Popular wildlife haven is runner-up in Best Nature Reserve category in BBC Countryfile Magazine’s 2019 Awards

Stunning Seaton Wetlands, one of East Devon District Council’s most popular nature reserves, has won a top national accolade after being voted for by readers of the BBC Countryfile Magazine.

The beautiful wildlife haven is runner-up in the Best Nature Reserve category in the 2019 Awards, which celebrates the best of the British countryside.

The Wetlands was nominated by the magazine’s readers alongside other nature reserves from across the country and a panel of six judges whittled them down to a shortlist of five in each category. Readers were invited to vote for their favourite place online or via a postal form from January to February this year.

The Falls of Clyde, managed by Scottish Wildlife Trust, won the Best Nature Reserve category, with Seaton Wetlands as runner up and Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Carlton Marshes coming third.

Situated between Colyford and Seaton, Seaton Wetlands encompasses marshland and reedbeds next to the River Axe. The Wetlands is owned and run by East Devon District Council’s Countryside team, who organise a wide range of events and activities at the nature reserve, including educational visits, pond dipping, guided walks, conservation tasks, bird watching and even an Outdoors Club. The team is supported by a wonderful band of volunteers who contribute enormously to its management and practical conservation.

Cllr Marcus Hartnell,  East Devon District Council’s deputy portfolio holder for environment, said:

We are absolutely thrilled with this award and our sincere thanks go to the readers of BBC Countryfile Magazine who voted for us.

This national recognition for the work carried out at Seaton Wetlands by our Countryside team and volunteers is a fantastic accolade for us. Anyone who has visited the Wetlands cannot fail to be impressed by how beautiful and peaceful it is. It holds a special place in the hearts of many and East Devon District Council is so very proud of the site.

Charles Plowden, the Service Lead for Countryside and Leisure, said:

This is brilliant news and as it is an award decided by our visitors voting for us it has even more value and shows what a really special place the Seaton Wetlands is to so many people.

We cannot thank all those who voted for us enough and this award really puts us on the map now with all the really big Nature Reserves in England which is quite an accolade. Seaton Wetlands has established itself as an important part of the outstanding East Devon environment.

Editor of the Countryfile Magazine Fergus Collins said that the awards were a fantastic list of champions, all richly deserving of their success.

He said:

The aim of our awards is to celebrate the best of the British countryside and shine a light on lesser known places, projects and people who are doing great work.