Churchtown Farm Community Nature Reserve is an important place both for people and wildlife. Recognising the importance of the site to local people, a group exists to enable community members to contribute to all aspects of the site's management.
The Reserve has a wide variety of different wildlife habitats, mostly hay meadows with arable fields, woodland, wetland, scrub, rocky shoreline, mudflats and an extensive network of hedgerows.
There is a rich history of quarrying, farming and maritime activities and the site's two quarries and the headland running around the west and south shores of the reserve are County Geological Sites. From the reserve there are extensive views over the River Lyhner, Antony Passage, Forder Creek, the River Tamar and beyond to Devonport and Plymouth.
Its location on the edge of Saltash now makes it an ideal place for people to escape for a bit of peace and quiet.
From the 1960s, most of the fields within Churchtown were intensively managed, being re-seeded with highly productive rye grass mixtures maintained by regular applications of chemical fertilisers and heavy grazing. This intensive management artificially increased the soil nutrients and encouraged pastures with a very limited range of plant species and little structural variation.
In such a field there is little insect, animal or bird life. In an attempt to encourage wildlife back to the farm, Cornwall Wildlife Trust has used a number of less intensive management techniques aimed at reducing the soil nutrient levels and increasing the number of wildlife and plant species. Find out more about the work of Cornwall Wildlife Trust at http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk
The following map shows the area of the reserve outlined in red.