Have your say on future of nature reserve

PUBLISHED: 16:30 14 December 2018

Fire Beacon Hill. Picture: East Devon District Council

Fire Beacon Hill. Picture: East Devon District Council

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Nature reserve managers are appealing for the public’s views as they plan for the future of the valued open space.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is inviting residents to share their thoughts on the future of Fire Beacon Hill nature reserve.

Fire Beacon Hill is managed by the RSPB Aylesbeare team on behalf of Sidmouth Town Council and the charity wants to hear views on current grazing and possible options for the future.

The nature reserve adjoins land owned by the Woodland Trust and Forestry Commission and they, along with East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, will be consulted on possible plans. Options for future development include making changes to allow more grazing and co-ordinating with neighbours the Woodland Trust and Forestry Commission to look at introducing better links between their sites to encourage integration of habitats. Toby Taylor, site manager of East Devon’s nature reserve at RSPB, said: “We had a session on Tuesday (December 4) and the feedback there was ‘keep it as is’ but I think the key thing is individuals don’t appreciate that to keep it as it is, you need to do something. If you leave it, it changes quite dramatically.”

By the end of February 2019, the charity will have reviewed and comments received and it will use them to inform its proposals. To give your views, you can attend an open day at Woodland Trust’s Core Hill Wood car park on Thursday, December 13, between 10am and 4pm, or an evening drop-in at Stowford Community Centre on Wednesday, December 12 between 6pm and 9pm.

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