The Community Orchard & Nature reserve that we lease from Cornwall Council is on an area of about 30 acres. The area that leads up to the top of the Penbeagle hill is about 27 acres and we hope to get this area recognised as a Nature Reserve to protect it into the future. It is a beautiful area of scrub and heathland that leads up to Penbeagle Hill that has a large granite Tor & rock outcrop with 360 degrees of stunning views of the coastlines, reservoir and farmland. 15 acres of this land was given to the people of St.Ives by Ernest Harris Best in 1943 (he died in 1957). The rest of our land belonged to the Bolitho estates which was sold together with the Penbeagle Farm in 1943 to the St Ives Town Council. The site was also previously part of Penbeagle Farm and comprises a number of fields with possibly ancient boundaries and many native trees have been planted there since the 1980s. Click here to read more history and see photos. These have become overgrown as natural vegetation has invaded. The community group are looking to establish a Nature Reserve on this area to ensure it remains in its wild and natural state but better managed in order to encourage wildlife and beneficial vegetation. We first need to get a management plan created, see criteria we need to meet. More info on this website: Guidance on setting up a Local Nature Reserve
In July 2018, Patrick Saunders of Kernow Ecology was requested on behalf of AONB Wheal Buzzy Project to visit the site to suggest habitat improvements for wild bees and he wrote this report for us.
See also a proposal made to St Ives Town Council re an application to make it a Nature reserve.
Get in touch if you’re interested in getting involved.