Climate change is the biggest issue ever to face humanity. Cornwall’s natural beauty will be greatly impacted by this, so fighting this existential threat has been a personal mission for us since 2017. A large part of our response until now has included partnering with the right organisations to plant trees, and to date we have planted 41,600 trees! Planting trees is a good way of capture carbon dioxide, which can help in the fight against climate change. When these trees grow to maturity, they will ultimately offset the business’s direct and indirect carbon emissions, as well as protecting nature and increasing biodiversity.
A whopping 3% of the company’s revenue was put towards environmental work over 2021. Funding this is a team effort — it comes from every holiday booked, donations from our owners and contributions from us at Forever Cornwall.
Accurate as of August 2021. We plan to do more, lots more. So watch this space for more exciting environmental work.
A major part of our environmental work involves our friends, the Pole Pole Foundation (POPOF). Right in the heart of Africa, people and wildlife are facing the same global environmental challenges as we are in Cornwall. So it’s our small way to reach out to help in a way that benefits all of us.
They are an award-winning NGO, a gorilla conservation organisation working to protect rainforest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Pronounced “polay polay” the name means “slowly slowly” in Swahili — which reflects the NGO’s philosophy of working with local community and culture, instigating really effective long-term change — for the environment as well as for the people who depend on the rainforest for their livelihoods.
We fund their important work in planting trees, which creates a buffer zone between the rainforest and the community. This provides a sustainable source of charcoal and timber, keeping the forest protected. We have planted almost 41,000 trees since 2017 (correct as of August 2021), and since 1993 they have planted over four million trees!
The work mostly benefits the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP), which is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and an ecological gem nestled at the bottom of the Great Rift Valley. Some 600,000 hectares in size, it is home to the last known groups of Eastern Lowland Grauer’s gorillas, the largest of the four gorilla subspecies, which live at altitudes above 2,000 metres within the park boundaries.
POPOF’s conducts other important developmental work, including: running schools that teach children an environmental syllabus, running livelihood projects to provide ex-poachers with alternative sources of income, providing nutrition and sourcing alternative foods than bush meat, and running women’s groups.
Another part of our environmental work helps rebuild nature right on our doorstep, in Cornwall, by supporting the Field to Forest Foundation (FTF).
In early 2021, we funded the planting of 600 trees in Clowance, near Hayle. When these 600 trees reach maturity, this will offset all the business’ direct and indirect carbon emissions from 2020. We have committed to plant trees here for the next three years. The long-term plan for the site is to introduce beavers, which use trees to build wetland habitats. These wetlands have been proven to increase biodiversity, be highly effective “carbon sinks” and provide flood protection e.g. around the Hayle River.
FTF is a community interest company that works with farmers that want to grow trees on their land but can’t secure the grants. By planting the right trees in the right places, they aim to increase biodiversity in Cornwall.
They believe in only planting trees that have the best chance of surviving and that contribute to biodiversity. This includes trees that are part of a traditional British woodland mix, some flowering and some nut and fruit bearing to provide food for wildlife. The mix includes Copper Beech, Sweet Buckthorn, Aspen, Field Maple, Hornbeam, Red Oak, Sweet Chestnut, Common Walnut, Juniper, Rowan, Wild Service and Silver Birch and Oak.
The trees are sourced from quality British Tree Nurseries, or from saplings grown from seed by the farmer.
In 2021, Dive Project Cornwall asked us to support their work in engaging young people to protect our oceans. The world’s oceans sequester a third of all carbon emitted by human activity, so we felt compelled to focus some of our environmental support towards this important eco-system. We have agreed to sponsor three students annually for three years, to be trained in scuba diving and educated as ‘ocean influencers’ aka marine environment champions.
More information coming soon!