Active Launceston Update

Within Launceston Community Development Trust (LCDT), we want to work with others to ensure that Launceston has access to footpaths and multi-user trail networks and the open green space that it deserves. A core aim of our Active Launceston project is to increase the levels of activity in our community to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing. As well as preserving and enhancing our sports and leisure facilities, never before has so much value been placed on natural assets and unrestricted access to the countryside for the purpose of recreation. Green spaces are restorative, uplifting and essential for good physical and mental health as well as increasing our town’s appeal as a place to live and to visit. We wish to work with farmers and landowners to increase the provision of appropriate public access to their land. With more opportunity to interact with the countryside, families will also be able to learn so much more about Launceston’s farming heritage and biodiversity and share in this sense of identity.

For a town that is surrounded by a rural landscape, our public footpath provision in Launceston is limited and highly fragmented and does not connect different areas of the community: this increases the reliance on cars both for local travel as well as journeying to outdoor leisure opportunities further afield. It is important that we change this.

Our work is currently focussed on developing a network that is fit for purpose – reinstating lost paths and mapping out new routes with multiple access points to link the town with key areas such as Pennygillam and the Forest for Launceston site, Kensey Valley and St. Stevens. Whilst championing this cause alongside our partners (local and national organisations), we are welcoming discussions and partnerships with landowners to ensure that we understand what barriers we need to overcome to achieve our vision. It is important that mutual respect between landowners and the general public can be improved and we want to see farmers incentivised for getting on board and their costs and impact on livelihood mitigated as much as possible by tapping into the significant resources and creativity that the community can offer.  

Forest for Launceston Update

It’s been a couple months since we last updated you on the Forest For Launceston project and we are delighted there has been so much progress.

You may remember the project has, up until now, been fairly focused on one piece of woodland that is being developed for community use, whereas now we have a number of projects in Launceston and surrounding Parishes coming under the same umbrella.

The first woodland project, that the community has so generously donated towards, had a Cornwall Council woodland management audit late last year to essentially do a bit of a health check, this has highlighted some actions and in the next month or so work will start to ensure the woodland is in the best state.

One of the actions will be to fell many of the Ash trees as they have a disease called Ash Dieback, to find out more click here.

Though don’t worry…as part of the woodland management plan we will be replanting with native, broadleaf species that will replace, improve and increase the bio-diversity.

There are also parts of the area that have been mis-used (for fly-tipping) for many years so a huge, professional clean-up operation will also be carried out this summer, along with new fencing, paths, and of course places to sit and admire the space.

We hope to be able to announce its location soon, though as long as the works are going on it is not a safe site for people to visit so thank you for bearing with us for the time being.

Talking of tree planting, we were absolutely thrilled with the ‘re-home an Oak Tree’ scheme we ran last month. As a result of a generous donator, we are delighted to let you know that we have successfully donated just over 600 trees which are all now planted in their new homes all across Launceston and surrounding Parishes. We are keen to continue to support other tree planting schemes, so if you have an aspiration let us know how we can help you!  This is all part of our vision for Forest for Launceston – not a single site forest in the traditional meaning of the word but a forest of trees in clusters right across the Launceston area. Some newly planted, some mature – all accessible to our community, catalogued and looked after by diverse landowners and managers.  If you are a landowner open to planting more trees and making the space around them accessible to the community, you too can be part of the Forest for Launceston.

As we are committed to increasing the open space, biodiversity and woodland for our beautiful area, we are delighted to be engaging with a whole range of amazing strategic partners like Forest For Cornwall, Westcountry Rivers Trust, and Wildlife Trust to help support us with current and new projects.

Forest For Launceston – Help Make It A Reality

We are working with a volunteer-led group passionate about our environment and the health & wellbeing of our community. Through partnership with Cornwall Council, we have been given the opportunity to turn some unused open space and woodland on the outskirts of the town centre into a community, biodiversity haven – but we need your help!

The vision is for this to be the first of several open spaces and woodland areas across our beautiful town, to increase community access to nature. We want to support woodland activities to benefit the health & wellbeing of our community and we hope to create safe, accessible spaces for our community to socialise and build confidence in, as well as having a positive impact on the environment.

