Celebrating the Green Flag award for Seaton Wetlands are, from left, Charlie Plowden (EDDC service lead for countryside and leisure), Cllr Marcus Hartnell (EDDC deputy portfolio holder for the environment), Laura Goble, (EDDC Countryside trainee ranger), Meg Knowles, (EDDC Education ranger), Tim Dafforn (EDDC countryside team leader), John Golding (EDDC strategic lead for housing and environment) and Cllr Tom Wright (EDDC portfolio holder for the environment).

Seaton Wetlands, Manor Gardens in Exmouth and Connaught Gardens in Sidmouth celebrate Green Flag Awards

The stunning Seaton Wetlands nature reserve, which is owned and managed by East Devon District Council, has won a prestigious Green Flag Award, one of three sites in the district to receive the accolade.

Manor Gardens in Exmouth and Connaught Gardens in Sidmouth, both also owned and managed by the district council, have also been awarded Green Flags. The International accreditation recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces.

It’s the first time that the wider Seaton Wetlands site, which is managed by the council’s countryside team and its volunteers, has been recognised with a Green Flag.

Councillor Tom Wright, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said that all three awards were well deserved. “The Green Flag Award for Seaton Wetlands recognises the contribution the district council countryside team, staff and volunteers have made to local people and tourists who visit the area. The Wetlands is a well presented and natural site with an abundance of wildlife, it is enjoyed by bird watchers, cyclists, walkers and families looking for safe places for their children to explore.

“I am delighted that Seaton Wetlands has been recognised and it joins Manor Gardens and Connaught Gardens as Green Flag sites which are excellently managed by the district council.”

Countryside Team Leader, Tim Dafforn said:

“We are over the moon that Seaton Wetlands has been awarded a Green Flag. There is so much on offer there for people of all ages. The 4km of boardwalk and trails can be explored on foot, bike, pushchair or wheelchair, making the site accessible for the whole family. Visitors can discover amazing wildlife in the bird hides, go pond dipping, enjoy a picnic or take part in public events.

"The site enjoys huge support from local people, visiting school groups, the Axe Vale and District Conservation Society and the Axe Estuary Bird Ringing Group whose hard work has contributed towards this award. The award signifies Seaton Wetlands as a high quality green space and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors over the rest of the busy summer season."

Seaton Wetlands is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers who help with the ongoing management of the site by working with the Countryside rangers and welcoming visitors to the Discovery Hut from Saturdays to Mondays between 10am to 4pm.

Seaton Wetlands volunteer Lesley Clarke said:

I have been volunteering at Seaton Wetlands for over nine years. It has been wonderful to watch the site develop, and to play an important role in the conservation of local wildlife. My husband, Pete and I are involved with the kestrel box scheme and open the Discovery Hut to welcome visitors. We are also active members of the Axe Vale and District Conservation Society who have supported the Countryside team in the development of the site. We are all so proud of the site and this award.

Seaton Wetlands is situated on Colyford Road and there is free car parking available. The site is open to the public seven days a week. The Discovery Hut is open for refreshments from Saturdays to Mondays from 10am to 4pm. Please note there is a no dog policy at Seaton Wetlands.

More information on Seaton Wetlands and other sites managed by the Countryside team can be found at wildeastdevon.co.uk. The Countryside team can be contacted via email at countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk or call 01395 517557.