Sidmouth residents asked to dig in for �44k Byes project

ORGANISERS of a �44,000 project to boost biodiversity at Sidmouth’s The Byes hope residents can dig in and aid their efforts.

Friends of The Byes members will begin planting hedging at the beauty spot on Tuesday, November 29, and continue on Thursday, December 1, as part of National Tree Week. They hope members of the public will lend them a helping hand.

Further sessions, aimed at allowing as many people as possible to take part, will take place next Saturday, December 3, and Sunday, December 4. The group hopes to enhance the Byes by planting trees, a jubilee wood, hedging, a community orchard and creating wildlife trails and educational resources.

Work will begin this winter and carry on until spring, 2012, thanks to �44,399 in Big Lottery cash.

“Everybody that enjoys this stunning piece of parkland is invited to join Friends of the Byes, to participate in our community events, help protect the natural beauty of the Byes and socialise with other like-minded folk,” said chairman Michael Horsnell.

The group has been awarded �1,000 from the Sid Vale Association (SVA) Keith Owen Fund to help produce biodiversity studies on the Byes area.

The Friends of the Byes, while working with the SVA, are separate from them. The SVA has a comprehensive conservation programme for Margaret’s Meadow.

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The group is also researching historical uses of the Byes and would welcome photos or stories.

Friends of the Byes also aims to create a ‘Jubilee Community Orchard’ by asking individuals and businesses to sponsor a tree as a gift or in memory of a loved one. A cost of �50 will cover a tree’s purchase, planting and caring for it into the future.

Anyone wishing to help with the planting of hedging can meet organisers in Sid Meadow from 1.30 to 3.30pm. All ages are welcome. Join or help Friends of the Byes by e-mailing or by calling Sally on (01395) 577383.