The parish of Landulph is home to at least three endangered species: the hedgehog, which is on the ICUN Red list as vulnerable to extinction, the curlew listed as near threatened, and the swift which is globally threatened.
The village of Cargreen has a healthy population, often seen in Fore Street, Coombe Lane and Coombe Drive. Hedgehogs have existed for half a million years, but they may not survive in the wild for many more. Foremost of the pressures they face is an impoverished environment. The loss of hedgerows is partly responsible but a lot can be done to redress this. We also need to look at the management of field margins and soils and the number and abundance of invertebrates. This species is a real 'canary in the coal mine'.
The curlew, with its haunting cry, is familiar to most of us as it wades along the banks of the Tamar. Our resident population is bolstered in the winter by birds from Scandinavia. Agricultural intensification of upland farming, including drainage, together with de-forestation have had a huge impact on this species.
The swift has declined by 53% since 1995. They are insectivorous birds that spend their whole life on the wing making the monumental journey between the UK and Africa. They nest here in the village of Cargreen but nesting sites are becoming more scarce as old buildings are renovated and the nooks and crannies are blocked up. The perilous nature of the journey these birds make in the late summer back to Africa is being compounded by climate change and the serious decline of insects to sustain them on their journey. We can help by providing swift boxes and by growing plants that support insects in our gardens.
We are lucky these three endangered species call our parish home. By providing them with a safe, clean, nature-rich environment we can ensure that the prickly hedgehog, mournful curlew and screaming swift will remain here for generations.
5th November 2022