Revised plans drawn up to protect Exe Estuary wildlife

PUBLISHED: 11:25 28 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:25 28 June 2017

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Amended plans designed to protect wildlife on the Exe Estuary are to go on display.

The proposals are for ‘wildlife refuges’ – areas within the estuary where activities such as water sports would be asked to allow space for protected birds.

Following a public consultation earlier this year, revised proposals have been drawn up, which will go on display on Thursday, June 29, between 2pm and 8pm, at the Coaver Club, County Hall, Exeter.

The event also marks the handover of the project from the Exe Estuary Management Partnership (EEMP) to the South East Devon Habitat Regulations Partnership (SEDHRP).

Exe Estuary officer Stephanie Clark said: “The Exe Estuary is one of Devon’s most visited and used stretches of coastline, used by local businesses and visitors alike. It’s also a site of international importance to wildlife, so finding the right balance for all is vital.

“We’ve had a great level of interest in the consultation so far and having looked at all of the responses, we’ve now got a firmer set of proposals that we’d like people’s opinion on.

“We’d like to share these updated proposals with the public and we’ll have experts on hand to answer any questions at the drop-in event. Everyone’s welcome.”

The proposals will recommend wildlife refuges in two strategically significant locations within the estuary, with boundaries that are said to allow the majority of users to continue using the water safely and responsibly.

Outside the wildlife refuges, the estuary will remain available for recreational activities.

The proposals will also be available to view online at www.exewildliferefuge.org.uk, alongside a six week survey that is being run by the SEDHRP to gather feedback on the amendments.

The final phase of the consultation will be open until August 10.

The results will inform a final report which will be presented to the South East Devon Habitat Regulations Executive Committee in October, where a decision will be made on whether to approve the proposals.

For further information about amended proposals, as well as a link to the SEDHRP feedback survey, visit the EEMP website at www.exe-estuary.org.

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