Have your say on proposals for East Devon’s Pebblebed Heaths

Share your views on proposals to improve visitor access and protect wildlife on East Devon’s Pebblebed Heaths

Residents and visitors are asked to share their views on proposals to enhance their experience and protect the wildlife at the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths, locally known as Woodbury Common.  The consultation runs for six-weeks from 23 September 2019 until 5pm on 4th November 2019.

The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust (EDPHCT) together with the South East Devon Habitat Regulations Executive Committee (SEDHREC) published an advisory report which makes proposals for improving visitor experiences on the heaths while at the same time protecting this important conservation area.

Suggestions in the report include:

  • Improving access for emergency vehicles to reduce response times.
  • New information boards with maps and route markers for suggested trails.
  • Improving car park accessibility and layout while at the same time helping to protect ancient monuments and wildlife.
  • Improving car park surfaces and entrances for improved safety and visibility.
  • Not introducing car parking charges.
  • Increasing visibility in car parks to reduce theft, criminal incidents and antisocial behaviour.

People can get involved in the following ways.

  1. Look at proposed changes in detail and find out more at:
  • Four Firs car park, from 9am-1pm on  28th September
  • Exmouth Town Hall, from 2-8pm on 10th October
  • Joney’s Cross car park, from 1-5pm on 17th October.

2. See the proposals online and answer a short survey at www.southeastdevonwildlife.org.uk/visitors

3. Send your comments by email to habitatmitigation@eastdevon.gov.uk with ‘PBH visitor experience consultation’ in the subject box.

4. Send your comments by post to: Kim Strawbridge, Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust, Rolle Estate Office, Bicton Arena, East Budleigh, Budleigh Salterton, EX9 7BL.

Cllr Susie Bond, Chair of SEDHREC and Deputy Leader of East Devon District Council, said:

“This advisory report has explored in great detail ways to improve access to the heaths, so more people can enjoy them in the future.

“With a growing population, visitor numbers are likely to increase, so we must balance this with new ways to care for this highly sensitive area.

“I encourage people to review the proposals and provide comments. All views will be taken into account before decisions are made by SEDHREC next year.”

Dr Sam Bridgewater, Head of Wildlife and Conservation for Clinton Devon Estates, said:

“The heaths are amongst East Devon’s most cherished landscapes providing recreational opportunities for those living in the local area. The recommendations within this report aim to maintain the much-loved character of the site, protect its habitats and wildlife and make it a safer and more rewarding place to visit.

“We hope those who visit and enjoy the heaths will take up this opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals.”