Options to develop nature recovery networks to be considered by district council

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 September 2020

The wildflower meadows in The Byes were highlighted in the report as a success Picture: Brenda Cockett

The wildflower meadows in The Byes were highlighted in the report as a success Picture: Brenda Cockett

(c) copyright newzulu.com

A range of options to ‘stitch back together Britain’s tattered natural fabric of wild land’ are due to be considered by East Devon District Council.

In a report due to be discussed at its next cabinet meeting, a number of recommendations have been made that could be adopted across the district as part of its Climate Change Strategy.

It is all part of plans to develop a nature recovery network which is a concept that allows wildlife to thrive and plants, animals, seeds, nutrients and water to move from place to place and enables the natural world to adapt to change.

Among the recommendations in the report are suggestions that nature recovery networks and re-wilding projects are extended, but with carefully defined aspirations, identifying green space to assess their suitability for re-wilding and to identify sites in every town in East Devon for re-wilding.

Other recommendations include identifying areas of housing land suitable for nature recovery, with the idea also including consulting with tenants about any proposals and to monitor the benefits arising from the process.

The report said: “To recover, wildlife cannot be confined to nature reserves.

“We should create a Nature Recovery Network that extends into every part of our towns, villages and countryside, bringing wildlife and the benefits of a healthy natural world into every part of life.

“Letting flowers bloom along road verges, installing green roofs across our skylines, planting more street trees to give people shady walks in the summer, encouraging whole communities to garden for wild plants and animals - it’s time to stitch back together Britain’s tattered natural fabric of wild land.

“In doing so, we will not only help nature recover, but enable even more people to experience our natural world.”

The report goes on to recognise the value of working in partnership and highlights some successes in the district, including the long grass areas in Exmouth that have been created in Phear Park, Brixington Park and St Johns Road playing field and the wildflower areas established in The Byes, Sidmouth.

However, it is also acknowledged that not all areas are suitable for re-wilding.

It said: “In some areas we may experience a proliferation of litter, dog mess, and create vision barriers on road verges.

“Re-wilding will not be appropriate at every space and there will always remain a need to keep some areas cut tight with short grass giving a more manicured appearance.”

The report is due to be discussed at EDDC’s virtual cabinet meeting on Wednesday, September 30, at 6pm


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