Nature reserve improved

IMPROVEMENT work at an Exmouth nature reserve was completed this week and will benefit both people and wildlife.

IMPROVEMENT work at an Exmouth nature reserve was completed this week and will benefit both people and wildlife.

Devon Wildlife Trust's (DWT) Bystock nature reserve has been given a major boost thanks to a �10,000 grant from Devon County Council.

The RockETS scheme, part of Defra's Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, has paid for a new bridge linking two stretches of boardwalk around the reservoir at the main entrance of the reserve.

The bridge will allow much better access for people with mobility difficulties, said Matt Boydell, DWT's Land Management Manager: "At present Bystock's entrance leads visitors into the nature reserve around a small reservoir and on this route a short length of disabled access path is then followed by a boardwalk but the two paths are divided by a sluice and stream that wheelchair users can't get over.

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"The new funding has paid for a bridge over the sluice and improvements to the existing boardwalk.

"At the end of the boardwalk we've also constructed a viewing area and wheelchair turning circle to give people excellent views across Bystock's heathland. This was assisted thanks to stone from the nearby Bardon Aggregates quarry at Blackhill."

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To accompany the new access facilities an audio guide to the reserve has also been recorded and is now available on the charity's website giving people an insight into the wildlife and history of the reserve.

The audio guide was produced by DWT's Publications Officer Steven Hussey. He said: "We recorded our first audio guide last year for our Dunsford nature reserve and it has proved to be very popular. It's been excellent to produce another guide for Bystock as it's one of DWT's most people friendly nature reserves with an intriguing history and fascinating wildlife. We hope people will find it an interesting introduction to the site."

For more information about the nature reserve, and to download the audio guide, visit and click on Bystock nature reserve.

The project has also received funding from East Devon AONB's Sustainable Development Fund, The Clare Milne Trust and the Pennon Environment Fund.

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