Our Strategy

Our Environmental Growth Strategy provides a long-term framework for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to not just conserve, but to grow nature. Environmental growth is about not just protecting but also enhancing nature – ensuring that there is more of it, and that it is bigger, better, more diverse and more joined up.

The strategy is guided by the principle that we are interconnected with nature. It outlines steps to our target that by 30% of our land and seas are positively managed for nature by 2030. It is focused around 10 pillars for action to help nature regenerate and to provide the natural foundations for a green recovery.

Nature Recovery, Regeneration and reintroductions

We will exceed on the ambitions in the Environment Bill to develop and deliver a Local Nature Recovery Strategy; encourage landscape-scale restoration and reintroduction of species; help tackle invasive species; and embed environmental growth and biodiversity net-gain in the planning system.

MARINE HEALTH

We will enhance our Marine Protected Areas, increase the percentage of our inshore waters that are actively managed to deliver environmental growth, and increase the sustainability of local fisheries. We will support the development of fisheries management plans and a whole marine environment approach; tackle sources of pollution (such as plastics, chemicals and sewage); and pioneer marine rewilding – it having clear potential as a nature-based solution for climate change.

NATURAL CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

We will support the use of new land management approaches to develop climate solutions that work with natural processes, create natural on-land carbon sequestration and adaptation landscapes (including plants and soils), as well as delivering marine sequestration.

ACCESS TO NATURE & ACTIVE TRAVEL

We will work to develop an inclusive active travel strategy to set out a road map for access to nature and work, whilst promoting Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as a car less visitor destination for sustainable eco-tourism. We will tackle inequalities in access and health by enabling better access to the countryside, volunteer opportunities, farm visits, and better designed and numerous green public spaces.

CLEAN AIR

We will support the delivery of the Clean Air for Cornwall Strategy to tackle air pollution, and promote a modal shift to active travel.

CLEAN WATER

We will work with industry & partners to increase the percentage of freshwater currently classified as having a good or higher ecological rating, improve aquatic health, and enhance bathing water quality. We will tackle sources of pollution such as run-off, soil erosion, sewage, plastics, and industry (e.g. legacy mining impacts).

WASTE & RESOURCES

We will work with local authorities on their waste reduction and recycling strategies to further embed the LNP Materials Charter to help create a more circular economy – including improving recycling rates, sustainable production of natural resources (such as timber and minerals), and tackling pollution and food waste.

SUSTAINABLE FOOD

We will support local farmers and landowners to deliver nature recovery through the Environmental Land Management scheme and provision of public money for public goods. We will work to create a new Land Management Advice service. We will promote local producers (including small-scale); champion pollinator-friendly practices; champion food & seed security; and encourage regenerative, low input and organic local production, good soil-management, and agroforestry.

ECONOMIC & SOCIAL WELLBEING

We will create training for green jobs to ensure we have the skills and capabilities needed to restore nature; and set up an Environment Centre to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to work together to increase environmental, social and economic prosperity. We will tackle environmental health hazards and support green social prescribing to for better mental and physical health.

GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP & COMMUNITY

We will act to ensure that existing arrangements for environmental protection are adhered to nationally and locally; develop a local one planet/doughnut model; create a single, shared plan jointly owned by partners; explore green finance opportunities; and champion volunteer and local council action alongside green education initiatives.

READ THE STRATEGY

You can read the Environmental Growth Strategy here. It also sets out in further detail how partners will work together to help deliver Cornwall’s transition to sustainable food, land and seas, as part of the shared vision Gyllyn Warbarth: Together We Can, The Cornwall Plan.

Where Next?

Our immediate next step is to develop a shorter-term Local Nature Recovery Strategy that will outline more detail on where and how we can regenerate habitats and species; along with a linked investment programme to develop Cornwall’s Nature Recovery Network.

All areas in England will need to create a Local Nature Recovery Strategy once the Environment Bill becomes law. Cornwall was selected as one of only five areas to test the creation of a strategy between September 2020 and May 2021. Over 700 local people engaged with us to share their views and insight on what it should include. A draft has now been produced and will be released for further consultation and engagement later this year.

It will help shape new approaches to planning (on biodiversity net gain and our new planning proposals) and land management (for the new national scheme) amongst other things. It will also help ensure that we champion and support projects through our partners, local communities, and volunteer networks.

Measuring Progress

We published our first Monitoring and Evaluation Framework report in 2020, detailing the status of Key Performance Indicators. For more detailed information about the data behind each indicator, go to the technical report. These indicators will be reviewed for the refreshed Environmental Growth Strategy in 2021. The last assessment is summarised below.

21%

of land in Cornwall was positively managed to deliver environmental growth in 2018.

60%

of natural features proposed for large new Cornish development sites were delivered in 2018.

5 tons

of carbon per person were emitted in Cornwall in 2016.

4%

of global biodiversity targets applicable to Cornwall were expected to be achieved by 2020.

25%

of Cornwall’s lakes and rivers had a good or higher ecological rating in 2016.

7%

of Cornwall’s inshore seabed area was under positive management, resulting in environmental growth in 2019.

75%

of Cornwall’s residents visited the outdoors at least once a week in 2017.

34%

of Cornwall’s Cornwall’s waste collection was recycled or composted in 2017.

41%

of Cornish residents lived within 4km of a large accessible wood in 2016.

98%

of Cornwall’s bathing waters were rated good or excellent in 2018.

5%

of Cornwall’s emissions were reabsorbed by our environment in 2016.

34%

of Cornwall’s inshore marine area was in a designated protected area in 2019.