Environment and Health (An Kerghynnedh ha Yeghes)
Cornwall's Climate Assembly
This interactive event brought together members of the public, University of Exeter researchers, and representatives from organisations working in Cornwall to discuss what Cornwall's climate priorities should be, and how we should get there.
- Discussions focused on four interlinked themes: processes, communication, practical solutions, and gateway connections to nature.
- We need to improve our systems to help us to adapt to more environmentally friendly behaviours.
- Understanding how we share information about solutions and issues is crucial, and the sectors which can help us to do this more effectively (such as museums and the creative sector.
- Some activities act as gateways which help to connect people to their environment.
HAIRE (Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe)
- A team of 15 project partners from across the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands have come together to develop and test systems that empower older people
- Using 8 pilot sites across Europe, including Feock in Cornwall, the project plans to investigate and support a range of factors to improve the wellbeing of older people
Lagas Mapping Tool – Keeping an Up-to-date Eye on Cornwall’s Environment and Economy
- Lagas share’s information about Cornwall’s unique landscape and environment, to help the public and businesses in the region to engage with nature.
- The platform has been developed through Tevi, an ERDF funded project operated by the University of Exeter, alongside our partner organisations: Cornwall Council, Cornwall Development Company and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
- Lagas is built on environmental data, including in-depth mapping developed through the SWEEP programme, Tevi, and other projects at the University of Exeter.
Growing Communities Through Nature
Dr Ros Davies, Melissa Muir, Katie Kirk
- Growing Communities Through Nature was a partnership between the university, Cornwall’s Making Space for Nature team, Cornwall’s Voluntary Sector Forum and South Kerrier Alliance CIC in Helston, it was funded by UKRI as part of a national programme called Enhancing Place-Based Public Engagement.
- We wanted to explore different ways to engage the public in making changes to their open public spaces, for the benefits of the community and biodiversity.
- In early 2020 we organised workshops in Launceston, Newquay and Helston and invited the public along.
- The project gathered ideas from participants and produced new plans for small patches of council or community-owned land in each town.
- These plans will be realised by early 2021 and we hope to monitor the impact the co-design process has on levels of public engagement in future.
Raising awareness of Antibiotic Resistance and One Health in Cornish Key Stage 4 students
Dr Aimee Murray, European Centre for Environment and Human Health.
- This piece is about how researchers can and have engaged with local schools. The researcher wanted to increase awareness about antibiotic resistance.
- As a means of addressing this, the researcher and colleagues contributed to some GCSE classes in 14 secondary schools across Cornwall, devising a range of activities to encourage learning and reflection about microbes and anti-bacterial resistance.
The BlueHealth Project: Protecting and improving our natural environments and our health: a win-win?
Beyond Greenspace (Ben Wheeler), European Centre for Environment and Human Health.
- Spending 120 minutes or more in nature per week may have positive health benefits, including lower mortality, positive pregnancy and birth outcomes, and better mental health.
- Looking after our natural environments is important for societal health and well-being. This includes improved environmental quality.
- Nature needs to be accessible to all of our communities, and there needs to be opportunities to engage in pleasurable outdoor activities.
- This project has developed guidelines for making nature a sensory experience for visually impaired people.
SWEEP: Informing environmental investment for health outcomes
Dr Sian de Bell, European Centre for Environment and Human Health.
- Investment in, and management of, the natural environment can benefit human health and wellbeing.
- This requires collaboration between stakeholders in different sectors, from urban planning to public health.
- Stakeholders need evidence on the effectiveness of different types of investment to aid decision-making.
- We are working with stakeholders in the South West to co-produce guidance documents and a business case on environmental investment for health.
Smartline: How technology can help us to lead healthier and happier lives
- If you volunteer or help people in your community, your mental health can be improved
- Developing good relationships with your neighbours can make you happier
- People who live in social housing have a higher chance of getting asthma
Protecting pollinators in Cornwall using road verges and hedges
Ben Phillips, Kevin Gaston, James Bullock and Juliet Osborne, Environment and Sustainability Institute.
- Road verges and hedges had a much greater abundance of flowers and flower species than field interiors.
- Road verges and hedges are really important for reversing the decline on pollinating insects.
- Pollinators tend to be in the centre of verges rather than at the edges, and there are fewer pollinators next to busy roads.
- Cutting grass verges in the summer reduces the number of pollinators and flowers
Constraints to healthcare access amongst commercial fishers
Rachel Turner, Lucy Szaboova, Gwynedd Williams, Environment and Sustainability Institute.
- Social and cultural norms, organisational constraints and personal concerns all affect how readily fishers access healthcare.
- Healthcare providers need to offer more flexible service provision if they are to be able to be compatible with the working practices of fishers.
- There also needs to be work done which can address the attitudes and norms which may lead to a reluctance amongst fishers to seek help.
Herring gulls respond to human gaze direction
Madeleine Goumas, Isabella Burns, Laura A. Kelley, and Neeltje J. Boogert. Biosciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus.
- Most seagulls will not approach a food source in close proximity of people, even if they look like they are interested in the food.
- Food-snatching behaviour is likely to be conducted by only a few individual gulls.
- Staring at seagulls reduces the likelihood of them approaching food.
- Increased vigilance by humans may reduce food snatching behaviour
Loe Pool Forum: Selection of Msc Research
Neill Wood, Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Cornwall.
- An investigation into whether Helston could have been a port, as claimed by many
- Using novel techniques for predicting flood risk from surface run-off into the Cober using ground resistivity. Subsequent research has been taking this further, using geophysical techniques to measure the effectiveness of a proposed flood risk mitigation measure.
- Several studies of Loe Pool and Loe bar including the only detailed bathymetric study of Loe Pool which subsequently informed the design of the new drainage adit through the Bar. Several interesting archaeological features have also been revealed.
- Flood capacity modelling
- Catchment area drainage modelling