Praise for volunteers who dedicate time to maintain East Devon's beauty spots

PUBLISHED: 09:31 22 April 2016 | UPDATED: 09:31 22 April 2016

Peasland's Knapp new gate and entrance way. Wild Lupins on Knapp Hill, Sidmouth. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 1269-21-11AW. Click on myphotos24 to order your copy of this photograph

Peasland's Knapp new gate and entrance way. Wild Lupins on Knapp Hill, Sidmouth. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 1269-21-11AW. Click on myphotos24 to order your copy of this photograph

Archant

New recruits welcome as group gets set to mark third year of preserving conservation sites

Dedicated conservation volunteers have clocked an ‘amazing’ 1,800 hours to keep East Devon’s countryside looking beautiful.

A group established in September 2013 has gone ‘from strength to strength’, and members have been praised for their commitment to maintaining nature reserves, including Sidmouth’s Peaslands Knapp and Seaton Wetlands.

East Devon Conservation volunteers work under the guidance of countryside ranger Nathan Robinson and play an important role in the development and preservation of the district’s wildlife and habitats.

Nathan said: “It’s been a pleasure working with such a diverse group of dedicated people. All the volunteers come from different backgrounds and each volunteering session provides a great social occasion, bringing people from across East Devon’s communities together.

“Each volunteer offers something different, whether it is expertise in hedge laying, a passion for wildlife protection or the ability to tell a good joke at tea time.”

Volunteers say they have developed new practical skills and grown in their understanding of habitat management techniques through involvement in a variety of tasks throughout the year.

The varied work includes scrub clearance, coppicing, tree felling, hedge laying, wildlife surveys and control of invasive species.

Volunteers are essential for the conservation and preservation of East Devon’s countryside sites.

Nathan added that the group is very welcoming and there is no experience necessary, just a willingness to get stuck in.

If you are interested in volunteering for the countryside team, email countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk or call 01395 517557.

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