A ceremony has been held to officially open Tipton St John's new woodland boardwalk and thank all those involved in the project.

The raised walkway has been built from upcycled plastic in an area of wet woodland near the River Otter - an important nature habitat - by Tipton's Eager Beavers environmental group.

it was completed this summer after nearly a year of planning and work. The group got permission to start the project from David Birch, chairman of Tipton Playing Field Association. The main funding came from the East Devon AONB, for whom the Eager Beavers are ambassadors. The Wild About Devon scheme, managed by Devon Communities Together, provided nearly £500 towards tools, which are now being used to help maintain the area. East Devon Law donated £250 which enabled the group to create a bird hide. The project is still ongoing, as they plan to install seating and interpretation boards.

Sidmouth Herald: Opening of Tipton St John woodland boardwalk

The ceremony was held on Monday, November 6 and was attended by the East Devon AONB manager Chris Woodruff and Rod Birtles of Devon Communities Together, as well as the volunteers who built the boardwalk or were otherwise involved in the project.

Lisette Johnston, co-founder of the Eager Beavers, said the boardwalk gives people better access to a rare and important wildlife habitat and enables them to look after it.

She said: "The area floods regularly and as such it tends to be muddy at all times of the year. We are very lucky to have it here in Tipton as it is an extremely rich invertebrate habitat and as such supports a large number of rare species.

"There has been a considerable loss of this habitat in Britain in the last century due to clearance, conversion of land use or drainage, so we need to protect and preserve these areas as much as possible."

She expressed gratitude to the organisations that funded the boardwalk, and added: "For me personally it was the work of our amazing volunteers that made this happen; Ed Brougham, Julia Peterken and Nigel Davies who all spent hours putting it together over several weeks - and it is testament to them that this happened at all. We also have other members of Eager Beavers TSJ who regularly sweep the area and ensure that it is clean and functional to use."