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Penhale Sands Special Area of Conservation Project Perran Sands Holiday Park, Cornwall

Perran Sands Holiday Park, owned and managed by Bourne Leisure on the north coast of Cornwall, lies within the Penhale Sands Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The Bourne Leisure owned land encompasses 500 acres of the SAC, which was originally designated because of the important sand dune habitats and rare plant species such as Shore Dock, Early Gentian and the rare liverwort Petalwort. Sand dunes form a vital and unique natural resource as a habitat for rich and diverse communities of highly specialized plant and animal species. These dunes support around 20% of Cornwall’s native plant species as well as many species of butterflies, moths and other insects in the range of habitats from mobile fore-dunes through to more stable fixed-dunes and seasonally wet dune slack areas. In addition, they provide a coastal protection role by absorbing the impact of wave energy on the shore.

The Holiday Park has been managing their section of the Penhale Sands SAC through the Countryside Stewardship scheme funded by DEFRA for 10 years, but has additionally been involved with the Penhale Sands Management Committee. This committee manages the SAC as an entire unit and includes all relevant parties from the statutory, voluntary and business sectors, in the decisions of the SAC. Some of the organisations involved include Cornwall County Council, Bourne Leisure, English Nature, Defence Estates & Penhale Training Camp. Through the project, practical management work is carried out, protected and rare species are monitored and any management issues dealt with. The Penhale Sands SAC Ranger funded by the project also works with local schools and leads events for locals and visitors to increase public knowledge and appreciation of the dunes. One of the success stories of this scheme is a doubling of the skylark population since 1995. More recently, the project was mentioned as an example of good practice in David Bellamy’s new book Conflicts in the Countryside, the New Battle for Britain and has been used as a blue print for other successful partnership projects.

To see other relevant case studies on Business and Biodiversity from the Tourism Sector, please visit the website of the Tour Operator Initiative - a network of tour operators committed to sustainable development, sponsored by the UNEP. For more information please contact Giulia Carbone, Tourism Programme Officer from the United Nation Environmental Programme at gcarbone@unep-fr.



Photo Credit: Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd




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