At East Devon we are striving to improve biodiversity and support nature recovery across all of our greenspaces. This means we are using information on historical, ecological, environmental and human use to inform our green space strategies across the area.

With nature recovery, we aim to:

Reduce human intervention in ecological processes
Allow and enable wildlife to thrive (with an emphasis on insects)
Plant trees to capture and store carbon
Provide beautiful recreational spaces

We will do this using the following strategies:

Reduce the frequency, area and deck height when cutting grass
Establish ecologically appropriate plants across our green spaces to help wildlife
Transition away from carpet bedding towards more herbaceous and woody perennial plantings
Plant trees and hedgerows
Establish wildflower meadows
Create wetland areas
Install bird and bat boxes & bee and bug homes across our area


We hear the term ‘biodiversity’ a lot these days but how many of us truly understand its definition and the consequences of not doing everything we can to help it?

Biodiversity is the variety of species, habitats and ecosystems that support life – ours! It underpins the air we breathe and the food we eat. We depend on biodiversity for protection against pollution, flooding, climate breakdown and a lot more. The areas we are rewilding provide much-needed habitats for insects, especially those facing extinction, and have the many advantages that biodiversity brings. Let’s face it, without biodiversity, human life is threatened.

So, now we are fully aware of its importance to us all, what are we doing about biodiversity losses that scientists estimate will lead to the extinction of 1 million species within our lifetime if we do not act now?

Glyphosate ban

Glyphosate was banned across the Council in 2022 to further protect our environment. Our ecologist will continue to monitor increases in biodiversity levels and, consequently, pollinators’ numbers and diversity across the district. Reports will be published in due course to evidence trends.

Let it grow!

Keep an eye out for our bright yellow bee signs located within nature recovery areas. These signs communicate to residents and visitors that a deliberate act of nature recovery is in process to raise biodiversity levels; rather than the area being left out of neglect or because the land owner has forgotten to mow it. 

What can I do to help?

Firstly, your understanding of what we are doing as a Council, why we are doing it and its local, regional and global importance will help to set expectations of what is required to counter the consequences of a century or more of everybody keeping their lawns unnaturally short.

Secondly, you can decide which sections of your lawn/garden, no matter how small, you want to let grow wild. The average closely-mown lawn will consist of several species of grass (e.g. annual meadow grass, Yorkshire fog, couch grass, and maybe one or two others) and several species of annual and perennial wildflowers (e.g. daisy, yarrow, clover, buttercup, dandelion and quite a few more, depending on whether you have used weed killer in the past). So, if you decide not to mow your lawn – or sections of your lawn – from the spring, those wildflowers and grasses will finally be allowed to grow, flower and seed – which will help biodiversity! It may take a few years for you to achieve the right balance between flowers and grasses, and you may want to sow a wildflower mix to increase your biodiversity, but that’s essentially it. If you want to create a wildflower garden from scratch, you can learn how to here (Get growing with the RHS: How to grow a mini meadow / RHS Gardening)

Please use the following hashtag #EDDCparks on Twitter to find out more about our rewilding.

East Devon’s Diverse Insects and Animals

We recognise that we are fortunate to have a diverse range of insects and birds across East Devon. Here are some that you can expect to see now, which we hope continue to survive and flourish:

  • Butterflies
    Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)
    Green Veined White (Pieris napi)
    Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)
  • Moths
    Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)
    Sandy Long-horn (Nematopogon schwarziellus)
    Privet Hawk-moth (Sphinix ligustri)
  • Birds
    Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)
    Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)
    Grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

The range of insects and birds – which feed on insects – are increasing across East Devon, which is thanks to so many residents’ amazing efforts to leave areas wild, however small. If this is not you yet, we hope it will be soon.

List of Nature Recovery sites:

Tyrell Mead, Sidmouth (designated areas with signage)
Sidmouth Cemetery, Sidmouth
Peak Hill, Sidmouth
Byes Meadow (Top & Bowl Area) - Sidmouth
Peak Drive, Sidmouth
Manor Road Car Park, Sidmouth
Knapp Pond, Sidmouth
Brownlands, Sidmouth
Arcot Road Bank, Sidmouth
Delderfield, Sidmouth (managed by EDDC Countryside)
Lymebourne Park, Sidmouth
Salters Meadow, Sidmouth
Stowford Rise, Sidmouth
A3502, bank by Waitrose bus stop, Sidmouth


Furzehill, Sidbury - green space behind residences
Furzehill, Sidbury - bank on Chapel Street

