The Pepperpot Lodges to be restored to their former glory
The two iconic Lodges that mark the entrance to the Trelowarren Estate on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula are to be restored as part of a ten year, £200,000 project with Natural England, which will also see the surrounding land returned to natural Cornish Heath – its original 1750s’ landscape.
The long-term project by the Vyvyan family, supported by Natural England, will see the landmark Grade II Listed Lodges – famous to anyone who travels the main B3293 road to St Keverne – restored to their former glory.
The hexagonal “Pepperpot” Lodges were last occupied in the 1950s by the district nurse who had a bedroom and kitchen in one and a living-room in the other – but over the decades they have fallen into disrepair and have been condemned.
To start the restoration project 40 acres of large, non-native Sitka Spruce tree-trunks have been cleared from what was once native heathland, and reduced into chippings to feed the ancient estate’s renewable energy system – a 350 kWh biomass Binder boiler. The giant pile of wood-chippings will be burned over the coming winters – to produce heat and warm water for the eco-holiday-houses and luxury facilities on the estate.
Without the dark forest of Sitka Spruces – planted by the Forestry Commission 40 years ago – the scenic land running away from the Lodges will be gradually restored to Cornish Heath – covered in the fabled Erica Vagans heather – where Trelowarren will introduce hardy indigenous cattle to graze the land.
This fragrant, springy heather, whose only native British habitat is the Lizard Peninsula, was blessed – the story goes – by Joseph of Arimathea for whom it made a welcome bed on his first night arriving in Cornwall on his quest for tin.
“We’ve been planning the restoration of the Double Lodges and the Cornish heathland there for a long time – but we’ve had to be patient,” says Sir Ferrers Vyvyan. “Trelowarren is a big old estate which has certainly had its ups and downs – so we’ve needed to be sensitive to the history and the ecology of the place and need to make sure everything we do is right for the future – and it can’t all be done at once, so over the next couple of years it’s fair to say that the many people who know them as a landmark on that stretch of road will begin to notice a real change for the better.”
More about the clearing of the sitka wood crop.