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Eco Events in Cornwall

This month at What's On we're focusing on how venues and visitors can be sustainable in Cornwall.

Here are some upcoming events focussed around our environment, from talks, films, art and outdoor activities exploring ways in which we can support the world around us.

There are always things we can do in our daily life to make a change – whether that’s reducing our plastic and waste, recycling, being thoughtful about what we buy and where we buy it, or car sharing and using public transport. Everyone can make a difference to the cause, no matter how small their contribution may feel. It’s sometimes hard to see the bigger picture when we all exist in our own little bubble which is why it’s important to talk about it, get active in our communities, educate ourselves and take inspiration from innovative projects. What we may see as a small impact in our own life, when combined with a billion small impacts of others, has the ability to change the world.

Are you running any sustainability events? Tell us about them at [email protected]

Image: Heligan Emma Gunn © Dan Hillyard

1. David Spero: Settlements Exhibition

Until Sun 8th September, 2019
Kestle Barton, Manaccan

‘Settlements’ is a photographic record of self-built homes and structures in a small number of low impact land-based communities in Britain that explores ecologically sustainable ways of living.

Taken between 2004-2018, the images chart a period in the evolution of these communities through their homes, communal spaces, infrastructure, growing areas and a number of community portraits, taken at intervals. The photographs centre around four settlements: Steward Community Woodland, Brithdir Mawr, Tinkers Bubble and Landmatters.

‘David Spero has developed a number of highly distinctive bodies of work that distil various photographic traditions and approaches, from documentary to photo-sculpture, forming a rich and multi-faceted practice which overall maintains a quiet and contemplative enquiry.’ (David Chandler)

See event listing

2. An Evening with Gillian Burke

Fri 20th September, 2019
Poly Falmouth, Falmouth

Enjoy a talk presented by the wonderfully talented Gillian Burke. Gillian joined the much-loved BBC seasonal wildlife series, affectionately known as ‘The Watches’ in 2018 alongside hosts Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan & Lolo Williams. She also recently presented the BBC’s Blue Planet UK with co-host Steve Brown.

Gillian may be a bright new face to TV presenting but she’s no stranger to broadcasting. Having earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Bristol University, Gillian pursued a career in natural history filmmaking, working her way up the ranks from Researcher to Producer/Director on several Animal Planet and Discovery Channel series.

She is passionate about sharing her love of the natural world through film and is a particular champion of the animals most people love to loathe. Her filming experience has had her herding llamas in the high Andes to free-diving with swarms of sea snakes in the South China Sea; from crawling through rattlesnake dens in the Arizona desert to climbing a living, writhing mountain of cockroaches & centipedes in a bat cave in Borneo.

Closer to home, and outside of her television work, Gillian applies her biology and media experience to work closely with a number of charities based in Cornwall where she now lives. She is the patron of the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust and an active volunteer of the Marine Strandings Network where she frequently attends call-outs for stranded marine mammals and seabirds. She also supports the work of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

See event listing

3. Beach Clean

Sat 21st September, 2019
Towan Beach, Newquay

There are countless beach cleans taking place across Cornwall every year protecting wildlife and our beautiful coastlines. Join Newquay Zoo this month down at Towan Beach to help the environment and learn more about local species, biodiversity and the shores around us. With litter being brought in by the tide and visitors to the beaches it has never been more important to help clean up our sands and learn a little on the way. By helping with this coastal clean up, you could also be in with a chance of winning a penguin experience for two at Newquay Zoo. Simply book onto the beach clean to enter!

Here are some great places to find out about beach cleans near you:

National Trust Beach CleansSurfers Against SewageCornish Seal SanctuaryBeachGuardianClean Cornwall

See event listing

4. See you at the Sea Festival

Sat 28th September, 2019
Princess Pavilion, Falmouth

Join Your Shore Beach Rangers team for a day of celebrating all things marine at Princess Pavilions. With art, music, photography, storytelling and more running all throughout the day. Get involved and we’ll see you at the sea!

The Your Shore Beach Rangers is a partnership project of Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Cornwall College. They aim to engage with young people and communities through events and training, developing employability skills and creating inclusive opportunities, promoting marine conservation.

See event listing

5. Heligan Harvest

Fri 4th – Mon 13th October, 2019
Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan

Buy less and buy local are two consistent messages that people can tie into their daily lives. This not only helps to reduce the amount of waste we produce, but also minimises travel emissions and supports local trade. This month Heligan are hosting their annual Harvest to celebrate their horticultural heritage. This will both inform and inspire visitors to source local food (or even grow their own!) and how they can create delicious dishes from their gardens. Events will include daily talks and pop up demonstrations, harvest tasters, corn dolly making and the Heligan Harvest Display before culminating in a mouth-watering Heligan Feast Night.

