Remodelling of car parks will benefit wildlife and people

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:26 21 February 2020

Kat Ponting said improvements and modifications to most car parks is due to start this year. Picture: Matt Austin

Kat Ponting said improvements and modifications to most car parks is due to start this year. Picture: Matt Austin

Matt Austin

Many visitors to the commons of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths live nearby, travelling there by car or van.

Kat PontingKat Ponting

Access to roam Common Land is a legal right, whereas car parking on the heaths is not.

'Official' car parks and 'informal' areas scatter the commons, a significant wildlife site but one that is also recognised as supporting health and wellbeing, through recreation.

So how should we balance activities such as dog walking, cycling and horse riding, with the needs of wildlife and habitats?

How can the needs of those managing the site or using it for education or as a military training area continue to operate safely in an open public space?

Kat PontingKat Ponting

With population rise and increased visitor pressure what can we do to ensure the heaths will be here for future generations to enjoy?

Improvements and modifications to most car parks is due to start this year. Redistributing and upgrading parking across the site will improve safety and visitor experience whilst minimising wildlife disturbance, damage to trees or heritage features and antisocial behaviour.

Change can be unpopular, but the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust and its partners continue to consider and balance the many competing demands our heathlands face. We explain the reasons for any adjustments.

We hope that it demonstrates our commitment to the site, all its needs and all its users. If, like us, you feel privileged to enjoy the space, free of charge, all year round and understand the significance of the site and the responsibilities we hope you too will welcome these small but significant changes and be as excited to deliver long term improvements to visitor infrastructure whilst retaining the character of the heaths.

Read more here: Woodbury Common parking and access changes given seal of approval

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