Cornwall’s coastline is magical - dramatic soaring cliffs and secret coves. It’s a working landscape where agriculture and fishing are still important even though tourism now underpins Cornwall’s economy.
Cornwall's coast is renowned nationally as the place to holiday - and justly so. Where else can you find a mix of turquoise seas, purple heaths, sandy beaches, mysterious estuaries, quaint seaside villages and spectacular wildlife?
To keep Cornwall's wildlife special, government, conservation organisations, farmers, schools, local communities and visitors must work together.
We want Cornwall's coast to be a thriving wildlife-rich landscape which provides enjoyment and employment for the people who live, work and play there.
Explore the area
Find out what’s going on near this Futurescape, including places to visit, news and local events, plus how you can work or volunteer for us.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The RSPB reserves within this Futurescape are:
In cold winters, as many as 18,000 birds have been seen here. This is because the most south-westerly estuary in the UK never freezes. During spring and autumn, it is an ideal place to see migrant wading birds, gulls and terns.
This reserve overlooks the beautiful St Michael's Mount and boasts Cornwall's largest reedbed. More than 250 bird, 500 plant, 500 insect and 18 mammal species have been recorded here and bitterns are now regular winter visitors (although patience is often required to see them).
We're working to safeguard and improve special places for nature. Each Futurescape contains a range of initiatives in addition to our reserves. The combination of these creates better conditions for wildlife across the countryside.
The natural return of wild choughs to Cornwall in 2001 was of great significance for Cornwall. Today, a walk around the spectacular Lizard and Penwith coastline is even more breathtaking because you are now likely to see and hear the elegant Cornish 'chows', back where they belong.
A partnership project between the RSPB, Natural England, the National Trust and Paignton Zoo, with veterinary support from the Zoological Society of London, to help cirl buntings expand their range outside of Devon as recognised in the Government's Biodiversity Action Plan.
Huge declines in Cornwall’s corn bunting population meant that in 2002 there were fewer than 50 singing males left, all confined to a small area of farmland along the north coast between Newquay and Pentire. Immediate action was necessary to protect the remaining birds and promote recovery in the county.
The Cornwall Farming and Birds Project is a partnership between the RSPB and Duchy College. The project aims to help the region’s farmland birds by raising awareness among students and the wider community as to how farming can integrate the needs of farmland wildlife with food production.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land on the Cornwall Coast. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
Saving special places
After the hurricane - Improving small island resilience and self-sufficiency in habitat monitoring and management in the UKOTS
Clearing up: Credit Louise Soames Blog by Lyndon John (RSPB) and Louise Soames The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season dealt devastating blows to the Caribbean region, particularly for the Caribbean UKOTs. The islands of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands.....Posted 20/06/2019 by Heather Mitchell
Victory for Harapan Rainforest
Beautiful Hutan Harapan forest is a precious remnant of the rainforest that once covered much of Sumatra (Photo: RSPB-images/Steve Roland) Hutan Harapan is one of the last remaining areas of dry lowland Sumatran forest and is among the most th...(r...Posted 12/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
Rila Mountains: The Final Piece in Bulgaria's Protected Area Network for Birds
Daniel Pullan, our International Casework Manager writes: I was thrilled last week when my Bulgarian colleague Irina Mateeva told me that the Bulgarian Government had designated the last part of the Rila Mountains as a Special Protection Area. This a...Posted 04/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
A net gain for nature
How can built development leave the natural environment in a better shape than it was before? This is the question at the heart of Defra’s recent consultation on ‘biodiversity net gain’. We know from the State of Nature 2016 report ...(read more)Posted 01/03/2019 by Simon Marsh