Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Cornish Chough flys again

I was looking forward to going back to Paradise Park in Hayle. When I was a teenager, soon after leaving school, I remember driving home from work along Gwinear Road on the way to Trevaskis Farm one November evening and having to swerve to miss a bird that was flapping against the hedge on the edge of the road. It was a kestrel which had been bit by a car and had a broken wing. After five minutes of chasing it around the road I finally managed to catch the bird. I had a few nips along the way but eventually got it back to the farm and into a cardboard box. We took it to Paradise Park at Hayle where it was nursed back to recovery and released again on Gwinear Road. We still have kestrels at Trevaskis today.

Paradise Park is an excellent example of a successful local business that puts a lot back into the community. It is the home of the World Parrot Trust and they work closely with other conservationists around the world.

Today I saw some of the work they do to support projects to re-introduce red squirrels in the UK. They have also been at the forefront of the operation to reintroduce the Chough to Cornwall's coastline. Paradise Park was founded by Mike Reynolds in 1973 and they were successfully breeding Choughs there from the late 70's. Mike sadly passed away in 2007 but today the business is run by his son and daughter, Nick and Alison, and Paradise Park is at the heart of Operation Chough - the programme to release choughs into the wild again.