History of PEA
2008: Plymouth Environmental Action (PEA) was founded!
The inspiration for a weekend practical conservation group was thought up by Emily, who was the Youth Project Manager at the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) – now known as The Conservation Volunteers (TCV). A committee was formed, (members: Emily, Chris, Esther, Jonny, Katie, Steve, and Michael) and a constitution written! The team soon started planning a variety of practical conservation activities at the weekends specifically for young people aged 16 to 25 years!
2009: During this year, we secured two grants from the Dartmoor Sustainability Fund and OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) Fund. This enabled us to run practical nature conservation projects on Dartmoor such as Molinia (an important grass species) raking and Dartmoor Leat restoration, as well as biological surveys of lichens, wildflowers, trees, and insects to name a few!
2010 - 2011: Heritage Lottery Funding! We secured a Young Roots fund from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to run a year long ‘Conserve, Enjoy, Explore’ project for young people aged 16 to 25 years. This consisted of 48 exciting weekend heritage and conservation projects focused on conservation around Dartmoor. Examples of project days included bracken bashing, Dartmoor leat restoration, Gorse management at Brentor Common, Molinia grassland improvement with the Dartmoor Preservation Association, beach cleans, butterfly surveys, parrot-feather removal, wildflower surveys (including the rare Heath Lobelia!) at Andrews Wood with Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) and more! This project was run by Esther - PEA's first employed Youth Project Officer! Committee members were Emily, Chris, Michael, Hayley, Sam, Laura, Rob, and Pete).
2012 - 2013: PEA committee regularly met up to explore potential funding streams, and selected and applied for the HLF for 2014. Our committee members were Chris, Esther, Hayley, Rob, Pete, Laura, and Sam.
2014 - 2015: Thanks again to the HLF, we planned another year of weekend conservation projects. Heritage Lottery Funding! We secured a Young Roots fund from the Heritage Lottery to run a year long ‘Connect, Restore, Discover’ project for young people aged 16 to 25 years. This consisted of 48 exciting weekend heritage and conservation projects focused on the redoubts (forts) at Maker in South East Cornwall. Examples of project days included wildflower identification, bracken bashing, lichen ID, meadow creation, sycamore removal, vegetation management on the forts (in collaboration with English Heritage), and beach cleans to name a few! This project employed Chris as the Youth Project Officer. Committee members were Chris, Esther, Hayley, Mike, Rob, Pete and Julz).
During Autumn 2015, PEA opened up the project to ALL AGES! In November we secured funding from the Tamar Valley AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) to run 6 training workshops (coppicing, dry stone walling, hedgelaying, foraging, introduction to estuaries and tree ID). We also carried out the first practical conservation day at the new nature reserve in Plymouth - Poole Farm (Derriford Community Park) in conjunction with Nature Plymouth (Natural Infrastructure team at Plymouth City Council).
2016: In January, we ran our first training workshop - Hedgelaying at Pentillie Castle. On the 1st March we held our first Annual General Meeting (AGM) to officially recruit the committee and discuss our aspirations for the year ahead! Throughout March we held our first Crowdfunder Campaign to raise funds to run 10 practical conservation projects through Summer 2016. These included creating a 10m long Wildlife Pond near Bodmin Moor, a Wildflower meadow in Plymouth, removing Non-Native species (Himalayan Balsam from Plymbridge and Yellow Archangel from Dartmoor), Beach cleans, and footpath maintenance and tree care at Burrator! We also hosted our first official AGM, at which our new Committee was appointed: Esther (Treasurer), Chris (Chairperson), Hayley (Secretary), Mike (Design and Media), Pete (Health and Safety).
In April, we recruited two new Volunteer Project Officers (VPO) Manon and Lianne, who joined both the PEA team and Committee, with Hayley becoming our latest VPO in October!
2017: This year PEA has been involved in a number of great projects in and around Plymouth, some highlights including planting the BIGGEST orchard in Plymouth and over 2000 trees for new hedgerows at Derriford Community Park! In March, we recruited two new Volunteer Project Officers (VPO) Katie and Sophie, who have joined both the PEA team and Committee!