Newton Poppleford

Capper Close, Newton Poppleford


Salterton Road, Exmouth
Phear Park, Exmouth
Donkeys Field, off of Foxholes, Exmouth
The Crescent, Littleham, Exmouth
Brixington Playing Field, Exmouth
St Johns Playing Field, Exmouth
Jubilee Drive verge (opposite Vansittart Drive), Exmouth
Parry's Farm Close, Exmouth
Imperial Recreation Ground, Exmouth
Queens Drive Car Park renaturing area, Exmouth
Carter Avenue, Exmouth
Corner of Valley Way and Dinan Way, Exmouth
Corner of Rivermead Avenue and Exeter Road, Exmouth
Shakespeare Way (near pylon), Exmouth
Betjeman Drive, Exmouth
Byron Way (near to Lovering Close), Exmouth
Fraser Road, Exmouth
Nasmith Close, Exmouth
Normandy Close, Exmouth
Corner of Bradham Lane and Moorfield Road, Exmouth
Marley Road verge, Exmouth
Rodney Close, Exmouth
St Malo Close, Exmouth
Knappe Cross, Exmouth
Path eastwards from Brixington Community Church, Exmouth
Corner of Colleton Way and Green Close, Exmouth
Jarvis Close large green space, Exmouth

The footpath between Birchwood Road and Winston Road, Exmouth

Budleigh Salterton

The Green, Budleigh Salterton
Jubilee field, Budleigh Salterton 
Granary Lane, Budleigh Salterton
Little Common, Halse Hill, Budleigh Salterton
Scotchmead Paddock, Aylesbeare

East Budleigh

Bank along Wynards Road, East Budleigh
Bank along Brookfield Road, East Budleigh


Woodbury Church 

Clyst St Lawrence

Bank in Clyst St Lawrence


The Glen, Honiton
Old Elm Road, Hontion
St Micheals Churchyard, Honiton
Battishorne Way/Weatherill Road verges
Junction of Millhead Rd and Ernsborough Gardens, Honiton
Dove Close, Honiton
The Gissage (various sites), Honiton
East Devon Business Park, Honiton
Littletown Green, Honiton
Orchard Way roadside verges, Honiton
The Triangle at the end of Chestnut Way, Honiton
3-12 Whitebridges, Honiton
Upland Chase play area, Honiton
Upland Chase large green space, Honiton
Heron Road green space, Honiton

Ottery St Mary

Land of Canaan Car Park, OSM
Thorne Farm Way, OSM
Winters Lane playing field, OSM
Washbrook View, OSM
Corner of Yonder Street and Slade Road, OSM
Millcroft roadside, OSM


St Gregory's Churchyard, Seaton
Traceys Field, Seaton
Roman Way, Seaton
Seaton Cemetery
Round Orchard, Seaton (near Seaton Primary School)
Jurassic Car Park, Seaton (new woodland areas)
West Underleys, Seaton (roadside verge)
Underleys, Seaton (behind the bus stop)
Prestor (off of Sector Lane), Axminster
North Street play area bank, Axminster
Goldsmiths Lane, All Saints, Axminster
Bucknall Close, Branscombe
Cuckolds Pit, Chardstock
Northfields, Musbury


Clapps Lane Churchyard, Beer

Useful links about our pollinators to educate and help inspire behaviour change

RHS: Perfect for pollinators – Advice about which plants are best to attract and benefit pollinators.

Wild bee action pack – Learn about the bees visiting your garden and how to make them more welcome.

Bumblebee Conservation Trust: Bee kind – A tool to analyse how bee-friendly your garden is and to map out gardens across the country.

Bumblebee Conservation Trust: Managing your land for bees – Information about how you can manage your land in a bee-friendly way.

Campaign for the Farmed Environment – Pollinators – Advice about how to manage your farmland to benefit pollinators.

How to create a wildflower meadow – Blog from Natural England providing advice on how to set up and manage wildflower meadows.

Practical guide for farmers and land managers – Guides to creating and managing habitats for pollinators.

The solitary bees – A video to help promote the importance and awareness of solitary bees in the UK.

How To Attract More Bees To Your Garden (And Why It’s So Important) – A blog from a non-expert that is all about bees, their needs, their decline and how each of us can play a part in their recovery.

Devon Local Nature Partnerships – Information from DLNP on a variety of Devon environments and its wildlife

Trees and woodland


Grasslands, meadows and verges





Rivers and streams

Ponds and lakes