Proposals for Wildlife Refuges in the Exe Estuary have been approved by Councillors from three local authorities bordering the Estuary at a meeting of the South East Devon Habitat Regulations Executive Committee.
Councillors from local authorities surrounding the Exe Estuary approved proposals for Wildlife Refuges at a meeting of the South East Devon Habitat Regulations Executive Committee yesterday (23rd October 2017).
Following a comprehensive 9 month consultation, views including concerns about safety, from residents and the wide range of Exe Estuary users were taken into account in developing the voluntary areas.
Preparations to help people learn about the areas will now begin. Next year, the Wildlife Refuges will be marked by buoys and an education programme will include new signs, leaflets and in person from the Habitat Mitigation Officers who work on and around the Estuary. The areas will be monitored to see how effective they are at reducing disturbance to wildlife.
Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for City Development, Cllr Daniel Gottschalk, is chair of the committee. He said:
On behalf of all the members of the Committee, we would like to thank everyone who collaborated and helped develop these safe areas for birds to rest and feed. Some of these birds have travelled thousands of miles before coming to rest in the Exe Estuary and disturbing them can be life threatening because using scarce energy can reduce their ability to survive.
We are now calling on the wide range of Estuary users for their co-operation and support as we ask them to avoid a very small part of the Exe Estuary - all year round at Dawlish Warren’s refuge and from mid-September to end of December at Exmouth’s refuge.