Wild East Devon March news

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Wild East Devon news - East Devon District Council

Spring out of lockdown

Bluebell week

With restrictions gradually being eased we are carefully planning to restart our programmes. The will begin with the launch of a new, and sure to be fabulous, Bluebell Week: A celebration of nature and spring. Look out for exciting online content, a photo competition and a small number of ‘household bookable’ events in late April. From wildflowers video guides, foraging walks and family activity days, we have something for everyone to help celebrate and connect with nature this spring.

We hope to reopen the bird hides at Seaton Wetlands after Easter and plans are underway to welcome school children back to our reserves when guidance allows. Our amazing volunteers will be given the opportunity to return after April 12th, with most groups and roles restarting.

Our plans also include the rollout of our walking campaign #walkwildeastdevon, we have over 20 videos ready to help showcase some of the best walking routes in the area.

When rules allow it will be blooming marvellous to welcome you back to your local nature reserves, until then remember to stay local, give space to others and follow current government guidance.

Spring regards Tim and the Wild East Devon team.

Seaton Wetlands News

Stafford Brook

A combination of large increases in visitors taking their daily exercise at Seaton Wetlands and a particularly wet late winter, has meant that some of the grass paths around the site have become very muddy and looking rather unloved. The team are keeping a close eye on things to improve conditions, sections have been temporarily shut and this recent dry period has helped no end!

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Wild family activities: Explore nature using all of your senses

A sense of nature

Spring is a fantastic time to engage young people with the natural world. Even in the smallest outdoor spaces or on the shortest walks you will find new shoots, leaves, flowers and blossom emerging as the days get warmer and longer. Encourage children to notice leaf buds opening and spot changes in the garden or on your daily walks around your home. They could track the changes by taking photographs or drawing pictures or by counting the number of different types of flowers they can find.  Try out some of these activities using all of your senses to learn about your surroundings- listen to birdsong, squash leaves to smell their sap, spot different colours or maybe try eating some nettles or wild garlic!

Nature reserves

ponds at knapp copse

Ranger Jon Gardner, writes this month's nature reserves update:

I hope you’re enjoying the onset of spring as much as we are! It has been a long tough winter for all, and while we have been missing our volunteers greatly, there has been plenty to keep us busy across our reserves. To help fill the void left by our absent helpers we increased our number of team work days, in order to get some of the bigger tasks completed. This means we completed our main winter objectives, and look forward to building upon these successes with volunteers in months to come!

Knapp Copse: We have cleared some trees from the far end of the orchard area in the valley bottom to make more space and light for some new fruit trees. This should also help us to restore the wet meadow habitat, and increase local biodiversity. Brambles and ditches still need clearing, and trees need planting and protecting – plenty of the project yet to help with!

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Signs of spring and wildlife this month

blackbird nest

Blackbird nest in the log store

Never before has Spring seemed such a life-affirming season to welcome in. The familiar East Devon sight of butter yellow primroses on the vibrant green verges is a tonic, indeed!

Through winter we have been carrying out a great deal of woodland work assessing the condition of ash trees as dieback progresses within our native stock, and giving the paths, glades and rides an annual buzz-cut. Song thrushes were the first to start their springtime choral warm ups, such a magnificent song needs a couple of weeks of practice to get into full flow! Tawny owls could also be heard vocalising during daylight hours, with pairs reaffirming bonds before this early breeder gets down to laying its clutch.

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How does your portrait link you to a tree?

art and nature

Our friends at Clyst Valley Regional Park are encouraging people to think about art in nature.  Art is all about exploration and discovery, and is a journey in itself. Can you find the links between art and the world around you?

You can join in: Download the first #ClystArt activity sheet

More art activities to follow in the coming weeks.

#ClystArt is brought to you by: The Clyst Valley Regional Park: a bold vision from East Devon District Council to improve and enhance vital green space and access to the countryside just to the East of Exeter.

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