How ‘plogging’ will protect Exmouth’s wildlife and the great outdoors

Trailblazing new green pursuit ‘plogging’ is among a host of fun for all ages now Exmouth is getting back to nature.

Celebrating the opening of a new Withycombe Raleigh public green space on Saturday, June 15, visitors young and old spent the day enjoying outdoor fun at Hillcrest community nature reserve.

The official opening tied in with the launch of Wild Exmouth, which encourages people to enjoy nature and the great outdoors, joining in rockpool rambles, tree planting and protecting the environment by plogging – jogging while picking up litter.

Debs Rylands, Wild Exmouth ranger, hoped the town would become a haven for wildlife.

She said: “We were delighted to see adults and children alike exploring the new nature reserve.

“The opening of this new green space, coincides with the launch of Wild Exmouth. It’s a new project which will improve the town’s environment and encourage residents to enjoy nature and the great outdoors.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to get involved in fun activities as well as making the town a haven for wildlife; join in rockpool rambles, tree-planting, plogging – jogging and picking up litter, sharing your ideas and much more.”

Councillor Peter Faithful, East Devon District Council’s  (EDDC) deputy portfolio holder for the environment, said: “This special wild space, in the heart of Exmouth, provides an important wildlife corridor through the town.

“It makes a great place for families to get close to nature.”

Tim Dafforn, East Devon’s Countryside team leader, said: “We’re thrilled to take on the ownership and management of this new nature reserve within the Withycombe Valley for local people to enjoy.”

The three-year community wildlife project was made possible through a £65,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant secured by EDDC, with further funding from the district council and Exmouth Town Council.

Wild Exmouth will be managed and run by the East Devon Countryside team in partnership with EDDC’s StreetScene, with the aim of boosting green spaces in Exmouth and encouraging residents to take part in practical activities and events.

The project aims to improve the town’s environment and connect communities by strengthening wildlife areas, including the valleys of Bapton and Withycombe brooks.

New outdoor activities planned include community events, volunteer days and campaigns to improve spaces for wildlife.

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