East Devon District Council works to improve biodiversity in Exmouth
Following advice from the East Devon District Council Countryside team, the grassland on the Maer Local Nature Reserve in Exmouth will be cut less regularly in order to increase the wildlife and biodiversity on the site.
The nature reserve, which is owned and managed by East Devon District Council’s countryside and streetscene services, used to be mown extensively throughout the year, this allowed walkers and dogs free-roam of the site. The high footfall, particularly in the summer, had a negative impact on a variety of species, including locally rare sea holly and a number of unusual solitary bees.
The change in the mowing regime has formed a number of paths around the site, encouraging visitors to explore, whilst also leaving other areas undisturbed so that rarer species can thrive.
Streetscene Service Lead, Andrew Hancock said:
East Devon’s recently adopted Green Space Plan sets out that we will proactively implement alternative mowing regimes across our sites to encourage biodiversity and wildflowers, whilst respecting the needs of the area, The Maer is one of the sites which has seen a change in its management.
Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder said:
The countryside and the natural environment is of huge importance to East Devon District Council and local residents. By working collaboratively, the East Devon countryside and streetscene services are able to manage local nature reserves to improve wildlife and biodiversity across the district. As an added bonus, it increases the attraction of our 'green tourism offer’.
East Devon District Council countryside trainee ranger, Laura Goble said:
We are hoping that the change in the mowing regime and the increased variety and abundance of wildlife will provide opportunities for the team to work more closely with schools in Exmouth looking for bugs and identifying flowers in the grasses.
For more information on the sites managed by the East Devon District Council’s countryside team visit wildeastdevon.co.uk. The team can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01395 517557.