Event volunteer at a Plant and Cake sale

Volunteers contribute nearly 2,000 hours of service

East Devon District Council's Countryside volunteers are celebrating their work at nature reserves across East Devon.

Since the start of 2017 volunteers have contributed nearly 2,000 hours of service to the Countryside team.

In the last six months 110 volunteers have worked to help protect wildlife and welcome visitors across the East Devon Countryside.

2017 has seen the launch of the Surveying and Monitoring Scheme at nature reserves across the district. There are 25 volunteers involved in the scheme, gathering valuable data on bird, reptile, butterfly, dragonfly, wildflower bio-diversity and water quality.

Other highlights include, the additional opening hours of the Discovery Hut at Seaton Wetlands throughout June, allowing visitors to view the five kestrel chicks nesting on site via a live nestcam. Grazing stock have arrived at Colyford Common at Seaton Wetlands with 18 Devon Ruby Red Cattle and at Trinity Hill where there are five Dartmoor ponies. The animals will graze these sites over the summer months and are being checked on a daily basis by a trained group of volunteers.

Countryside team leader, Tim Dafforn (People) said:

We are so grateful to our volunteers who help us to achieve great things across our sites. Volunteers offer knowledge, time and enthusiasm that help to make our nature reserves such special places to visit.

Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon District Council's Portfolio holder for the Environment, said:

Our countryside volunteers provide a great deal of time and energy to improving East Devon's environment for the greater enjoyment of residents and tourists. Without them East Devon would not be the truly outstanding place it is and we all owe them a great deal of gratitude.

To find out more about the work of the Countryside team and volunteering opportunities visit wildeastdevon.co.uk. The team can be contacted via email: countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk or phone: 01395 517557.