The decision to keep Oliver Land as a place for the wildlife long after they had gone was a deep felt wish that took a great deal of planning; to find the right people to be Trustees but also what to do after that role ceased. Initially, there were five Trustees having power to appoint Trustees as and when required.
Derek also decided to have what he called ‘Associate Trustees’. These were to be people who he specially selected as he deemed that they were truly on the same Wavelength. If Oliver land was threatened, the Associate Trustees could be called upon to help.
When Derek and Jeannie secured the purchase of Oliver land it was their intention that it should become a safe haven for the wildife, insects, flora and fauna that live and grew there.
Jeannie fervently believed it should belong to them and that it should remain so when she and Derek had gone. Both of them had found solace and comfort in Oliver land. Jeannie certainly felt the ‘magic' of the place; it was she who made ‘The Ambrose Rock’ - a place to contemplate and makes ‘wishes’.
At one time they were to have their ashes scattered down among the cliff meadows. However, the little meadow known as ‘The Honeysuckle Meadow’ became a favourite place to sit and admire the view of the sea and watch the wildlife and plants through the seasons; thus it was this place that was to be their last resting place. Both Ambrose and Oliver are also buried there. We would ask that, when visiting, you do not enter 'The Honeysuckle Meadow’ and be respectful of their last resting place.
Jeannie's Shelter was built after Jeannie had died. She had always wanted a shelter on the land for the donkeys; it also enabled them to store food for the donkeys and machinery.
It is situated in Clover Downs, beside the original entrance to Oliver land , off the 'Winding Lane.'
It is divided into two parts. The section on the left was used to house hay and machinery. The section on the right was the 'stable' side where the donkeys would shelter.
This large granite rock was uncovered when they purchased the land and it became theirs at Michelmas in 1979.
In celebration Derek decided to cut a swathe of a path through the and and called it the 'Celebration Path.' In so doing he stopped when his cutter hit this rock and came to a sudden stop.
It gained its name through Ambrose the little ginger cat that came to Minack, as a kitten, through Oliver. He had unusally come for a walk with them when they walked along the path and leapt up onto the rock.
The Trust was called ‘The Derek and Jeannie Tangye Minack Chronicles Nature Trust’ and was stipulated in Derek’s last will and testament. The idea was formed in 1996 prior to Derek’s death and would have five Trustees. The Trust officially started on 29 March 2001.
Over the next 19 years trustees resigned and new ones were appointed. Derek understood people's lives change and with it the commitment. He had therefore planned for this event and made arrangements that when this happened the trust should be dissolved and the land passed over to Cornwall Wildlife Trust to enable the legacy to continue.
The trust offically closed on 21 January 2019 following the land passing over to Cornwall Wildlife Trust in 2018.
Oliver Land was a registered charity under the name: ’The Derek and Jeannie Tangye Minack Chronicles Nature Trust'. It is a place for the wildlife - birds, foxes, badgers, mice, voles, insects and butterflies. Given it's location it is not accessible from the road; thus, it is protected from crowds of visitors.
The Derek and Jeannie Tangye Minack Chronicles Nature Trust also provided for a bursary at Falmouth College to be awarded to students for literary work.
It is not preserved for people but access is allowed for those who seek solitude; to enjoy the quiet peace, to contemplate nature and the elements. Derek referred to it as
'A Place for Solitude.'
The photo above is courtesy of Hilary Richards who set out to find the origin of Monty and her story appears in The Ambrose Rock, page 138-140.
Oliver Land was up until 2015 part of A Higher Level Stewardship scheme, operated and managed by land owners. With ownership of land comes responsibility to care for it. This scheme made it possible in those early years for Oliver Land to be maintained and cared for in a way that Derek and Jeannie would have understood. To quote Natural England ‘Oliver Land was, along with Rosemodress Farm, targeted for HLS by the RSPB and Natural England to put in place appropriate management to benefit Chough......’ It is registered as Permissive Access as part of the HLS and that is effective until 2020.
As the nature reserve passed to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust it is unlikely to continue being called by its former name, 'The Derek and Jeannie Tangye Minack Chronicles Nature Trust' as that was the charity. It is, however, hoped that Cornwall Wildlife Trust may continue to call it by the name it has otherwise been known as 'Oliver land'.