Countryside Team Leader Steve Edmonds and International Development student Lisa van Aalst at Seaton Wetlands.

Students carries out eight week research in East Devon

A student from a Netherlands University has carried out research looking at how volunteers are used to help with conservation at Seaton Wetlands.

Lisa van Aalst, an International Development student spent two weeks in Seaton, as part of an eight week research project. Lisa made contact with East Devon District Council’s Countryside team to gather data on volunteering at Seaton Wetlands.

Dr Elisabet Dueholm Rasch, Coordinator of Field Research at the University of Wageningen said:

Field Research plays a vital role in the university students learning. Around 50 students have been on placements in Devon with Lisa based in Seaton.’’

Lisa used the Seaton Wetlands as the focus for her International Development research project, spending two weeks meeting East Devon District Council Countryside staff and volunteers who run the wetlands for the benefit of local wildlife, the local economy and the wellbeing of residents.

Environment Portfolio Holder, Cllr Iain Chubb said:

Seaton Wetlands is East Devon’s flagship site for wildlife and conservation; it is often used by local school groups and universities for field research. Having a visitor from an international university demonstrates the sites importance in terms of its wildlife and the role it plays in the local community - providing opportunities for improved health and wellbeing through regular exercise and volunteering.

To learn about volunteer tasks Lisa took part in practical conservation work with EDDC’s ‘Taskforce Tuesday’ and met with volunteers and staff at the Countryside team to conduct interviews. A report will be written on the important role of volunteers for conservation and development at Seaton Wetlands.

To find out more about the Countryside team visit their website The Countryside team can be contacted via email: or phone: 01395 517557.