Helping hand needed at East Devon's nature reserves

PUBLISHED: 13:50 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:00 17 June 2010

WHY NOT celebrate the New Year by getting out into East Devon s beautiful countryside and helping at some of the wonderful nature reserves across the district?

WHY NOT celebrate the New Year by getting out into East Devon's beautiful countryside and helping at some of the wonderful nature reserves across the district?

East Devon District Council's Countryside Service is running a series of volunteer work parties in January to get you out and active before your New Year resolutions wear off!

Axe Estuary reserves

With all the work Countryside Service staff have been doing on the Axe Estuary reserves lately and lots planned for the future, they are launching a brand new programme of volunteer involvement to help keep the sites ship-shape. The first task on Friday 9 January is to clear scrub from the Borrow Pit Island at Seaton Marshes to provide areas for roosting and nesting birds before the breeding season. There is work on the "mainland" too if you don't fancy a trip across the water. Meet at 10.00 am in the nature reserve car park in Hillymead and bring a packed lunch. Work parties on the Axe will be on every second Friday of the month.

Trinity Hill Local Nature Reserve

At Trinity Hill Local Nature Reserve near Uplyme, the Friends of the reserve will be continuing their valuable heath-land management on 17 January. Please meet at 10.00 am in the nature reserve car park.

Offwell Woodland Education Centre

Devon Water Vole Project volunteers are going out nearly every week in 2009 to manage pond and river habitat to make it more suitable for water voles, helping them to gain a firmer foothold in Devon. On Friday 16 January volunteers will be clearing scrub near the River Tale. Then on Wednesday 21 January at 9.30, they will be clearing rhododendron from the leats and ponds within the Offwell Woodland Education Centre. There will be plenty more opportunities to give water voles a helping hand over the year. Please ring Project Officer Mervyn Newman for meeting places and times on 01395 517557.

No experience is needed for any of these tasks. Stout boots and gloves are advised and please bring a packed lunch. Anyone is welcome, but parents or guardians are asked to stay with under 16s. Please contact the Countryside Service on 01395 517557 to let them know you are coming or for more information.

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