Volunteers, members of East Devon’s Countryside team, ward members and East Devon’s environment portfolio holder Cllr Jung celebrating Seaton Wetlands’ Green Flag Award

East Devon’s Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth, Manor Gardens, Exmouth and Seaton Wetlands nature reserve have yet again collected the coveted Green Flag Award

The prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space - has yet again been presented to East Devon District Council’s Manor Gardens in Exmouth, Connaught Gardens, in Sidmouth and Seaton Wetlands nature reserve.

These places are among a record number of UK parks and green spaces, which have today earned a highly sought after Green Flag Award. The flag is a sign to the public that these spaces boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.

As a district, East Devon is extremely lucky to have an in-house dedicated team, which strives to maintain the standards of our established parks, gardens and green spaces. These attractions offer colourful displays seasonally, as well all year round interest. There are Heritage Boards within both Manor Gardens and Connaught Gardens, linked to an East Devon Heritage Trail, (leaflets are available on site) detailing information about the gardens past and present, as well as a new site leaflet created in Winter 2018, to help visitors navigate their way around the gardens and fully appreciate the various aspects. 

Seaton Wetlands, which was 2019 BBC Countryfile Magazine’s runner up in the Best Nature Reserve in the UK category, is a network of wetland habitats restored and created by East Devon’s Countryside team to bring wildlife and people together. The reserve welcomes around 60,000 visitors every year and, thanks to the network of footpaths, boardwalks and bird hides, provides intimate wildlife experiences for all. A recent species reintroduction project, working in partnership with the Axe Vale & District Conservation Society, has seen the extremely successful return of Water Voles to the wetlands and surrounding landscape, a species, which had disappeared from East Devon by the early 1990s.

The council knows how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining these sites to such a high standard.

Each flag honours the East Devon staff, In Bloom volunteers, Seaton Wetlands volunteers and local schools who come together to either maintain or plant, or who are willing to just get in involved.  Everyone works tirelessly and puts in thousands of hours to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.

The council is extremely proud to have these three prestigious open spaces for people to enjoy and is immensely grateful to its hardworking staff and volunteers for their unstinting efforts.

Cllr Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the Environment, said:

We are absolutely delighted to receive these three Green Flag Awards from Keep Britain Tidy for Connaught Gardens, Manor Gardens and Seaton Wetlands.  East Devon is very proud of its open spaces and its hardworking staff and wonderful volunteers. Not only do these awards recognise and highlight that people in Sidmouth, Exmouth and Seaton are benefitting from these green spaces of the very highest quality but also benefits  the many visitors who visit our beautiful area.