Cornwall LivingIssue #106
A world of good
What do Gorillas have to do with Cornwall? Phil Gendall, owner of local holiday cottage brand, Forever Cornwall, explains.
Images of stranded polar bears, forest fires, floods and crop failures are becoming far too familiar. Climate chaos caused by carbon emissions is to blame, and it’s affecting us all. Unfortunately, the effects will only continue to get worse for future generations.
“It was Nikki, one of our cottage owners, who gave us the idea to plant trees in the Democratic Republic of Congo!”
There are solutions, but governments have been slow to respond. Phil Gendall, who owns local holiday cottage brand, Forever Cornwall, says: “We all generate carbon in our daily lives – houses and travel are some of the biggest carbon culprits. That’s why we set ourselves the target to make Forever Cornwall net carbon zero.” The carbon output from all of the brand’s cottages, all core business activity, as well as all UK visitor travel, is calculated and then offset with tree planting.
“It was Nikki, one of our cottage owners, who gave us the idea to plant trees in the Democratic Republic of Congo!” says Phil. Right in the heart of Africa, people and wildlife are facing the same global environmental challenges and it’s been amazing to reach out to help in a way that benefits all of us.”
Forever Cornwall has been supporting the Pole Pole Foundation since 2018, with the planting (so far) of more than 30,000 trees by communities living on the boundary of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Not only does this offset a great deal of carbon, it also helps to protect the critically endangered Eastern Lowland (Grauer’s) gorilla, by providing sustainable resources to local people and encouraging them to cherish and protect the rainforest and wildlife. Education and training, nutrition and support for women’s groups are also part of the work.
But offsetting carbon output is only part of the solution. Forever Cornwall has partnered with new local Community Interest Company, Field to Forest Foundation, to carry out an in-depth audit. Zennor Pascoe, founder of Field to Forest, says: “It’s great to offset carbon, but even better to produce less in the first place. Our mission is to take businesses on a journey from measuring and reducing their carbon emissions, to planting trees on spare farmland and turning fields into forests; sequestering CO2, supporting nature and creating a connection to farmers in the process. I grew up in Cornwall and there isn’t a better place to start creating a better, more beautiful, natural and sustainable world – for locals and visitors alike.”
"It was Nikki, one of our cottage owners, who gave us the idea to plant trees in the Democratic Republic of Congo!”