Cornwall coast

The coast is Cornwall's biggest asset, an important landscape for nature, agriculture and tourism, generating significant wealth for the Duchy.

 Cirl Bunting, Emberiza cirlus, adult male feeding in straw, on a Devon farm. England


The aim of the project is the delivery of high-quality nature conservation advice to the agricultural and business communities around the coast. 
By maintaining and growing our contacts with landowners, we can encourage more High Nature Value farming to link and restore habitats and create greater resilience for key species such as choughs, cirl and corn buntings and other wildlife. We aim to help develop opportunities for businesses and communities to protect, enhance and share in celebrating and benefiting from Cornwall’s wildlife.


  • Landowners understanding and sharing a commitment to create resilient habitats for wildlife around Cornwall's coast.
  • Cohesive network of appropriately grazed cliff and slope and adjacent hinterland to support choughs and wider biodiversity.
  • A continued increase in breeding pairs and expansion of range for choughs, corn buntings and cirl buntings.
  • Coastal communities playing an active role in nature conservation.
  • Businesses dependent on the coast are knowledgeable, supporting and actively part of the coastal ecological network.


  • 2001: Choughs return naturally to Cornwall
  • 2002: Choughs breed in Cornwall for the first time since 1947
  • 2006: Cirl bunting translocation project begins reintroduction to Cornwall
  • 2007: First confirmed breeding of cirl buntings in Cornwall for 15 years
  • 2008: First chough chicks hatch in West Penwith for 150 years
  • 2011: Last year of releasing cirl bunting chicks as part of the reintroduction project
  • 2013: 100th Cornish chough chick takes to the air
  • 2014: 39 breeding pairs of cirl buntings.


Planned Work

Growing our advisory work focusing on delivery through agri-environment schemes for chough, cirl and corn buntings, as well as the historic environment and nationally important arable plant and invertebrate populations. 
Working with the business community, local people and visitors as well as other nature conservation organisations around the coast to build resilience and understanding.


Cirl bunting Reintroduction Project – RSPB, Natural England, National Trust, Paignton Zoo, Zoological Society of London


Coast on a stormy day

Paul St Pierre

Conservation Officer, RSPB
01736 362979
Tagged with: Country: England Habitat: Farmland Habitat: Grassland Habitat: Heathland Habitat: Marine and intertidal Habitat: Urban and suburban Species: Chough Species: Cirl bunting Species: Corn bunting Project status: Project types: Advocacy Project types: Site protection Project types: Species protection