National Character Area 155

Carnmenellis - Detailed Statements of Environmental Opportunity

This section expands on the Headline Statements of Environmental Opportunity and provides further detail on each of the Statements of Environmental Opportunity.


SEO 1: Conserve, manage and increase the understanding of the unique historic landscape and its geological and heritage assets, including the internationally important mining legacy, the distinctive granite tors, the prehistoric and later settlements and ritual remains, and the unique Cornish hedges and field patterns.

For example by:

  • Protecting and appropriately managing ancient evidence of human habitation such as barrows and the Neolithic ramparts and subsequent fortifications and settlement associated with Carn Brea.
  • Maintaining and restoring Cornish hedges, stone walls, hedgerows and other boundary features while respecting the varying pattern of ancient field systems and reflecting local variations in style and composition through careful research and using locally sourced granite.
  • Replacing lost Cornish hedges, stone walls and hedgerows where they can help impede cross-land water flows within the valleys, help prevent soil erosion and agricultural run-off, especially in the south where there is more arable.
  • Protecting against insensitive development/alterations that impact on rural character, ensuring that buildings reflect traditional materials and styles, including the use of local granite and slate.
  • Instigating a programme of scrub removal on important historic features to enhance their settings, especially Scheduled Ancient Monuments and those that enhance the understanding of the World Heritage Site.
  • Providing interpretation of and sustainable access to the outcrops and geology of the area; these underpin all aspects of the landscape and have significantly influenced the human history of the area, especially the important tin mining industry and the miners’ smallholdings.
  • Protecting built features and areas containing the extensive mining heritage which is now part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site.
  • Maintaining the distinctive granite landscape features of Cornish hedges, walls, crosses, standing stones and stone stiles.
  • Considering opportunities to identify and promote Local Geological Sites which add further to an understanding of the history of the area.


SEO 2: Manage, restore, link and improve the area’s rich mosaic of heathland, moorland and rough grassland, enhancing and extending its range, while encouraging sustainable agricultural practices which contribute to the soil quality, water quality and habitat condition, as well as to the local economy.

For example by:

  • Consolidating, expanding and re-linking fragmented areas of heathland, moorland and mire, where appropriate, preventing further loss to scrub invasion and, again where appropriate, encouraging less intensive grazing in these areas.
  • Maintaining and protecting areas of permanent and rough grassland in enclosed farmland to enhance the wildlife value and protect archaeological features.
  • Managing and restoring the valleys’ broadleaved woodlands to improve their value for biodiversity and timber.
  • Managing existing carr woodlands, particularly to improve biodiversity and aid water filtration and storage.
  • Guiding locations for any new woodlands to filter views of development including pylons, electricity lines and industrial works, reduce noise levels, support biodiversity adaptation to climate change, enhance climate regulation, aid strategic flood management, and enhance recreation opportunities close to where people live.
  • Seeking opportunities to maximise the availability of water by increasing the retention of the water flows through the area by the reinstatement of natural, meandering drainage patterns and channels, and reinstating wet habitats to intercept and retain increased volumes of water within the landscape.
  • Retaining expansive open views from both within and out of the National Character Area (NCA), in particular views of prominent church towers and mining features typical of this area.
  • Reducing the visual impact of pylons, electricity lines and obtrusive industrial features, and preventing further visually intrusive skyline development.
  • Increasing the understanding of the ecological value of bare/ contaminated ground on mining sites as a vital component of the World Heritage Site and of the area’s biodiversity.


SEO 3: Encourage the development of sustainable tourism linked to the World Heritage Site. This should focus on sensitively increasing access to and interpretation of the area, which will encourage the strong local sense of identity.

For example by:

  • Generating new opportunities for recreation in key sites through permissive access agreements linking sites with adjacent settlements.
  • Encouraging physical and business links with visitor attractions both outside and within the NCA.
  • Creating permissive access links to further link up rights of way and open access land.
  • Encouraging the use of local products, for example beef and dairy, within suitable businesses such as pubs, restaurants and tourist markets, and ensuring that links are made to the landscape from which the product is sourced.
  • Ensuring that local folklore associated with the mining landscape is not lost, for example using online resources and storytelling events at venues such as Gwennap amphitheatre.
  • Working with partners and organisations supporting volunteering in the natural and historic environment to provide opportunities for people to increase their knowledge and understanding of biodiversity while benefiting habitats and species.

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