Study visit | Cornwall

July 2012

Where better to be in the middle of summer than Cornwall with its lush green gardens and its endless beaches of golden sand. However the EUGO planning group was not to know that England would be suffering its wettest summer for over 100 years.EUGO Study Visit 2 to Cornwall will be remembered for the intensity of the rainfall – but fortunately the spirits of the group were not dampened by this.

The group gathered on the Monday, making the long trek to Cornwall to the village of Cawsand, nestled into a small valley on the edge of Plymouth Sound. It was a rather different location to the large conurbations visited on other EUGO study trips.

The first visit made by the group was in the nearby city of Plymouth, a short ferry crossing across the River Tamar, to the gardens of Diggin’It. These were sited in a large area of ground owned by the local council, not far from the city centre. Diggin’It is a charitable organization providing local organizations such as school groups with the opportunity to learn about, and participate in the process of using land to grow fresh food. There were various fruit and vegetable crops being grown on the site, as well as related facilities such as an interesting Aquaponics development.

The Eden Project was the venue for a days visit to  this social enterprise which undertakes horticultural research and conservation projects as well as providing a visually stunning array of plants from around the world in its large polycarbonate domes. These occupy the site of an old quarry, providing shelter for the facility as well as employment in this economically depressed region.

Wet weather did not prevent a guided tour of a nearby garden (the grounds of the Captain’s house in a naval training establishment)  used by the Horticultural Healing Trust to provide a facility for caring for the mentally disadvantaged. The group was able to see at first hand, how being able to work in a garden, with suitable support, dramatically improved the lives of many vulnerable individuals.

Unfortunately some activities were abandoned due to the poor weather, but the group still managed to gain benefit from the range of visits made and topics discussed.