Our scrub contractors have made impressive inroads on the scrub, with a few acres at the southern end completely cleared. It is already looking transformed. The stumps of small trees, saplings and gorse have been treated with glyphosate straight after cutting and stained blue to indicate treatment.
They are burning the arisings on dry ground, keeping the fire small and controlled and on a sheet of corrugated, galvanised steel to retain the ash. It’s a tough site and the workers have to drag the cut branches and gorse some distance across very tricky terrain to the bonfire. There they use loppers to reduce the branches further for the fire.
At the same time, our Knight Fencing are fencing the cleared corral area to improve access before moving on to repair the perimeter fences. This is important so ensure that the site is stock proof as summer grazing is crucial to keeping the scrub down and improving the habitat for the rare marsh fritillary butterfly.
Sad news and a great loss for the Gaia Trust at Home Farm Marsh with the passing of birder, carpenter, fencer, hide; stile; bird box and bench builder, joker and all round good bloke - Geoff Taylor.
Geoff was at the Reserve two or three times a week in all weathers and even cycled around Northern France to raise money to extend the main pond.
He will be sadly missed by all at Home Farm Marsh.
The Gaia Trustees and Director send their condolences to his wife Christine and thanks for sharing Geoff with us for all those years
Are you an experienced nature conservation and countryside worker with the people skills to organise and run volunteering tasks and engage the public?
The Gaia Trust Charity is recruiting for a part time Site Ranger at its Treraven Farm Nature Reserve near Wadebridge. The post can be employed or arranged as a self-employed contract beginning in January 2018.
Apply by sending your CV and a short covering letter (maximum 1000 words) to email@example.com. The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday 15th December. Interviews will be held in Cornwall on Wednesday 10th January 2018.
The Gaia Trust's Chark Moor site has been included in the new Mid Cornwall Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest confirmed by Natural England, the government's nature conservation body, on November 15th.
Wesley Smyth, manager of Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly team in Natural England, said:
This rich and diverse landscape of Mid Cornwall is home to an array of rare plants and insects, alongside one of the highest densities of willow tit breeding pairs in England. That’s why we’ve designated this area as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, recognising its vital contribution to our natural heritage and helping its precious wildlife thrive for generations to come.
Matt Edworthy, Director of the Gaia Trust says "we are privileged to have our Chark Moor site included in the new SSSI. We are managing it to encourage the rare Marsh Fritillary butterfly which is currently found nearby, but not at Chark. We look forward to seeing this wonderful species return"
In May 2017 a bat detector at Home Farm Marsh recorded the ultra-sonic calls of up to nine species of bat that frequent the site. More
Hoping to catch a glimpse of ospreys using the new nest pole, the Gaia Trust has installed a solar-powered webcam at Home Farm Marsh and large viewing screen at Fremington Quay Cafe. More.
It is with great sadness that the Trustees have to announce that Jenni Thomson – the Chairman and founder of the Gaia Trust lost her brave and very courageous battle with cancer on Friday 11th November 2016. She bore her illness with great strength never complaining and working on promoting the Trust’s future almost to the end – it seemed to give her great comfort.
Jenni was responsible for the birth of The Gaia Trust, and was its first director until her retirement in December 2006. She was also Chairman of the South West Environmental Protection Group and the Community Projects Trust, and was a County Councillor and member of the National Rivers Advisory Committee. In 1985, Jenni won the European Conservation Award for Industry. She was an organic farmer, non-executive director of a National Health Service Trust, a member of the Freedom of Information Act Tribunal, the Consumer Council for Water, and a Millennium Fellow.
Jenni has left the Gaia Trust in very good heart and now the Director and Trustees will work tirelessly to achieve the vision that she had for its future.
"I was pleased with the work that you have carried out to increase the areas of standing and seasonal water on the HK10 fields. I would be happy for more scrapes to be created"
It is reassuring that we are showing positive results through our Higher Level Stewardship Management Agreement.