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Biodiversity, Health and Wellbeing in Cornwall's Public Open Space

Background to the project

Since 2015, we have been working with colleagues at the University of Exeter on a project called 'Biodiversity, Health and Wellbeing in Cornwall’s Public Open Space',

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The project was instigated by our ecology and public open spaces teams. The idea behind this work was to use Exeter's research on these topics to help inform how Cornwall’s public open spaces are managed and invested in - for the benefit of both biodiversity and people’s health and wellbeing. They undertook various collaborative activities with the support of funding from the University of Exeter’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.

We collaboratively built a network of Council staff and researchers from social and natural sciences at Exeter, particularly from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health and the Environment and Sustainability Institute

The following evidence report cards bring together the most recent social and natural science research from the University of Exeter and elsewhere in summary format, with the aim of helping to inform the planning and management of public open space in Cornwall and beyond:

The Resource List accompanying the cards includes references and web links from the series.

The project also worked with the University of Exeter's Health and Environment Public Engagement group to look at how communities are engaged in the way that their green and blue spaces are managed.

Looking to the future, Cornwall Council have been awarded European Regional Development Funds for a project called ‘Green Infrastructure for Growth’, investing in public recreational areas, roadside verges and old churchyards to make them better places for people and for wildlife. Our collaboration will continue, and existing and new research should help to ensure that we make the most of the opportunities afforded by our immensely valuable public open spaces.

We hope that the evidence report cards will prove useful for other organisations, policy and practice outside of Cornwall. The University of Exeter team welcome any feedback, and if you want to make use of them please contact Ben Wheeler at