Mount Pleasant Ecological Park at Porthtowan has been developed over the last 10 years as a community resource. It provides high quality workspace for local businesses, organic growing space for local people through the community garden scheme, training and education in traditional and sustainable skills to schools, colleges, universities and the general public. It is a venue for local events such as theatre, open days, fund raising events, music and celebrations.
The vision of Mount Pleasant Ecological Park comes from Tim Stirrup, who personally directs all aspects of the parks development. Looking for workshop space for his environmental building company Pioneer EBC, he discovered the land for sale which opened up a much wider scope of possibilities.
‘In 2001 when we took over the 42 acre farm it was derelict; an existing potato sorting shed with a steel and asbestos roof was half collapsed and the land was exhausted by 37 years of intensive mono -culture farming. Our aim is to breath life back into the land by increasing biodiversity. Converting the land to organic status was the first step along with the planting of thousands of native trees. Creating a community garden facility and planting wild flower and native-species rich grasslands are also part of the evolving process. These planted areas, along with the SSSI registered valley which borders Mount Pleasant will provide a rich habitat for local wildlife including buzzards, foxes and even the occasional deer!’ – Tim Stirrup
In 2005 Tim Stirrup founded The Down To Earth Foundation, the educational arm of the Eco Park. DTEF is run by a small team of volunteers who through their experience in sustainable building techniques, hoticulture and education systems along with their shared interest in environmental issues hope to further the impact of the Eco Park, to improve the lives of not just the people who work or camp here but also the wider public.
In 2017 the Eco Park became a Vegan and Vegetarian venue, offering freshly made, delicious food: created in the Cantina Cafe here on site, and increasingly using ingredients from the Kitchen Garden allotments being developed through Volunteering sessions run by the Down to Earth Foundation. Increasingly the team is becoming known as events experts, with a rich mix of live music, theatre and a world music festival called Tropical Pressure taking place here every year.