The rural areas and open moorland may look wild and untouched, but the natural habitats of the Caradon Hill area have long been influenced by the people who’ve lived and worked here. There is evidence of settlement since the Bronze Age and farms and agriculture have long had an impact on the natural environment.
Villages and towns have built up over time, shaping the landscape along with a range of industries from early ore extraction, livestock and wool trading to the 19th-century boom that supplied tin, copper and granite to a world-wide market. The landscape includes Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a National Nature Reserve at Golitha, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), including one at South Caradon Mine that is home to unique plant species that thrive in the copper-rich spoil, and a broad range of County Wildlife Sites, alongside part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site (WHS).
Features of the Caradon Hill area
The area has a special diversity of habitats ranging from the peat bogs and tor stacks of the high moor, through the lower roughland grazing plains favoured by ground nesting birds and moorland livestock, to improved and dry-stone walled, off-moor pasture for dairy, lamb and beef production. There are stream cut ravines giving way to steep sided river valleys and every type of woodland you can think of from abandoned industrial scrubby areas of pioneering species such as silver birch, through to traditional broadleaf woodlands and forest plantations.
Need to know
- The area uniquely contains nearly every non-marine habitat to be found in Britain
- The landscape is both living and working, providing vital resources to its communities
- The landscape should be enjoyed, but visitors should respect that it is home to people, animals and plants.