07972 175340 (after 7pm)
Please help us by getting involved in the Exeter Local Group
Any help publicising and organising events, developing new contacts, and thinking of new event ideas would be welcomed. The group committee usually informally meets in the early evening after work three times a year, to plan future events and projects. Please get in contact if you would be interested.
Exeter Local Group
Get to know ‘hidden’ Exeter and meet like-minded people! Exeter Local Group is involved in discovering urban wildlife and practical conservation activities within the Exeter city boundary and sometimes beyond.
Throughout the year the group organises:
• Events, walks and talks on natural history, wildlife and environmental topics
• Opportunities for involvement with wildlife projects such as Exeter Wild City and Wildlife Festivals
• Practical conservation tasks at local nature reserves looking after wildlife habitats
• Joint events with other local organisations including Exeter City Council Countryside Service, Exeter Bat Group, Devon Mammal Group and Devon Reptile and Amphibian Group
What we do
Presently the group focuses on active involvement in conservation projects, and making connections between local communities and wildlife. Most events are free or have a small charge to cover expenses, especially for those travelling by public transport, bicycle, and feet. Though donations, 100% of which go towards wildlife conservation in Devon, are very gratefully received.
To give you a flavour, recent activities have included:
• The Old Sludge Beds is the only DWT nature reserve within the city boundary (not including the adjoining Exe Reed Beds reserve, which is only accessible by boat). This is our most local reserve, and Exeter Local Group takes part in regular practical conservation tasks, wildlife projects and other events at the site
• This is not to overlook that Exeter City Council Countryside Service looks after a network of wildlife-rich Valley Parks. Exeter Local Group has helped with new hedge and wildflower plug planting at Ludwell Valley Park, scrub bashing with Exeter University students at Duryard Valley Park and pond creation at Mincinglake Valley Park
• DWT’s Cricklepit Mill garden is teeming with wildlife and is a great example of how you can encourage biodiversity in an urban area. Exeter Local Group has run events constructing nestboxes and re-sowing the wildflower meadow area.
• Habitat creation and enhancement schemes at schools and colleges, community centres and business premises.
If you would be interested in developing wildlife-friendly features in your school, community or business grounds, please get in touch.
• Talks on various topics, for example Exeter Wild City, and, in partnership with other groups, on smooth snakes and hedgehogs
• Behind the scenes at Exeter Museum
• Stall and activities at Exeter Green Fair
Walks and wildlife surveys
• In 2010 we joined with Ambios ‘Nature at Sundown’ project and Devon Mammal Group to carry out a repeat otter survey of the city. Otters are sometimes seen by the canal and Millennium Bridge and have been filmed passing under DWT’s Cricklepit Mill
• Swifts are urban birds whose numbers nationally seem to be declining. A joint project between RSPB, Exeter City Council and Exeter Wild City seeks to record swifts in the city and to fit urban buildings with special swift nest boxes. If your building could support a swift nest box please let us know
• Annual bat walks around the River Exe and Exeter quay, jointly with Devon Mammal Group and Exeter Bat Group and other opportunities to help with bat surveys
Exciting outings to sites beyond Exeter
• Wild Daffodil walks at Dunsford nature reserve
• Guided walk at Dawlish Warren to look for sand lizards and sand crocuses with Teignbridge District Council Countryside Service
• Fossil hunting at Charmouth, Dorset ,via the coastliner bus
• Orchid walk at a traditionally-managed farm in East Devon
For families with children under 16’s, find out about the refreshed Exeter Wildlife Watch group
For more details of activities please have a look at the Devon Wildlife Trust's events leaflet or visit the events webpage.