Photo competition to capture love for Pebblebed Heaths

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:49 17 July 2020

Launching the The 'Heaths and me' photography project is L-R Kim Strawbridge Pebblebed Heaths Site Manager, Andy Thatcher  MA photography student from Falmouth University who is behind the project and Kate Ponting, Countryside Learning Officer. Picture: Clinton Devon Estates

Launching the The 'Heaths and me' photography project is L-R Kim Strawbridge Pebblebed Heaths Site Manager, Andy Thatcher MA photography student from Falmouth University who is behind the project and Kate Ponting, Countryside Learning Officer. Picture: Clinton Devon Estates

© Clinton Devon Estates

A unique photography project is aiming to tap into people’s new or long-held associations with the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths.

Andy Thatcher - MA photography student from Falmouth University launches The 'Heaths and me' photography project that he is managing with partners. Picture: Clinton Devon EstatesAndy Thatcher - MA photography student from Falmouth University launches The 'Heaths and me' photography project that he is managing with partners. Picture: Clinton Devon Estates

As lockdown restrictions are eased, the charity which manages the site on behalf of landowner Clinton Devon Estates, is launching a summer project called ‘The Heaths and Me’.

The heaths include Woodbury, Bicton, Colaton Raleigh, East Budleigh, Aylesbeare and Harpford Commons as well as Hawkerland and Mutters Moor.

Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust is asking visitors to submit their favourite photographs which express why the commons are special to them.

Some of the images will feature in an exhibition in 2021, which will celebrate the unique character of the heaths.

Kim Strawbridge, site manager for the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust, said: “As land managers, we understand what makes the Pebblebed Heaths special in terms of the habitats that are present, the wildlife they support and the historical features that are under our care.

“We also put a good deal of thought into how we engage with people to enable them to understand why these features of the heaths are important and how they can help us care for them.

“With this project we want to flip that on its head and get an insight into why the heaths are important to the people that choose to spend time here.

“We appreciate that there is a strong sense of connection between local communities and the heaths; those connections are diverse and not always tangible or simple for people to explain.

“These often overlooked details all make up the story of this much-loved landscape, why it is special and its spirit.”

Andy Thatcher, a key member of the team driving the project, is studying for a masters in photography and volunteers with the Pebblebed Heath Conservation Trust.

He said: “I’m fascinated by how people see the places that matter to them and this is central to my research and practice at Falmouth University.”

People are being invited to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #TheHeathsAndMe, or alternatively by emailing mail@pebblebedheaths.org.uk.

Visit the website for more information


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