Lympstone pensioner, 91, completes challenge to visit 50 Devon nature reserves

A 91-year-old Lympstone woman has raised more than £6,000 for the Devon Wildlife Trust after visiting all of the charity’s nature reserves.

Pensioner Mary Truell, since April, visited all 50 Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserves, raising awareness of the charity and raising funds in support of its work.

Her challenge began in April with a visit to Dunsford nature reserve near Moretonhampsted, and ended recently with a walk and celebratory cream tea at Marsland reserve, in North Devon.

Mary thanked all who made her trips possible, calling her challenge a ‘revelation’.

During her travels, she ‘leapt’ from tussock to tussock across bogs, met friendly Exmoor ponies and, explored abandoned railway lines transformed into peaceful woodland with birdsong.

Mary said: “I have been amazed by the hard work, specialist knowledge, passionate, positive outlook of the Devon Wildlife Trust people who have accompanied me on my visits. Plus, their infectious good cheer raised my morale a hundredfold.

“I need to pay tribute too, to my friends and relatives who have accompanied me.

“Having them join me on visits was a joyful bonus. Their delight when made aware of the variety of work in action by Devon Wildlife Trust made my challenge even more worthwhile.”

Visiting all 50 Devon Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves took Mary to East Devon and the Pebblebed Heaths, Dartmoor, the Culm grasslands in North Devon and woodlands and salt marshes in the South Hams.

The pensioner hopes to raise further funds now her quest is over.

Steve Hussey, from Devon Wildlife Trust, joined Mary on several of her visits.

He said: We’re delighted that Mary has completed her mammoth fundraising challenge. It will make a real difference to our work for local wildlife.

“Mary joins a very select band of people who have visited all our many nature reserves.

“I’ve been privileged to join Mary as she has undertaken several of her explorations and her passion for wildlife and for learning have been an inspiration. She is a remarkable person.”

There is still time to donate to Mary Truell’s fundraising efforts.

Cheques, made payable to Devon Wildlife Trust, can be sent to: Devon Wildlife Trust, Commercial Road, Exeter, EX2 4RB. Mark the back of the cheque ‘Mary Truell challenge’.


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