See event listing

6. Ocean Film Festival World Tour

Wed 9th — Fri 11th October, 2019
The Regal Theatre, Redruth

Calling all ocean lovers! The Ocean Film Festival World Tour is back for autumn 2019 with a brand-new selection of the world’s most captivating ocean films! Brought to you by the team behind the Banff Film Festival UK & Ireland Tour, this carefully curated collection of short films features sublime footage from both above and below the water’s surface, showcasing the spellbinding power and beauty of our oceans. Celebrate the divers, surfers, swimmers and oceanographers who live for the sea’s salt spray, who chase the crests of waves and who marvel at the mysteries of the big blue. Be awed by mesmerising marine life and spectacular cinematography from unexplored depths of our planet – via the big screen.

See event listing

7. Introduction to Bumblebee Conservation

Monday 21 October, 2019
Stratton Primary School

Robert has worked within the commercial beekeeping industry in New Zealand and the UK. Run by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, his talk will give a brief overview of the bumblebee history, lifecycle and behaviour.  The threats facing bumblebees and their habitats. An overview of various UK bumblebee conservation projects and how to get involved and where we go in the future.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust run a great range of events throughout the year including guided walks, beach cleans, workshops, talks, gardening clubs, photography trips and festivals. Find out about more about their upcoming events here.

8. TEDxTruro 2019 – Uncharted Waters

Friday 25 October 2019
Mylor Theatre, Truro & Penwith College

This year’s TEDx Truro will feature expedition paddler Jeff Allen and ‘Action Nan’ Pat Smith.

Jeff Allen is a sea kayaker who loves the challenge of exploring remote coastal environments. He has circumnavigated Japan and South Georgia and undertaken an extended expedition to experience the rugged coastline of the Scandinavian Peninsula. His talk is entitled ‘Karma Waters’.

“Expedition sea kayaking is all about freedom,” he said. “The freedom to explore remote coastlines self-supported, carrying all of your essential items with you and supplementing them as you go with fresh fish, food foraged along the shore and occasionally visiting areas that are inhabited so that you can re-supply yourself with stores as they run dry.

Find out more about Expedition Paddler Jeff Allen.

Pat Smith is a 70-year-old grandmother who, in her fight against plastic pollution and climate change, has achieved national and international recognition for activities like her 52-week beach clean and founding the final straw campaign. Her talk will ask the question: ‘How can we inspire others?’

“Inspirational people don’t talk about themselves, they empower you and make you realise that you can play a part,” she said. “People who inspire us give us hope. They genuinely care about their cause and do something every day to solve the problem – even when others think they’re crazy.”

Pat and Dave Smith founded the award-winning self catering cottages at Bosinver, where sustainability is at the heart of everything they do. Find out more.

See event listing

9. Woman at War (2018)

Wed 30th October, 2019
Tolmen Centre, Constantine

Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman. But behind the scenes of a quiet routine, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. Known to others only by her alias “The Woman of the Mountain,” Halla secretly wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminum industry. As Halla’s actions grow bolder, from petty vandalism to outright industrial sabotage, she succeeds in pausing the negotiations between the Icelandic government and the corporation building a new aluminum smelter.

But right as she begins planning her biggest and boldest operation yet, she receives an unexpected letter that changes everything. Her application to adopt a child has finally been accepted and there is a little girl waiting for her in Ukraine. As Halla prepares to abandon her role as saboteur and savior of the Highlands to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother, she decides to plot one final attack to deal the aluminum industry a crippling blow.

See event listing

10. Super Sunday Family Festival: Planet Art

Sun 10th November, 2019
Tate St Ives, St Ives

It’s family takeover time at Tate St Ives. Join in with our day of hands-on art and get creative, as we explore what we can do to look after our planet!

Create a cardboard costume from recycled materials, come and be part of our big gallery movement machine, make a mini world and share your vision of our future and add your wish to our Planet Art gallery. Then you can join artist and writer Kari Herbert in a wonderful hands-on art workshop exploring her new book ‘We are Artists’ in our beautiful Clore Sky Lounge, weave a giant tapestry in the galleries and go green with your art in our cress creation station.

On 30th November, as part of Tate St Ives’ Winter Festival this year, also come along to Junk-er-ations and create your own recycled Christmas decorations.

See event listing

11. The Colourful Lives of Sea Creatures Close to Our Shores

Tues 19th November, 2019
Crew Room, East Looe RNLI Station

From spectacular colour-shifting cuttlefish to self-decorating crabs and fish that build intricate nests, the animals that live in our seagrass beds and the undersea plains, reefs and shores nearby, are colourful in both the visual sense and in their fascinating behaviour. Marine biologist Paul Naylor will use underwater photographs and video to give an insight into their intriguing lives.

Find out about more Looe Marine Conservation events.