Time to celebrate

Exminster Greenspaces Team named as runner up in Devon Local Nature Partnership’s award for best Wildlife Community Group for 2022.

It was wonderful news to hear that the hard work of the village Greenspaces team was recognised by a distinguished panel of judges for their work across Exminster to enhance opportunities for wildlife , and building awareness and engagement with the community. Great motivation to build on this for the future. An awards ceremony is to be held on 6 December, when we’ll collect our bat box prize.

Theme 1 - Building on existing voluntary action

The Exminster Greenspaces team have had a season. Highlights include;

  • Tree planting, including new Copper Beech as part of jubilee celebrations and cherry trees in Deepway Green, including one donated by the village WI.
  • Establishment of a small community tree nursery at Spurfield allotments – with kit supplied by DWT under the Devon Treescapes Project.
  • Also under the project, joined the fixed point photography citizen science progarmme.
  • Installation of Barn Owl box in Crockwells Meadow, funded through donation.
  • Bulb planting at several locations.

ACT Wildlife Warden Scheme – Following the sad loss of the previous Wildlife Warden operating in Exminster under the ACT network working across Teignbridge, we have agreed with the scheme co-ordinator that the Greenspaces team will take up this role. We shall be following the groups induction stages this month. The link here should help with co-ordination and focus.

Display at the environment fair

Theme 2 - Community engagement

After the Spring/Early summer promotion of the Devon Wildlife Trust’s wildlife  gardening award scheme, the village had attracted a significant number of entries  and approximate positions captured. These are spread across a wide range of locations through the village. A second promotional effort will be re launched in Spring 2023.

Exminster’s second Environment Fair on 15 October was another big success, with a prominent display covering Greenspaces activity, wider Nature Recovery info and a display on wildlife gardening – with free foxgloves!

The Greenspaces team have continued with regular Facebook and Scene magazine posts on project and nature themes. EWG articles in Scene have included items on grasses, trees , bats and wildlife gardening.

Theme 3 - Partnership working

Key focus over recent months has been on developing approaches for wildlife management in St Martin’s churchyard. On site discussions with the churchwarden and the TDC Greenspaces team manager are now being developed. Log piles have already been created and areas identified.

The team at Westbank are developing a community allotment and wildlife area at their site off Reddaway Drive which will add another positive wildlife friendly site in the village.

We have discussions in the diary with New Leaf ( part of the Devon Partnership NHS Trust) to explore further opportunities for community based projects and contribution to positive wildlife management at their site. This discussion also links with engagement with the TDC Greenspaces team managing the Ridgetop Country Park, and the wildlife habitat links between the Park and the core village.

Looking Forward: A range of partner discussions are underway. We hope that highlights for 2023 will include a fruition of our discussions on churchyard management and development of a major bird and bat box project – with trigger funding received from a donation received this year.

Look out too for the second Exminster Wassail in January 2023 in the village orchard!