Plant conservation partnership projects
We’ve partnered with organisations in Cornwall to carry out special conservation projects in the local area, to encourage key species of flora and fauna.
Lizard juniper project
In 2020 Eden Project staff began working with Natural England to conserve a rare juniper subspecies found only on England’s most southerly point, the Lizard peninsula. Normally only found on chalk soils, the juniper has made the southern tip of the Lizard its home thanks to the area’s strange geology and resulting alkaline soils. Only a few original plants remain, which are elderly and not producing much seed. We have taken hundreds of cuttings, which have since been planted out on the Lizard, and we conduct germination trials to increase genetic diversity within the population.
Buglife Urban Buzz Cornwall
Eden Project supported Urban Buzz Cornwall, a year-long project to bring new pollinator-friendly wildflower areas to parks and green spaces in four locations across Cornwall. We also supplied bespoke seed mixes, plug plants and ornamental plants for the project.
Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has tasked Eden Project with growing wildflower plug plants from seed collected locally. These will then be planted out in specific locations to increase pollen and nectar resources for pollinating insects, specifically mining bees. In 2019 we provided 1,800 plug plants and in 2020 we set out to produce 3,000 to be planted at several sites around Cornwall.
Devil’s-bit scabious for marsh fritillary butterflies
In 2016 Highways England tasked Eden with growing 10,000 plug plants of devil’s-bit scabious, the larval food plant of the marsh fritillary butterfly (pictured above), which is a priority species for conservation in the UK. The plants were grown from seed collected by the team at Natural England’s Goss Moor National Nature Reserve and planted out at several sites along the A30 trunk road, with the idea of creating a corridor between known marsh fritillary populations in north and South West Cornwall.
Since then, each year we grow 100 plants in 3L pots which are either used to increase the plant populations at Goss Moor or for marsh fritillary egg translocation. The plants are taken to the Lizard Peninsula, where eggs are laid then planted out at Goss Moor to boost the butterfly populations there.
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum wildflowers
In 2020 we began working with Porthcurno Telegraph museum to create a wildflower display in the gardens surrounding the Museum. This display is TEVI grant funded and has been planned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first cable from Porthcurno. The mix we created includes both annual and perennial wildflowers that naturally occur both in Cornwall and Malta, to highlight the route of the cable.
The display will deliver lots of wonderful summer colour, as well as providing an excellent food source and habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.
Photo credit: Aah-Yeah on Flickr