Sustainable Tourism for Rural Cornwall
Rural locations provide and alternative location to the coasts for nature-based activities and could benefit from market development through the visitor economy.
Tevi and the G7 Legacy team invited visitor economy businesses to Ladock Community Hall to celebrate the unique wilderness and heritage of central Cornwall with a view to divert visitors from traditional ‘honey pots’ and nurture a sustainable diversification of the visitor economy for Cornwall.
The G7 Project for Nature Recovery (G7LNRP) – also referred to as the ‘Wilder West’ — in partnership with Natural England, will knit together and restore land and habitats for key species like dormice, marsh fritillary butterflies and willow tits. Fully funded by Legacy funded committed by the UK Government after Cornwall hosted the G7 in 2021, it will also improve access to nature for people’s wellbeing, improve water quality, sequester carbon and employ skilled staff and apprentices to work with local people and communities.
Colin Pringle, Project Manager of the G7LNRP at Cornwall Wildlife Trust, opened a series of short talks aimed at showcasing the unique natural environment, biodiversity and fascinating heritage of the ‘Wilder West’ area. The past, present and ongoing activities by dedicated volunteers and apprentices at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust included building board works and sheltered areas to make outside areas more attractive to visitors with accessibility issues. Ensuring that everyone can engage with nature in a meaningful way in Cornwall.
Tom Shelley of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust gave a rallying presentation comparing a ‘wild’ landscape with the results of what can be achieved when landscapes are effectively managed and ‘rewilded’ with astonishing results. The beavers at Woodland Valley farm have been a huge success story, for example, not only for the betterment of biodiversity on the farm, nor the additional flood protection but also in safely opening the space for visitors and locals to learn about re-introducing native species. Tom also promoted the ‘Pint & Hedgehog’ initiative developed by Tevi for pub gardens and other outdoor hospitality space [Get in touch to find out more!].
A rise in domestic holiday-making and care for the environment are fuelling interest in reducing pressures on local communities, infrastructure and damage to vulnerable ecosystems that could be caused from the explosion in footfall during the peak season. Tanuvi and Erin’s energetic presentation of their Visitor Distribution App from Dataduopoly looks to effectively deploy technology and gamification to disperse crowds encourage spending in alternative venues. They have had huge success in pilot schemes on The Tin Coast.
Opportunities for visitors to discover other attractions, away from the Cornish beaches, in order to better distribute crowds during seasonal peaks were highlighted by the talk on heritage attractions by Dr. Steve Lowe from the Environment & Sustainability Institute.
Jon Cooksley of the well-known Admaps enterprise sparked conversation about advertising and steering visitors to desired attractions via his free maps of Cornwall.
As an in-person event, we are pleased to offer attendees the chance to talk to other SMEs in the local area, share ideas, build relationships and inspire one another. Discussions before lunch naturally gravitated towards new cycle ways for visitors to discover areas off the beaten track without the need for more cars down narrow, winding lanes.
After lunch, the talented Laura Skylark ignited our imaginations in her ‘Growing, Grazing and Amazing’ [Flyer] workshop. The interactive conclusion of a busy day suggested ways of discovering the natural treasures in your setting, encouraging diversity and offering fun and creative ways for visitors to sensitively explore nature.
Tevi and the G7 Legacy project team appreciate the importance of preserving Cornwall’s natural and cultural assets, recognizing the need to find new ways to maintain the rich environment of the in-land area alongside the responsible development of the tourism sector.
Through this Sustainable Tourism Challenge Network, we hope to lay the foundations for Cornwall to be an exemplar in the ways of combining tourism with environmental restoration.