In 1994 Beryl created a ‘Wildlife Sanctuary’ on a piece of land she owns in the wooded valley below Well Lane in Gerrans. (This valley and its stream forms Polingey Creek, containing the old tidal mill in the upper reaches of the Percuil River.) On completion of some substantial works the Sanctuary comprises 2 large ponds, a smaller dipping pond and associated woodland and grassland.
Her intention was that this community project should be a public benefit for education and relaxation, as well as a haven for wildlife. It’s creation was supported by English Nature (now Natural England) and local residents, and won a Cornwall County Council Countryside Award in 1994.
In the intervening years it has been neglected and become overgrown, and public access has not been possible (due to public liability concerns). In other words – nature took over, but not necessarily in a good way! The ponds have become choked with weed (Parrot’s Feather Myriophyllum aquaticum and New Zealand Pygmyweed Crassula helmsii, both invasive alien species) and bramble scrub dominates.
Recently, Beryl has begun a process to rejuvenate the Sanctuary again, clearing some scrub to enable access. Beryl would be interested in linking in some way with Wild Roseland to assist with bringing the Sanctuary back to a good condition with diverse wildlife, and maintaining it in the future.