Outdoor and Environment-based activities for everyone

As lockdown eases and people are able to get out and about more, there is more opportunity to travel further from home and visit attractions and locations that have previously been closed.

Good mental health is closely linked with spending time outdoors, so we can all benefit from getting out of our houses.

One unpaid carer told Promas that if it hadn’t been for her garden and plants, she didn’t know what she’d have done, and that her garden provided small windows of tranquillity – and I think we can all echo that in some way, from our own lockdown experiences!

Many voluntary organisations and charities in Cornwall are heavily involved with protecting and promoting the natural world, from encouraging people to participate in horticulture, to creating beautiful open spaces for people to enjoy, and encouraging personal responsibility for the environment around us.  Here are a few, with some notes around how ‘open’ they are at the moment, and a couple of messages from CEOs as well, to inspire us all.

Please do let us know if you’d like your voluntary or community organisation’s details listed on this page – we want to help promote what’s available, for the good of Cornwall, and everyone’s mental health, as well as the organisations working so hard in such difficult circumstances. ONLY VCSE SECTOR ORGANISATIONS PLEASE.


Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Protecting wildlife. Most of their nature reserves are open, (with the exception of a few listed on their website, and the bird hides) and there are a host of interesting activities on their website.

Carolyn Cadman, is Chief Executive of Cornwall Wildlife Trust, a member of Cornwall VSF and VERA, and has reflected on the fact that Cornwall’s nature has been there for us all during lockdown:

Nature has helped our mental and physical wellbeing on our daily walks and public appreciation for nature has soared to new levels, as evidenced by unprecedented coverage across the media and from the number of visitors taking advantage of the resources on Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s website.

Nature, however, is in decline. Our wildlife and wild places are under pressure from a range of factors such as climate change, development, intensive farming and fishing practices. Over 40% of species studied since the 1970s in the UK are in decline and Cornwall reflects that trend.

But there is hope… Cornwall Wildlife Trust manage 58 Nature Reserves across Cornwall, have around 17, 000 members and work with around 1400 each year to protect wildlife and wild places, helping nature to survive and thrive. The ‘Cornwall We Want’ report shows that the people of Cornwall really value their environment and Cornwall Wildlife Trust wants urges everyone, one and all, including businesses, community groups and decision-makers, to place nature and tackling the climate crisis at the heart of the Cornwall’s recovery plans. For more information visit the Cornwall Wildlife Trust website  Twitter @CarolynCadman


Eden Project

Educating and connecting communities

The Eden Project CEO Dan James explains the current arrangements at Eden:

Whilst the 30 acres of Eden’s Outdoor gardens have been open for the couple of weeks, the 4 July represents a major milestone in Eden reopening. As the national lockdown eases, the Eden team has been working hard on a wide range of new measures to make sure that the safety, health and wellbeing of all staff and visitors remains a top priority as we reopen the Rainforest Biome, Mediterranean Biome and Core education centre.

Visitors will need to reserve a time slot for their visit, including those who are admitted for free, such as personal carers, under-fives, Members, Passholders and anyone who works in the NHS or the care industry to whom we are currently granting free access.

In the period of the lock-down, Eden Project Communities has remained busy. The team joined forces with leaders from different sectors to launch the Community Action Response to encourage everyone to do what they can to support their communities, and particularly vulnerable and isolated people. The Team have also developed a set of free resources and ideas for everyone at home, including creating your own wildflower meadow, gardening for beginners, how to make a compost heap and how to build your own den. Eden’s furloughed staff have also joined forces with Cornwall College and Cornwall Care to help carry out a series of garden makeovers of 16 Cornwall Care homes. CEO Anne Thomas provide more details on the Cornwall Care website.


National Trust

Stately homes and gardens, public open spaces. The National Trust ‘s gardens are gradually starting to open with entry slots booked in advance, and many beach and coastal carparks are now open. You can find the latest news around what’s open (including whether toilets are available), and a map, on the National trust website.


The Sensory Trust

Working with people with sensory issues. The The Sensory Trust has extensive information on its website introducing creative activities that can be done outside, for people of all abilities.


Camel Community Supported Agriculture

Camel Community Supported Agriculture is a community growing project that sells veg boxes to the local community, grown by volunteers in their community gardens.  The veg boxes are currently over-subscribed, but they’d love to hear from volunteer gardeners, keeping a suitable distance from one-another, of course.


Plastic Free Communities

If you want to get more involved in the environmental side, Surfers Against Sewage’s Plastic Free campaign has links to almost 700 plastic free communities, and ideas to get involved.


Beach Cleans

And there’s always a beach clean, if you want to get your rubber gloves on. See 2-minute Beach Clean for information, and buy litter-picking kit from their online shop, if you haven’t got the right equipment at home. They’re not conducting group events at the moment, or keeping equipment on stands for people to borrow, but there are still plenty of good ideas on their website.