CORNWALL: WILDLIFE AT WORK

PUBLISHED: 14:52 22 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:47 30 August 2017

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When it comes to protecting our marine wildlife, Cornwall’s companies have joined in writes Serena Pettigrew-Jolly from Cornwall Wildlife Trust

When it comes to protecting our marine wildlife, Cornwall’s companies are putting their money where their business is, writes Serena Pettigrew-Jolly from Cornwall Wildlife Trust...

At Cornwall Wildlife Trust, we have been working with the business community for more than 20 years, enjoying the support of businesses of all different sizes and from many sectors. No matter the structure or stature of the business, they all have something in common – a love and respect for Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places.

One of our biggest success stories is our relationship with Frugi, the UK’s best-selling organic children’s wear brand, based in Helston. We celebrated the largest donation ever from a single business - an incredible £18,816.03 from Frugi – which will be dedicated to our Marine Conservation Programme, Living Seas.

Frugi’s amazing support helps to fund both one-off projects as well as ongoing work to help achieve our Living Seas vision and protect our wonderful marine wildlife. This year’s donation will support a variety of exciting projects, from Shoresearch, investigating intertidal habitats around our coastline, to our Cornwall Good Seafood Guide, a unique project which aims to achieve healthy seas supporting productive fisheries’ as well as to help us all make good, sustainable seafood choices (see ).

Having supported our marine work for a decade, over the years Frugi’s support has significantly contributed to our work protecting Cornwall’s enigmatic cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises – of which 21 different species have been recorded in our county. For more than two decades, we have been encouraging and recording public sightings of cetaceans, as well as other marine megafauna such as basking sharks and sunfish, through our Seaquest Southwest Project.

In 2014 alone, Seaquest collated 1,600 records from the public and volunteers, recording over 9,000 animals in our Cornish waters. This sightings data has been invaluable in building a picture of the animals that use our waters, discovering more about these majestic creatures and helping shape the Trust’s overall conservation priorities.

Since 1992, we have also been recording marine strandings around our coastline. We have a unique, well-established and respected network of more than 120 trained volunteer strandings recorders who undertake this work. In more recent years, we have played a key role in developing the much needed Cornwall Marine and Coastal Code which is tackling the issue of marine and coastal wildlife disturbance in Cornish waters to ensure that animals such as nesting sea birds and pupping seals are protected in their coastal habitat.

Frugi co-founders Lucy and Kurt Jewson have been at the forefront of charitable giving through their business, having signed up to the international business-to-charity one per cent for the Planet Scheme nearly ten years ago. They choose to help fund Living Seas, an area of our work that they feel extremely passionate about. Being former marine biologists, their love for Cornwall’s very special maritime ecosystem encouraged them to lend their support specifically to protect marine wildlife.

The company’s year on year success and global expansion has seen the charity’s share increase each year; with this year seeing the biggest windfall yet. Since the relationship started, Frugi have donated nearly £100,000 to our Living Seas programme, making a substantial impact to the trust and marine life in Cornwall.

Lucy and Kurt decided to join the Trust’s Business Supporter scheme, which now includes over 110 businesses, as they were dedicated to taking responsibility for the economic, environmental and social impacts of their business.

The reason why Frugi exists is to not only make brilliant children’s clothes, but to show the world that a business can be successful, work along ethical principles, and give something back to society at the same time,’ says Kurt. Everyone at Frugi is extremely proud to continue to help to support the fantastic work that Cornwall Wildlife Trust undertakes. They are great guys, doing great things.’

From Business Membership at £25 per month, to theone per cent For the Planet scheme, supporting the trust is proving to be a popular way for businesses to communicate their environmental credentials and sustainable ethics. We work with many businesses who all recognise the importance of protecting wildlife in Cornwall, and that supporting us makes business sense. Frugi is an excellent example of how business and respect for the environment go hand in hand.

Through our popular Business Supporter scheme, we provide an opportunity for businesses who understand just how important and special nature is to Cornwall to give something back in a way that suits them. Whether their support focuses on our marine work, our nature reserves or the general conservation work we deliver year on year, there is a variety of exciting ways a business can get involved.

To find out more about how your business can support the trust, please call (01872) 273939 ext. 205 or visit . To learn more about the marine work that Frugi helps to fund visit .

Frugi’s donations enable us to continue to grow our extensive Living Seas marine conservation programme. Our aim is to protect Cornwall’s special marine life by collecting data, whilst also creating awareness and campaigning for its better protection. Check out some of our projects below and get involved!

Cornwall Good Seafood Guide

Our Cornish fishing industry is something we should all be proud of, but knowing what fish to buy is a complicated issue. The Cornwall Good Seafood Guide addresses this by supporting the industry, highlighting good practices and encouraging locals and visitors alike to buy Cornish’. Newquay Harbour is a magical place to watch the local fishing fleet carry out their daily business, with the option to buy fresh local fish, such as line-caught Pollack, straight from the fishermen themselves. See our website for details

Shoresearch

This citizen science project, supporting 60 volunteers around the county, gathers information about the creatures sharing our seashores. Project Officer Matt Slater’s favourite spot to survey is the rocky shore at Polzeath, where you can find huge starfish, intertidal sea cucumbers, and the peculiar Celtic sea slug!

cornwallwildlfetrust.org.uk/shoresearch

Seaquest

Our Seaquest project delivered a programme of sea watches, training days, evening talks and conferences throughout the year to engage people in our marine environment and encourage them to send in their sightings! One of the best spots to see our charismatic megafauna (the big stuff!) has to be Gwennap Head, near Land’s End, where minke whales, bottlenose dolphins, basking sharks and even leatherback turtles have been recorded. cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/seaquest

Seasearch

The aim of Seasearch is to map the underwater marine habitats and species found around our coast, and to use the information to identify sites of specific conservation concern. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be a scuba diver to take part- we support snorkellers too! A fabulous spot to snorkel is Talland Bay, near Looe, where Bloody Henry starfish, live cowries and cuckoo wrasse will amaze you within this idyllic Cornish cove.

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