When we started Forever Cornwall we realised that, as a small business, we may not make a huge impact, but by partnering with the right organisations and by gently encouraging our owners and guests to make the journey with us, we could make a real difference — in Cornwall and beyond. Tree planting has been central to our environmental approach since our early days, but capturing carbon is only part of the story — we have chosen to partner with charities and organisations whose work will benefit not only the natural environment and local wildlife but also the lives and livelihoods of local communities, long into the future.
Inspiring Better Holidays
As a tourism business we rely on the natural environment and the local community, and we have placed our values at the core of our strategy from the beginning — our carefully crafted mission statement has ethics at its heart. We try to encourage guests to keep their holiday in Cornwall as local as possible, showcasing things to see and do and places to eat and drink in the surrounding area, from low-impact activities such as watersports, walking and cycling, to ethical shopping and sustainable transport.
We aim to inspire people to experience, rather than simply visit, Cornwall, and we share our wealth of insider knowledge through social media, our blog, newsletters, welcome packs, guest directory and property journals. We passionately believe that holidays that benefit communities and the planet are better for visitors too — by encouraging guests to seek out Cornish produce and enjoy local experiences, we are nurturing more authentic and genuinely more enjoyable holiday experiences.
See how we’re inspiring better holidays by encouraging low impact holidays in Cornwall
Cutting carbon, supporting liveliehoods
Shortly after opening of our first offices in Truro, we started planting trees with the Pole Pole Foundation (POPOF), a grass roots gorilla conservation organisation in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. To date we have planted 50,000 trees with them (they’ve planted a whopping four million trees in the region in total so far), creating a buffer zone around the national park to protect it from poachers, providing sustainable sources of charcoal and firewood and acting as an eco-corridor for wildlife migration.
This award-winning NGO, which was of the finalists for the prestigious Earthshot Prize in 2021, also runs training schemes for former poachers, helping them to end their reliance on the rainforest by encouraging alternative livelihoods, such as woodworking, dressmaking and soap making. Through our donations, we’ve also been supporting micro-enterprise, for example making school uniforms by the Women’s Empowerment Group, helping them to develop skills for further projects. We have also supported the purchase of beehives, discouraging people from gathering wild honey from protected areas of the national park.
Closer to home
In 2020, we ramped up our involvement with local organisations and started tree planting here in Cornwall. The Field to Forest Foundation is a not-for-profit that works with landowners who want to reforest, re-wild or rebuild habitat, including wetland enhancement and biodiversity projects alongside planting. One such project will see the creation of a new area woodland in south Cornwall, with the aim of increasing biodiversity in the area.
Another, the Cornwall Beaver Project, is an inspiring scheme which is reintroducing these incredible animals in Cornwall after nearly 500 years. During a recent visit, Chris, farmer and beaver expert extraordinaire, introduced us to the project and showed us where our trees will be planted to support the beavers’ wetland areas, which are important habitats for sequestering carbon. Our investment specifically supports a ‘beaver extension’ project which will increase the available woodland habitat with a large area of mixed planting.
We also support the Cornwall Wildlife Trust who care for Cornwall’s beautiful landscapes which are home to a whole host of wildlife, from badgers and foxes to seals and Cornish choughs. It’s really important work and we’re very proud to support them along the way.
As a business that operates predominately in coastal locations, working with charities that support cleaner oceans is a really important part of what we do. We have made a three-year commitment to support Dive Project Cornwall, a local charity that delivers education programmes to secondary schools across the UK. Through their scuba diving programmes, hundreds of school children will experience the ocean first hand with the hope that these young people will go on to become champions of the marine environment and take up the mantel in the fight for healthier oceans. We also support with Surfers Against Sewage, a national marine conservation charity based on the north coast that works to protect oceans and marine life through education, activism and fundraising, inspiring people to take action and campaign for better water quality in our coastal regions.
Find out more about the organisations we’re supporting in Cornwall and abroad
We know that, as an industry, we are falling way short in addressing the social impact of tourism, but we are committed to making a difference where we can. In early 2022, we amended our Articles of Association — our internal rulebook which sets out how our company is run — making a commitment to have a “materially positive impact on the environment and society”. Our property owners are also committed through their contracts to source local products and contribute quarterly to our social and environmental fund, 100% of which is invested in local and international projects to help communities to flourish, to nurture greener and more bio-diverse environments, and to combat climate change.
Our vision for the future
Our new fundraising model should raise approximately £10,000 per year over and above our current environmental project commitments, and we have resolved to invest this in social projects to help build a better future for Cornwall’s communities. We will continue to invest in carbon sequestering projects and sustain our investment in carbon cutting projects and we plan to invest future funds, raised thanks to our generous owners and guests, in additional social projects in the future.
We’re very proud to be working with these incredible organisations who share our vision for a more sustainable future, but we also know there’s much more work to do. We’re excited about our plans and will keep you updated as they unfold — watch this space!