The RAF St Mawgan Environmental Action Group has been awarded an Air Officer Commanding 22 Group Team Commendation for their efforts to increase biodiversity, improve habitats for wildlife, and promote awareness of environmental-related issues across the Station.
Perched atop the rugged cliffs of Cornwall, surrounded by rolling hills and high moors, RAF St Mawgan stands as a bastion of biodiversity and a frontline in the region's battle against climate change.
Once facing an uncertain future after the Cold War, the base is now experiencing a resurgence in its role as a protector of the UK. Amid large-scale projects and investments to safeguard the region's skies and waters, a green revolution is quietly unfolding at the base.
Supported through a network of the Station’s green-fingered personnel and community volunteers, 370 apple, plum, pear, quince and cherry trees are being planted across the estate as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative; a legacy of the late Queen Elizabeth II which has been continued by King Charles III.
We’re currently delivering a programme called Roots to the Future which revolves around the two large polytunnels recently installed here on Station. The kids learn to grow their own food, create ecosystems for all sorts of insects with bug hotels and wildflower gardens. The tree planting today is an extension of that and they’ve absolutely loved the hands-on experience; I think they’re looking forward to eating the fruit most of all.
Station Youth Worker
The RAF's commitment to tackling climate change aligns with its ambitious goal to become the first Net Zero Air Force by 2040. The use of e-scooters, reduction in single-use plastics, utilization of solar energy in smart building technology, and exploration of sustainable aviation fuels are among the eco-friendly practices adopted across RAF stations.
Moreover, moving towards green initiatives has proven to be cost-efficient. RAF St. Mawgan saved 400 litres of fuel in May and over 100 litres of herbicide just by reducing the amount of mowing they did across the site.
This also improved ecosystems on site that are known to be extremely important for several endangered and vulnerable species. The Station is now one of the only designated hedgehog release sites in the South West, in an attempt to halt the dramatic decline of numbers in the wild. Bees and butterflies have also begun returning to the area.
It’s really important for the people of Cornwall to know about what is going on here. Part of our wider message about Cornwall becoming Net Zero is that organisations, companies and individuals also have to play their part.
If we can showcase what is going on at RAF St Mawgan, still one of the largest employers in Cornwall, then it will inspire other organisations to take action; especially since the methods you’ve employed haven't cost anything.
Councillor Martyn Alvey,
Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Climate Change