The Secure Forests team are thrilled to have our home at this beautiful and historically significant location, Mount Edgcumbe house and Country Park. The park has some incredible history and has allowed the team, to establish a fantastic base for our global projects. Over the next few months and years, our aim is to establish a training and development centre to recruit and train volunteers and permanent staff from the veterans community, to help conserve and protect global habitats.
The Parks History
“A most beautiful place as ever was seen” – Samuel Pepys 1683
This is a place of ancient barrows, mystical woodland, forts and chapels dotted along a remote coastline, above secret beaches and smugglers coves. Mount Edgcumbe House is the former home of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe. Surrounded by formal gardens and set in a Grade I listed landscape, the country park covers 865 acres of the Rame Peninsula in South East Cornwall. Built nearly 100 years before the Mayflower set sail in 1620, the Tudor style mansion stands at the top of an equally ancient double avenue of trees. The Edgcumbe family can trace their ancestry back over 600 years. It was a timely match when Piers Edgcumbe married Joan Durnford in the 15th century and thus acquired the land on which Mount Edgcumbe now stands. It created an opportunity to build a house of a size and stature befitting of an increasingly influential family and placed the family firmly on the main route of travel between Cornwall and the rest of England. In 1515 King Henry VIII issued a license to empark the lands and over 500 years later descendants of the original herds of fallow deer can be seen roaming in the Deer Park. “Built nearly 100 years before the Mayflower set sail in 1620, the Tudor style mansion stands at the top of an equally ancient double avenue of trees.”
This sense of adventure and exploration is within touching distance of the Secure Forests office and the inspiring stories of Cook and Darwin who visited and stayed at Mount Edgecumbe, brings the sense of global history closer to our team. In their day they used the latest technologies and expertise to chart far distance lands and shores, now we do this from our laptops and phones, in order to try to help protect and conserve what they've discovered!
The team have set to work at Edgecumbe to help to support our global conservation efforts and support the country park. The park consists of 855 acres of deer park, formal gardens forests and over 40 miles of coastline. Its a very challenging task to monitor and protect this area with only 4 permanent Rangers and 3 gardening staff. Secure Forests are going to help the park manager and his team to map out the estate and its borders. This will enable them to have access to our satellite systems and unique domain awareness technologies.
The first step has been to establish datums around the park to allow the team to set up the satellite imagery from our "Sentinel" satellite system. (see below)
On a very wet Saturday I recruited our first volunteer, my nephew George. To help plot the datums and co-ordinates needed to support the mapping process.
A major Secure Forest CIC objectives, is to engage with the next generation, to enable them to feel connected and part of conservation efforts and our work is perfect for schools and youth groups. We are putting together engagement strategies and campaigns for these groups to help contribute directly, in the future of our planets protection and conservation. George as you can imagine is very astute and aware of the value of technologies at his age, and picked up the use of the GPS within a few minutes!
George learned about the project and how to use a GPS to plot the Grid datums, which he then also plotted on an OS map of the park.
George said that:
" its going to be tough to try and protect the world, but if we don't do something, we will not have any forests left, Ive really enjoyed being a part of the project!"
Thanks George and you will be part of this contribution going forward!
Secure Forests technical team are now using this data to establish a digital boundary around the park, to accurately measure and detect anomalies and changes to the landscape. This will allow the team at Mount Edgecumbe to have greater domain awareness of this grade 1 listed landscape. Once established Secure Forests will add technologies, to layer up the domain awareness system to enhance this capability.
The project will go from strength to strength with our global monitoring of rainforests and the monitoring of our home at Mount Edgecumbe in the UK. This capability will allow the ME Team to monitor soil erosion, storm damage and also maintain the resident deer population, said to have a bloodline dating back to Henry Tudor!
I would like to thank the Mount Edgecumbe staff for welcoming our team into the park and look forward to working with you all of the next few years.
Secure Forests CIC is a non profit making organisation and if you would like to help and support our team, to join the fight to protect wild spaces and forest habitats:
please contact our team! or email at firstname.lastname@example.org