Electric fence alteration for Sidmouth beauty spot

ELECTRIC fences at a Sidmouth beauty spot will be erected so users of the area can avoid them.

The structures are put in place every year at the Fire Beacon Nature Reserve to help contain grazing cattle.

Electric fences help keep in cows tasked with trampling and chomping invasive vegetation that threatens to overwhelm the site.

The RSPB, which manages the land on behalf of Sidmouth Town Council, introduced Galloway Heifers in a bid to halt encroaching birch and bracken.

Experts will change the layout of fences so they avoid a small path running around the brow of the hill at Fire Beacon – so people will not need to open an electric fence gate.

Town councillors noted the alteration when they met on Monday.

“In the past, we’ve taken a lot of old bull about these fences,” said Councillor Peter Sullivan.

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Cllr John Dyson added: “The principle of (electric fences) avoiding the footpath is a sensible one.”

“It satisfies people who have an aversion to electric fences. Now someone can walk around without crossing one,” said Cllr Ian McKenzie-Edwards.

Plans for a permanent boundary around Sidmouth’s Fire Beacon Nature Reserve have attracted controversy.

It is claimed a proposed 2,200 meter post and wire fence, costing more than an estimated �5,000 in Natural England cash, is needed to stop cattle from straying from the site as part of a sustainable long term land management plan.

Proposals have garnered objections and protest from some users.