National Character Area 154

Hensbarrow - 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: Protect the ancient and distinctive field patterns of the Hensbarrow landscape and historic boundary features of Cornish hedges. Protect and appropriately manage the area’s cultural resources so that the special landscape character and sense of history of the area are conserved.

For example by:

  • 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, using locally sourced granite.
  • Replacing lost Cornish hedges, stone walls and hedgerows where they can help to impede cross-land flows within the main river valleys, and to prevent soil erosion and agricultural run-off.
  • Protecting against insensitive development/alterations impacting on rural character, ensuring that buildings reflect traditional materials and styles (including local granite and slate).
  • Protecting and appropriately managing evidence of ridge and furrow, buried archaeology and other historic earthworks.
  • Protecting built features and areas containing extensive mining heritage particularly in the Luxulyan Valley and its setting as part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site and in the Tregargus Valley with its extensive range of china stone mills.
  • Identifying the key historical remains of the china clay industry, including the iconic sky tips and the social infrastructure such as local chapels, and finding a sustainable long-term future for these features.
  • Protecting, managing and interpreting the important geology and geomorphology of the area and using this to explain the links to the formation of the landscape.
  • Protecting historic features which act as local landmarks (such as Roche Rock and Lanlivery church) and their settings from adverse development.
  • Maintaining and restoring estates and parkland landscapes, especially around the Luxulyan Valley, avoiding loss of grassland, retaining views into the parks and protecting veteran trees especially where these are vulnerable to changes in agricultural practices and are important for lichens, invertebrates and fungi.
  • Providing information and interpretation to visitors accessing the area via open access and public rights of way to help them to understand and value the archaeological features and unique biodiversity of the area.
  • Continuing to encourage links between the Eden Project and other cultural assets such as the China Clay Museum.


SEO 2: Manage, restore and enhance the mosaic of semi-natural habitats, as well as the subtle landscape features which contrast sharply with the ‘lunar’ landscape of china clay extraction, working to actively improve biodiversity as well as regulating water flow across the NCA.

For example by:

  • Consolidating, expanding and re-linking fragmented areas of moorland and wet and dry heath where appropriate (particularly Goss and Red moors and areas of former china clay workings), preventing further loss to scrub invasion and where appropriate encouraging less intensive agriculture in these areas.
  • Enlarging and interlinking grassy marshes, managing in favourable condition through appropriate grazing regimes and water management techniques to aid the storage of floodwaters.
  • Maintaining and protecting areas of permanent and rough grassland in enclosed farmland (particularly on higher pastures and fringe farmland), encouraging less intensive agriculture, enhancing wildlife value and protecting archaeological features.
  • Enhancing wildlife features on mixed farmland to further arrest the decline in farmland birds, arable plants and other wildlife.
  • Managing and restoring broadleaved woodlands, particularly areas of ancient semi-natural woodland such as within the Luxulyan Valley.
  • Managing existing carr woodlands, particularly in the Luxulyan Valley, Goss Moor and Red Moor areas, to improve biodiversity and aid water infiltration and storage.
  • Allowing the natural regeneration of willow and scrub along the steep sides and upper slopes of the main river valleys and tributaries (including the Fal and Par) to stabilise the soil and filter water to improve river quality.
  • Guiding locations for new woodlands to filter views of development including pylons, electricity lines and industrial works, reduce noise levels, support biodiversity and adaptation to climate change, enhance climate regulation, aid strategic flood management and improve recreational opportunities close to where people live.
  • Maintaining the distinctive granite landscape features of Cornish hedges, walls, clapper bridges, crosses, standing stones and stone stiles.
  • Retaining expansive open views from both within and out of the NCA, and 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.
  • Managing the impact of visitor numbers at key destinations such as Helman Tor, Luxulyan Valley and the Eden Project as well as controlling the growth of golf courses, riding stables and caravan sites which result in congestion on minor roads and a loss of rural character.
  • Creating permissive access links to the Cornish Way, the Saints Way, the National Cycle Network and the South West Coast Path.
  • Using extensive management of semi-natural habitats, making use of appropriate grazing species.


SEO 3: Plan for the restoration and future use of redundant china clay workings in order to benefit biodiversity, tourism, water flow and sense of place.

For example by:

  • Where appropriate maintaining the artificial landforms and waterbodies to retain links to the area’s mining past, particularly the sky tips and their adjacent pools.
  • Creating opportunities to integrate former workings within the wider landscape by linking new landscape proposals with existing hedgerow patterns, woodland and copse planting using appropriate native species.
  • Providing opportunities for innovative uses of redundant workings to support biodiversity and adaptation to climate change and improvements in water storage, and generate recreational and educational opportunities.
  • Restoring some sites to heathland and grassland to consolidate the existing resource.
  • Generating new opportunities for recreation at key sites through permissive access agreements linking sites with adjacent settlements.

Additional opportunity 1

Additional opportunity 1: Plan and develop opportunities to allow access to, and movement through the area on a network of trails and paths which connect visitor attractions within the area such as the World Heritage Site, Goss Moor and other visitor attractions.

For example by:

  • Enhancing the many recreational opportunities offered through active management and provision of quality infrastructure such as multi- user paths, clear signposting and better interpretation to improve understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the natural and built environment.
  • Exploring opportunities to work with partners and organisations supporting volunteering in the natural environment, to both maintain, enhance and promote biodiversity and increase people’s knowledge of it.