit the CWBPS website

Chough appears on Lizard’s list of garden birds

Last night the monthly pub quiz at Lizard and Argyll Football Club featured a special 'garden birds' round, to help promote next weekend's Big Garden Birdwatch! The questions were all related to garden birds but covered other topics such as music and film, providing a fun round for everyone in what was otherwise a very tough quiz last night! As we rattled through the questions about garden birds, and talked about what we each had in our gardens, it transpired that last year a resident of Beacon Terrace, the Lizard, (just opposite the football club itself) actually had a chough on their list of garden birds, quite amazing don't you think?

 

What would you find in your garden? The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch is the world's largest wildlife survey, with over half a million people regularly taking part.  Interested? Why not take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend - it's well worth it and an only takes an hour of your time.

For more information visit: http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/

Education

Over the last fortnight Cat has been visiting primary schools throughout West Cornwall introducing Charlie (our new furry chough friend) and the ‘Return of the Chough’ story through a number of assemblies and chough based activity sessions. The sessions are inspiring and educational and are well received by both children and staff, setting the scene as the RSPB’s education work expands in the South West region.

 Over the past two weeks, Cat has visited over 5 new schools, sharing the news about the chough's historic return with over 350 children.

Cat is also leading FREE guided tours and activity sessions for school groups at Marazion Marsh, Cornwall’s wetland reserve.

If you know a school that would like a FREE guided visit to Marazion Marsh, and /or a visit from Cat & Charlie, please get in touch cat.leemarr@rspb.org.uk

Get Involved

We are always looking for new volunteers for chough monitoring and for our education and events work, if you are interested please get in touch with Cat: cat.leemarr@rspb.org.uk

...and don't forget to keep your chough sighting reports coming in, email them to us at : cornishchoughs@rspb.org.uk