Waitrose cheque will help fund new work by Friends of The Byes

PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 September 2018

Chris Pettit from Friends of The Byes receives a cheque from Kieran Fuller of Waitrose. Picture: Contributed

Chris Pettit from Friends of The Byes receives a cheque from Kieran Fuller of Waitrose. Picture: Contributed

Contributed

Volunteers plan to plant more wild flowers, and improve accessibility in some areas

The Byes, soon to have more wild flowers and plants. Picture: Alan TolhurstThe Byes, soon to have more wild flowers and plants. Picture: Alan Tolhurst

The Friends of The Byes, who work voluntarily to protect and cultivate the much-loved riverside area, have received a welcome donation towards the exciting new work they are planning.

They were presented with a cheque for £378 by Waitrose under its Community Matters scheme.

The money will go towards new equipment, plants and seeds for the group’s next project.

Secretary of Friends of the Byes, Monica Matthews, said:

Chris Pettit from Friends of The Byes receives a cheque from Kieran Fuller of Waitrose. Picture: ContributedChris Pettit from Friends of The Byes receives a cheque from Kieran Fuller of Waitrose. Picture: Contributed

“As well as our usual programme of looking after the existing areas of the Byes such as the community orchard and wildflower meadows, and planting and maintaining trees and hedges, we are trying to add more areas of biodiversity and make it even more interesting for people visiting the Byes, whether on a regular basis or while on holiday.

“We are looking to underplant some of the hedges and copses with native wild flowers and woodland plants, and have already tried this on a very small scale in one of the copses.

“In the longer term we would also like to make some areas more accessible to a wider range of people.

“Thanks to a grant earlier in the year from Sidmouth Town Council, we are now able to label the fruit trees in and outside the orchard so that people can see what varieties are growing and hopefully have a taste as well.

“We would like to thank Waitrose for their wonderful Community Matters Scheme and many thanks to all the people who voted for our group during the July campaign, their support is very much appreciated.”

Every month, shoppers in Waitrose can vote for one of three local causes which the company has chosen to support. The amount each organisation gets depends on how many votes it receives.

The Friends of the Byes work with Sidmouth Town Council, East Devon District Council, The Sid Vale Association, Sidmouth Arboretum Group and the National Trust.

They meet on most Saturday mornings to tackle small maintenance tasks such as clearing paths, planting shrubs and small trees, maintaining the wild flower meadow and beating down persistent invaders such as Himalayan Balsam.

Anyone interested in joining the group is asked to can contact Kati on 07817 041 239 or email FOTByes@gmail.com

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