Background

The Parish-Wildlife approach was introduced by the Launceston Branch of Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) to involve the local members in practical projects. It was developed in 2000-2001 with the help of a Millennium Award and has evolved with 5 local parishes in North Cornwall ( Altarnun, St Clether, Lezant, North Hill, North Petherwin ), where local people are learning how to recognise different kinds of wildlife and then record what they see in their own area.

The Group has developed with support and advice from Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS), North Cornwall District Council, the Environment Agency and other local conservation organisations such as West Country Rivers Trust and South West Forest. It also benefits from a network of local experts who spread the responsibility of leading events and teaching identification skills.

Members develop their identification and recording skills through the support of these experts who lead field trips and other events. A database has been developed to provide data processing and reporting schemes, managed by individual parishes. See Key Points of the Scheme

Anyone who has an interest in their environment can take part, regardless of any initial identification or recording skills - training is adapted to the individual needs. As well as bringing people together, learning about local wildlife and developing their skills, the parish groups act as first hand observers of any changes which may be taking place in the environment.

The Launceston Area Parish-Wildlife Group (LAPWG*) is developing the scheme. Contact us if you want to

  • know more about the approach,
  • set up a group in your own area,
  • join Launceston or Tavistock Group as a new parish or a member of an existing parish
  • or want to help us in any way


* Although LAPWG is now financially independent from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, it retains strong links with the Trust. Members' records feed into the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS).