Sidmouth meadow named Peaslands Knapp

Sid Vale Association set to offer a haven for nature lovers at land in Sidmouth

AN ACRE of land situated between Peaslands Road and East Devon District Council-owned Knapp, will be called Peaslands Knapp.

The name was chose by Sid Vale Association which has bought the site, which measures just over an acre, to protect it for future generations.

Kate Tobin and Patrick Stubbs, who organise SVA working parties to maintain its meadows and woodlands, met at Peaslands Knapp last week to see if its proposed route through trees and up the hill will meet the needs of all age groups.

Although steep, a zig zag path is proposed to allow appreciation of the mature trees and snowdrops, together with magnificent views east and west from the top of the hill.

As a charity, the SVA seeks “to protect, develop and improve for the benefit of the public, the beauties, amenities and heritage of the valley of the River Sid.”

Much planning work has taken place since the acquisition, through its Landscape Fund, of Peaslands Knapp last October. At a recent meeting of the executive committee, proposals were agreed on the next steps to conserve the meadow and enable public enjoyment of the hillside.

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Conifers in an overgrown hedge may be removed this winter to reduce shade to a nearby house and meadow.

More on an ancient hedgebank at the top of the hill will also go and a traditional Devon hedge, with hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn, will be planted in its place.

An ecological survey, conducted by Peter Beale for the SVA, has shown the steep meadow facing west has considerable conservation interest.

To keep it free of dog mess; which affects wildlife and users, a fence will mark out a new route to the Knapp for dog owners, and gates into the meadow for those without dogs.

A new gateway will link this land with the community orchard in the Knapp and seats will be provided for people to enjoy the views.

“If all goes according to plan by Easter, Sidmouth residents will have a new wildlife area to enjoy in the middle of the town, thanks to the Sid Vale Association Landscape Fund and the work of volunteers to make it viable,” said an SVA spokeswoman.

A new sign, similar to the wooden one at Margaret’s Meadow, will be installed and the association hopes to hear from anyone local able to quote for the work. Contact (05603) 278 602.