East Devon Local Group contacts
01404 861 406
Christina Bows (for details of events)
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Devon Wildlife Trust runs over 100 events each year, including walks and talks, open days and a festival. Find out more here.
East Devon Local Group
Indoor eventsIllustrated talks in Kilmington village hall cover a wide range of topics. Species-related talks - whales, otters, dormice, bees – are always popular especially if the speaker comes with living specimens such as snakes and falcons. Other subjects often have a conservation theme: the need for a Marine Bill to protect of Lyme Bay; the future of water voles; DWT’s response to climate change.
Outdoor eventsIn East Devon, along the Rivers Axe and Exe, we are very privileged to have exceptionally valuable estuaries for over-wintering birds and arrange outings to watch them. Other activities include fungal forays, visiting flower-rich meadows, watching butterflies and dragonflies, fossil hunting, listening to the dawn chorus.
Hawkswood nature reserve
Hawkswood lies to the south of Honiton. Members of the group regularly visit to record species and to help with conservation work. It has diverse habitats from heath and mire to woodland. It is rich in fungi – over 300 species have been recorded. It is also noted for its butterflies – over 30 species have been recorded. Buzzards and green woodpeckers breed here. Read about the history of the site.
Every year, the group sell DWT Christmas cards at the Cards for Good Causes shop in Honiton.
In March, Rod Lawrence gave a fascinating talk about Forests; he described the evolution of the landscape from the ice desert that was the UK immediately after the ice retreated 15,000 years ago to climax vegetation of woodland. We heard how valuable they are to us in so many ways – carrs helping to slow flooding, production of oxygen, absorption of carbon dioxide, their place in the food chain. In the Australian rainforest, the cassowary is under threat from alien wild boar who rob the piles of seeds they defecate. Without passing through the cassowary’s body, the seeds of 40 species of trees will not germinate; if the cassowary becomes extinct, so will those 40 species. And Rod would like Dartmoor to be left to revert back to woodland.
In April, Marjorie Waters led a walk at Stonebarrow. This is her report: A crisp, sunny day and our group numbered 17. The Alexanders were at their best, an impressive stand. The starry white flowers of Greater Stitchwort lined the paths and great patches of Common Dog-violet vied with the early Bluebells as to how blue they could be. The Gorse, fragrant and gloriously yellow against the blue sky was also in competition with the brilliant glossy yellow of the Lesser Celandines. No wonder they were Wordsworth’s favourite flower. The Blackcap, (well named the poor man’s nightingale) sang all about us Chiffchaff cheered us and a Stonechat perched high on a Gorse bush for us. The Green-winged Orchids didn’t let us down, either. A few had emerged just in time for us. Not the carpets of this time last year but worth the visit, nevertheless. Of course the views were wonderful- from the Cobb at Lyme to Portland in the East. It was said over and over “How lucky we are to have such places on our doorstep.”
Future events (booking essential)
- Saturday 11th May: 10.00a.m-5.00p.m but meet 10am and /or 2pm for briefing and survey sheets.. “The Life of Axmouth Village Brook”. Meet at Coronation Corner Axmouth, nr Seaton (SY 254911). Help to survey the brooks creatures, plants and physical features. Led by Scott West of Devon Wildlife Trust. Bring clipboard, pencils, fishing net ( if possible ) and enthusiasm. No special knowledge required . Accompanied children over 5 specially welcome - as are naturalists! Bring picnic if wished to eat in the garden of Combe Farm ( across from brook ) . Suggested donation £3. Booking with Christina ( East Devon group 01297 23822) by May 9.
Sunday 9th June: 10am-2pm. “Butterflies and orchids on Goat Island and the Chasm”. Meet junction of Stepps Road Axmouth and Barn Close Lane (GR265903). Strenuous walk on Axmouth to Lyme Regis National Nature Reserve. Led by Donald Campbell – author of World Heritage guide to the Undercliffs. Bring picnic. Suggested donation £3.
July: “Himalayan Balsam Pulling”. Every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday in July Louise Woolley is organising Himalayan Balsam pulling sessions on the Coly/Axe. 10am- 3.30pm. East Devon group would encourage every able bodied member of DWT to spend at least one day this month helping.
Please contact Louise for the days meeting point on 01395 512536 or 07905418460.
Take picnic and gloves and wear long sleeves and trousers. Together we can make a difference and its fun !
Saturday 6th July 2-5.00 p.m. “ Bee Aware”. Combe Farm, Axmouth near Seaton (GR 263910). Honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees. Explore their importance, needs and life cycles and find as many as possible to identify in the orchard, community woodland orchard, and the garden followed by cream tea. Led by beekeeper Ann Pengelly and naturalist Marjorie Waters. £ 6 to include tea.
Please book by July 4 with Christina 01297 23822.
August: “Himalayan Balsam Pulling”. Every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August Louise Woolley is organising sessions on the Coly/Axe. 10am- 3.30pm. East Devon group would encourage every able bodied member of DWT to do at least one day this month helping. Please contact Louise for the days meeting point on 01395 512536 or 07905418460. Take picnic and gloves and wear long sleeves and trousers. Together we can make a difference and its fun !