The Pepperpot Lodges to be restored to their former glory
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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.