Cornwall Tourism Awards GOLD

Winning the 2022/2023 Wildlife Friendly Business Award for Cornwall was such a privilege.

Giving the land back to nature..

When we moved here in 2016, we recognised the potential of the site instantly. But much of the site was pocketed with hard landscaping features, poor drainage, formal garden planting and lawns, with little or no hedgerow or meadow. So we embarked on a huge re-wilding project to realise the site’s potential and maximise its bio-diversity and range of habitats for wildlife. To-date we have created and planted:

  • Hundreds of wildlife-friendly native hedging plants such as Hornbean; Beech; Hawthorn; Dog-rose; Crab-apple; Hazel; Guelder-Rose
  • Nearly 200 standard mature trees and whips: Field Maple; Common Alder; Silver Birch; Oak; Rowan; Wild Cherry; White Willow
  • Selective ornamental mature trees for blossom, flowers and autumn colour: Pin Oak; Magnolias; Pyrus Chanticleer; Sweet Gum; Katsura; Himalayan Birch; Acers; Mulberry; Foxglove Tree; Cornus Wedding Cake Tree; Himalayan Birch
  • Over 2000 spring bulbs (Tulip, Daffodil, Camassia, Lily, Bluebell…)
  • Swathes of perennial meadow area through which we mow discreet meandering paths.
  • Dozens of marginal aquatics such as water lillies, bog bean and umbrella grass.
  • A wildlife lagoon and bog garden, inter-connected to our stream, which floods in the winter and becomes a marginal aquatic zone in summer.
  • A small rose garden
  • A wetland Gunnera garden amongst which we seed wetland loving wildflowers such as Willow herb.


Our Habitats…

With the newly planted hedging and trees maturing, the site now provides a rich array of different environments for wildlife to thrive: from our jungle garden; the ponds and lakes; the bordering streams; the lagoon; the wildlife hedging; our wild meadows; our pine forest; the newly forming wood copse; to our secret garden and it’s wet woodland / temperate rainforest vibe.


The Wildlife…

We’ve been blessed with so much wildlife over the last few years here at Pengelly Retreat:

  • An otter playing by the stream
  • A polecat in the Tipi Garden
  • Badgers in the forest
  • Hedgehogs near our old barn
  • Foxes in the meadows and the Sail House garden
  • Deer in the wild outer meadow
  • A huge array of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies, including Gold Ringed & Emperor
  • Pipistrelle bats flitting around the gardens and lakes at dusk
  • A healthy population of Brown trout and Rudd in the lakes
  • Swallows dipping into the lake in the summer
  • Grey heron nesting in the tall trees in the outer meadow, and feeding at the lakes and ponds.
  • Our resident moorhens and wild ducks on the lakes
  • Tawny and barn Owls calling from the old Ash trees
  • Kingfishers swooping over the lakes
  • Reed warblers chirping from the bullrushes



We have chosen to work with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and we are one of only a handful of GOLD business partners – meaning we donate a % share of our income to support their amazing restoration work around our beautiful county. This in turn means every guest is also positively contributing to the local environment.

The Woodland Trust provides trees for small holdings as part of the ‘Forest for Cornwall’ programme.

The Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall, provides a centralised recording and analysis service for current and historical sightings.

We volunteer at the gardens of the National Trusta great way to share knowledge and skills.


[Kingfisher, Otter, Fox photos, Adobe Photo Stock June 2024]