‘Innovative’ new attractions at East Devon nature reserve sound good to wildlife-lovers

Solar-powered sound posts will chirp with on-demand birdsong at an East Devon nature reserve – so that visitors can feel ‘closer’ to its wildlife.

The pair of ‘innovative’ new stop-off points at Seaton Wetlands will play commentary and audio of the area’s feathered friends to help people learn more about the attraction’s treasures.

A trio of warblers’ calls can currently be heard at Stafford Marsh, while Borrow Pit is piping with kingfisher, moorhen and little grebe noises.

The recordings will be updated as the seasons change.

The Seaton Wetlands posts have been paid for by the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s (AONB) Sustainable Development Fund. This followed a funding bid by Axe Vale and District Conservation Society.

Graham Godbeer, chairman of East Devon AONB, said: “Funding was awarded for these sound posts because they offer an innovative way to introduce visitors of all ages to wildlife and provide a chance to hear bird songs which very few people hear.

“We are especially impressed with the benefit they provide to those with visual impairment.”

Doug Rudge, of the Axe Vale and District Conservation Society, said: “These posts will help people to recognise wildlife sounds and they are especially good for people with visual impairment and for young children.

“We applied for the funding because we want to encourage visitors of all ages and abilities to explore this wonderful place and to experience the joys of getting closer to the nature that they see or hear.

“For example, the most popular bird on the wetlands is probably the kingfisher; and the best way to see one is to recognise its call because they often announce their presence with a high-pitched ‘peep peep’!”​

Councillor Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) portfolio holder for the environment, said: “They bring an exciting new way for everyone to learn about wildlife and enrich their experience of nature.”

East Devon AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund is open to applications and funds are available for community projects.

Visit http://www.eastdevonaonb.org.uk/enhance/sustainable-development-fund or contact Pete Youngman on 01404 310012.

The sound posts were supplied by Black Box AV, which provides specialist interpretation technology for visitor attractions around the UK.

Read more East Devon news here.

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