Sidmouth Byes get �44k make-over boost

Beauty spot to benefit from cash

THE Byes will benefit from more than �44,000 when residents begin a bid to boost biodiversity at the beauty spot.

A group hopes to enhance the area by planting trees, a jubilee wood, hedging, a community orchard and creating wildlife trails and educational resources along the 2km stretch from Sidmouth to Sidford.

Members of Friends of the Byes and BEE Project this week celebrated being awarded �44,399 in Big Lottery cash.

Work will begin this winter and carry on until spring 2012.

“We’d like to improve the biodiversity in this beautiful part of Sidmouth, to help offer more enjoyable and fulfilling visits for thousands of locals and visitors alike,” said Friends of the Byes chairman Michael Horsnell.

Jeremy Woodward, a project organiser, added: “Now it’s the fun part of planting and turning plans into reality.”

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The group will plant hedging and specimen trees, improve gates, install interpretation boards with maps, boost wildlife habitats and record wildlife professionally with biodiversity studies.

It is also hoped a ‘Jubilee Community Orchard’ can be created by asking individuals and businesses to sponsor a tree as a gift for, or in memory of a loved one.

All members of the public will be invited to share findings and photos of wildlife in The Byes.

Group secretary and teacher, Leah Stratton, has been introducing school children to the project and working to develop educational resources in the area.

She said: “The Byes is a great environmental educational resource. We hope to make this more available to all students in Sidmouth schools as well as visitors.”

Michael and Leah kick-started the initiative last year after discussing dying trees, eroding river banks and general lack of use at the Byes. The scheme gathered huge public support.

The project has also been awarded �1,000 form the Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen Funds to help produce biodiversity studies.

The Woodland Trust Jubilee Woods Project has donated hedging saplings.

To join or help the project contact Friends of the Byes by e-mailing

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