Wild East Devon October newsletter

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Wild East Devon news - East Devon District Council

Welcome to our October newsletter and it's Naturally Healthy month, so what better time to get outside and enjoy our outstanding outdoors!

Wild East Devon event with children having fun in the woods

Wild Half Term Events

This half term Wild East Devon have got family outdoor activities covered for the week!

On Tuesday 27 October and Thursday 29 October we’ll be returning our popular Family Activity Sessions at Seaton Wetlands. Join the Wild East Devon Rangers for an hour of stream activities, campfire cooking or natural crafts. On Tuesday we will be exploring natural craft activities to give an opportunity for families to work and play together and learn outdoor skills. On Thursday we will go stream dipping, getting right into the water to find out about the creatures that we find and learn all about the wildlife that lives under the water.

With a highly qualified and experienced nature reserve Ranger leading the session, your family will have great fun as well as learn all about the fascinating variety of wildlife that call the wetlands home.

Please note: 4 sessions per day. These sessions are for private bookings only, for up to 5 people from family or household. You will not be sharing your experience with any other visitors in order to adhere to current social distancing advice.

This year a special Halloween Trail will be installed at Seaton Wetlands! Find all the clues in the self-guided special spooky trail and win a fantastic prize! Trail will be available for this week only.

All events are covid-compliant. Book your place online or by ringing the team on 01395 517557.

swimmers on the beach

Swim to the Sea returns

Wild East Devon is helping 15 local residents, aged 55 and over, enjoy the benefits of open water swimming in the sea at Sidmouth, supported by qualified swim coaches and lifeguards.

Following on from last year’s successful Swim to the Sea, the second ‘wave’ will see swimmers taking part in weekly sea swims from the beach in Sidmouth, until November. The project aims to actively engage participants in nature. Alongside developing swimming confidence, increasing activity levels and providing a boost to mental health, the group are able to pick up tips about how to stay safe when swimming in the sea at Sidmouth.

Wild East Devon are very grateful for the support provided by Jurassic Paddle Sports, Active Devon and funding from Connecting Actively to Nature - a project being rolled out across Devon through funding from Sport England. This support has helped to make this project a great success.

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Creative Cabin

Enjoy Half Term art activities in our Creative Cabin

We have a host of great family activities to celebrate Naturally Healthy October with Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon AONB over the October Half Term including workshops, art activities at local apple days and Halloween activities.

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Wetlands Wildlife autumn update

The arrival of autumn has certainly made its presence felt with the drop in temperature and gold and orange colours streaking through the countryside. Our wildlife has begun to prepare for the cold spells ahead, with many species stocking up on reserves and some beginning to think of hibernation.

Many birds fly south for winter, with the likes of swallows, warblers and ospreys all migrating to Africa to enjoy the warmth and sun. Here at the wetlands we have had several pairs of swallows nesting in the bird hides this year. Their chicks have been a delight to watch and we hope they make the long journey back to their winter haunts, safely. Large numbers of swallows and martins have been passing through the South coast as they migrate, amazingly they can cover 200 miles a day whilst on migration!

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apple orchard

Apples at Honiton Bottom

The mid-autumn month of October is synonymous in England with the annual harvest, with crops abundant, leaves now crunching underfoot and apples ripe for the picking at orchards across the country. Here in East Devon, we have many different varieties of apple trees both traditional and more modern now bearing fruit across our nature reserves.

At Honiton Bottom we have a range of locally significant apple varieties. The orchard is home to nine apple varieties (all from Devon), three pear trees, three plums and other fruit trees including quince, apricot and a North Devon variety of mazzard cherry called Dun.

Of the apples trees, four are Devonshire cider apples and five are dessert apples. The cider varieties comprise the vintage Browns Apple from Staverton near Totnes, the Golden Bittersweet from Netherton which was rediscovered in an old orchard in East Devon, the acidic Ponsford and the 18th century Sweet Alford.

The five types of dessert apples include the distinctive yellow-skinned Woolbrook Pippin originating in Sidmouth in 1903, the Devonshire Quarrenden which was first recorded far back in 1678 and Veitches Perfection bred by the Veitch nursery in Exeter in the Victorian era. The fantastically named Reverend McCormick dessert apple tree also grows at Honiton Bottom, which was raised at Broadclyst c.1900 and named after the vicar of the time.

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