Phase 1 will see the woodland cleared and made safe for use by the community. Phase 2 will see the re-introduction of plant species suited to the habitat, creating a woodland/wildflower meadow mix. The plan includes laying of wheelchair friendly paths, creating a circular route through the site with the addition of a picnic area that can be enjoyed by all members of the community.

We are inviting you, the Launceston community to get involved in a number of ways, from donating time to sponsoring a tree, a bench, some pathway to make this vision a reality.

The money raised will be spent on items such as; benches, paths, additional planting, dormouse nest boxes, bug hotels, fencing, seed balls, signage, and much more.

A donation of £10 would sponsor a tree for a year or two seed balls to increase the biodiversity in the grassland areas, £100 will sponsor a dedicated tree for life or a picnic bench, £500 will buy a bench, and all donors receive a Friend of the Forest For Launceston certificate.

Maybe you are a business owner looking to offset some of your carbon footprint? Perhaps you are a member of our community wanting to see more free to use open spaces for Launceston to enjoy? Maybe you are a school and would love more outdoor teaching space? Or maybe you just care for our environment and want to see increased biodiversity? In which case please help us make this amazing opportunity into a reality.

We will also have a number of yearly memberships available to keep the site going and develop more sites across the town after we have raised enough to develop the site into a safe and accessible space for Launceston.

We only have until 30th November to raise £5,000. We need you to dig deep and donate to help us raise the funds needed to launch this project, and if you want to donate after the deadline we can still invest this in the further development of the Forest For Launceston.

Leave a comment & let us know what you think!

Active Launceston is on your marks, get set, GO!

For those that don’t already know, Active Launceston is our second community project for Launceston. This long-term project aims to work with key organisations and the community to see what provision we have for health, fitness, and wellbeing activities in the town. Developing what is needed to create facilities and activities that are accessible to everyone. That might be sports clubs, coaches, fitness centres, gym owners and users, leisure centre members, those that like to get outdoors, those that are active, and those that would like to be more active but have barriers.

We are excited to announce that we are now working in partnership with Sports England to start the first phase of the project. Essentially talking to you, our community to find out what you need to see in our community.

This is why we have started with a short questionnaire for everyone to fill out, there are over 10,000 homes in and around our town, and everyone’s view matters to us.

If you could take a few minutes to fill out the questionnaire, and then share the link with anyone living in the Launceston area we can then ensure the facilities Active Launceston develops are the ones the community wants and needs. There is even a prize draw for one lucky household that completes and submits the questionnaire.

Follow the link and answer our questionnaire with the chance to win a veg box voucher towards your Christmas day lunch from a local supplier!

Resubmission of The Prouts Corner Planning Application

The team behind Launceston Community Development Trust’s (Launceston CDT) first project has been continuing to make headway through the current times, making some exciting progress towards our next milestone – achieving planning permission. During the first lockdown, Launceston CDT submitted their first application for planning and over the next 3 months we followed a range of comments and as expected they were not all positive. We have taken each and every comment in our stride and we have looked to make amendments where we can – as a result of this, we decided to withdraw our application and re-submit with each of the comments we received being noted in some way or another.

“The whole reason I became involved in the scheme is to try to give something to the people of Launceston from all that I have been able to learn. This project aims to bring affordable housing to those who need it most and benefit our community for years to come. We have taken a site that has inherent difficulties and been able to put forward a plan which would allow for its development to benefit local people and families enabling them to get onto the housing ladder. Through the hard work of all those involved we hope to be able to offer 28 affordable homes in a community that aims to bring its residence together in an environment that will be beneficial to not just those that live there but the community of Launceston as a whole.” - Conrad Grundy, Director of LCDT.

The community-led scheme will provide something for everyone in our town. Adding to several education and training opportunities, building on offers from local support groups & combining them with the recognised health and wellbeing benefits of being in nature. Launceston CDT is engaging with a number of partners who will help us to produce a space that will greatly impact the community. As we progress towards our planning re-submission we have begun to think more about the next steps and that includes the allocation of each of our homes. We have already heard from so many people, registering their interest in both the properties and the community orchard. Soon we will re-engage with each of you and initiate the next step of finding 28 local families new homes.