Nature reserves remain open, but keep it local

Devon Wildlife Trust announces that its nature reserves will remain open during lockdown, but the message is people should stay local and observe national lockdown restrictions.
warleigh point

Great views are available at Warleigh Point nature reserve, close to Plymouth

Throughout the two previous periods of lockdown during 2020 Devon Wildlife Trust kept its 58 nature reserves open to the public. Now the charity, which has been caring for the county’s nature since 1962, is announcing that this will remain the case during the current lockdown.

Steve Hussey of Devon Wildlife Trust said:

“We were often asked during previous lockdowns whether our nature reserves remained open to the public, the answer was, “Yes”. So during this third national lockdown we wanted to reassure people that our sites will continue to be open and free to use for their daily daily exercise. However, we ask that people follow the Government’s rules – that they stay local and don't travel around the county to visit nature reserves. It's also important that people observe rules on social distancing and mixing. We want people to be able to access their local green spaces while remaining safe.”

The charity, which cares for some of Devon’s most precious and beautiful wildlife havens, says the experience of last year has shown the importance of access to local green spaces in people’s good health and well-being.

Steve Hussey said:

“The comments, letters and social media messages we’ve received over the past ten months have shown us the great value that people place in their local nature reserves. Many people have told us that the ability to exercise in the natural world has made a crucial difference to them. It’s well-known that time spent outside in nature can boost mood, while regular exercise also has the same effect. Green spaces allow people to combine these two things.”

"However, during the current lockdown we have seen some flouting of the Government's rules. For example, our staff discovered people staying overnight at one of our most popular nature reserves. This isn't acceptable."

 

Sun shining through the woods at Halsdon

Discover classic winter walks at Halsdon nature reserve. Photo, Kevin New

While the gates of Devon Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves remain open, the charity is keen to stress that with their use comes responsibility.

Steve Hussey said:

“We’re taking measures to ensure that there is responsible use of our sites. All our visitor centres and wildlife watching hides remain closed during this lockdown. Also, people should not travel to visit our nature reserves. The message is keep it local.

We also want to stress the need to respect wildlife. This means taking litter home, clearing up after your dog and keeping dogs under close control at all times. It’s vital that our precious wildlife doesn’t become the loser in people’s desire to escape the stresses and strains of the lockdown. Our message is - use our nature reserves responsibly and they will remain as great green escapes for people, and havens for wildlife.”

Details of the locations of all 58 of Devon Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves can found on the 'Visit Us' pages of the charity's website. The ‘Getting Active Outdoors’ pages of The Trust’s website also contain lots of activity ideas for young and old to enjoy the great outdoors including in your garden, local park or other green space. 

Support our work on nature reserves by becoming a Devon Wildlife Trust supporter today.