Wild East Devon October News

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Wild East Devon news - East Devon District Council

October events

Autumn crafts

Look out for Wild East Devon & Wild Exmouth’s October Half Term events, outdoor family-friendly events across East Devon. Listings below:

Autumn Crafts & Nest Box Building at Phear Park, Exmouth

Thursday 28 October 11am to 3pm

Join the Wild Exmouth rangers in Phear park to make amazing bird nest boxes for your garden - for free!  Drop in any time to get crafty with natural materials and make nest boxes with our qualified rangers.

Orchard Celebration Walk, Exmouth

Saturday 30 October 2pm to 5pm

Join the Wild Exmouth team on a free two-mile walk for all ages around Exmouth's green spaces and orchards, peppered with stories and activities, which will finish with a picnic.  This event is doubling as the end-of-project celebration for Wild Exmouth which finishes in December.

Booking is essential for this event: Orchard Celebration Walk, Exmouth (Sat 30 Oct) - East Devon

Goodbye Will

Wild East Devon new uniform

Recently our Engagement & Participation Ranger, Will Jones, has left us for a new role with Dartmoor National Park. Will has been a valued member of the team since Spring 2019 and has led on our public engagement and volunteering strategy, as well as our engagement recovery from Covid-19.

We'll miss Will but we wish him all the best in his new role and good luck for the future! Incidentally you may notice the new team uniform Will’s modelling in the photo, we’ve had a clothing rebrand within the team – look out for us in new navy on our nature reserves!

New bridge installed on the South West Coast Path

new bridge on South West Coast path

Just to the east of Sandy Bay on the South West Coast Path near Exmouth is a steep flight of steps leading down to a bridge which was in serious need of replacement. A temporary emergency repair was carried out several months ago, but it was only after harvesting had finished that our team could get vehicle access to be able to replace the bridge.  The work was carried out by a top Wild East Devon team including family members (before they returned to university). After demolishing the old bridge, a new frame was made up and carried down to be staked in place.  It was then decked and the handrail posts put into position. All being well it should be in place for the next 15 to 20 years.

Flooding the fields

mowing at Seaton Wetlands

It is in the early autumn when the fields of Seaton Marshes are transformed from grassy dry grazing, to flooded wetlands to provide food and safe shelter for winter wildfowl and waders.

This year the flooding is taking place a little later than usual as a particularly vigorous growth of rushes has been mown and baled later in the summer to provide an amazing and sustainable foodstuff for the cattle while they are in their winter lodgings. Now that operation has taken place, Ranger James will carry out some targeted vegetation clearance to develop good sight-lines across the marsh, before setting sluices to high and bunging a series of drainage channels to allow the water to back up and sit on the marshes until Easter.

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Knapp Copse update

Knapp Copse compilation

It has been a very busy year at Knapp Copse, and this wonderful nature reserve set in the Roncombe Valley is going from strength to strength. Funding enabled by the start of a new Higher Level Stewardship programme at the top of the year brought with it a raft of new projects:

New ponds! : In early March two new ponds were dug by contractors on the western side of the valley. They were created on a ‘wet flush’, where natural runoff of rainwater flowed overground to the stream below. Ponds are excellent for boosting biodiversity, so this was the main thrust behind the works. Aquatic life started to appear almost as soon as the works had been completed, and despite the short timeframe a number of dragonfly and damselfly species were witnessed to breed and lay eggs over the summer. These included Broad bodied chasers, southern hawkers and large red damselflies. Other standard aquatic insects were also quick to take up residence, such as diving beetles, water boatmen, pond skaters and water fleas, amongst many others. Birds have also showed some interest in the new feature, notably a pair of water loving grey wagtails who showed up almost as soon as the diggers had left site! It has been incredible to see the pace at which these new ponds have developed, and we look forward to seeing how they develop further over the coming years.

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