PIGS and longhorn cattle have been introduced at a nature reserve to help with a wildlife trust's nature recovery project. 

Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) has had a busy few months at Helman Tor, near Bodmin, with a rewilding trial that will create opportunites for plants to grow and get rid of the dominant ones, like bracken. 

The team has introduced three pigs (native breed Oxford Sandy and Blacks), that were loaned by a local farmer. They have also added 15 native breed longhorn cattle, and it is hoped they will shape the landscape with habitual grazing. 

As well as this the team are looking to introcude three more pigs (Tamworths) to the new farmland which they now own. The land, which is more than 97 acres, was previously farmed intensively and so the charity are working to bring it back to a more natural state. 

Andy Collins, mid Cornwall reserves manager, said: “Pigs are nature’s plough. They rootle around in the ground – turning over sods of earth with their strong necks – as wild boar would have done in Britain hundreds of years ago.”

South West Farmer: Pigs on the moor. Image: CWTPigs on the moor. Image: CWT (Image: CWT)

CWT says they have taken inspiration from past landscapes. They say the activities of pigs and cattle are an ancient and sustainable alternative to the use of heavy machinery. 

The next stage of the appeal is being launched at Christmas to improve public access to the moors. 

To support the appeal visit cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/rewildingappeal.

The Bedruthan Community Fund (created from donations gathered by Badruthan Hotel and Spa and Scarlet Hotel) has offered to match fund this phase of the appeal, up to £30,000. 

Emma Stratton, CEO of Scarlet and Bedruthan Hotels, said that Cornwall holds 'such a special place' in the hearts of the team and the visitors. 

"The stunning scenery and rugged coastline, however, should not mask the uncomfortable reality that nature is in serious trouble in Cornwall," she added. 

"We find that our guests are very glad to contribute to our Bedruthan Community Fund as part of their holiday – and this year we’re delighted that it will be able to support Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Christmas Appeal through this match fund.

“The ambitious rewilding plans for Helman Tor nature reserve are truly inspiring and we hope many other people and businesses will dig deep to support them in Nature's time of need.”

Andy Collins added: “We’re so grateful to the team at Scarlet & Bedruthan Hotels. Thanks to support from businesses like this, the public, and our members, this landscape-scale nature recovery project is the best gift Cornwall’s wildlife could wish for.

“It is really exciting that we’re making this progress. But there’s still a lot more to do, and any help would be much appreciated.

“Your gift this Christmas can help nature make a comeback.”