Views sought on East Devon pebblebed commons
A TWO month public consultation begins tomorrow (Saturday) seeking views on how East Devon s unique pebblebed commons should be looked after in the future.
A TWO month public consultation begins tomorrow (Saturday) seeking views on how East Devon's unique pebblebed commons should be looked after in the future.
The first open day tomorrow (August 22) is hosted by wardens and rangers from East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust and the RSPB at Joneys Cross car park on the A3052 between Newton Poppleford and Halfway Inn, from 10am to 4pm.
The Trust and RSPB jointly manage the commons, and want to help people learn more about why they need to be carefully managed both now and in the future.
The lowland heaths are among just a few remaining in Britain - making them rarer than tropical rainforests.
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Commons warden Bungy Williams explained: "No decisions on future management have been made, and Natural England, the Trust and RSPB are very keen to get the views of local communities, organisations and users of the commons before making any choices."
The pebblebed commons, one of the largest man-made heathland areas left in the UK, depends on continuing management for its survival.
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"Without proper management, grasses come to dominate the dry heath and invade the wet mires which are rich in wildlife," said Mr Williams.
"More people and dogs could mean greater disturbance to wildlife and more pressure on car parks and the path network."
He said there could be further pressure with new housing being built in the future.
"To do nothing and let the site deteriorate, both as a public space and as a nationally and internationally designated site for wildlife, is not an option," he said.
Other open days (10am-4pm) will take place on Thursday, August 27 at Woodbury Castle car park by the B3180 and Tuesday, September 1 at Squabmoor car park, east of the B3179, signposted Reservoir.
Drop in days (10am-4pm) will take place at Knowle village hall, on Saturday, September 26, Newton Poppleford village hall, Saturday, October 10 and the Church Rooms, Woodbury, Saturday, October 17.
The report Footprint Ecology can be viewed at www.pebblebedheaths.org/home.ashx. Views can be emailed to Lesley Kerry at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post to Mount Pleasant, Stoneyford, Colaton Raleigh, EX10 0HZ.