Friday, 22 July 2011

Celebrating our heathland

A heathland scene near Budleigh Salterton: Squabmoor Reservoir surrounded by slopes of gorse and heather

East Devon Heath Week starts this Sunday 24 July 2011 from 11.00 am with a Family Festival Day at Woodbury Castle, the Iron Age hill fort mid-way between Budleigh Salterton and the village of Woodbury.

A Dartford Warbler. This rare bird is one of the special sights of East Devon's heathland.

Photo credit: Peter Beesley

The Heath Week is an annual series of events that aim to celebrate the fantastic landscape of the region. Each year it takes place at the end of July, a good time to see heathland and its wildlife at its best.

This legless lizard known as a slow worm is a protected species found on the commons near Budleigh. They are described as elusive, but I generally find them hiding in my compost heap.

Photo credit: Devon Clinton Estates

There are specific events which will concentrate on different species that make lowland heath their home. Particular favourites are bat walks, pond dipping days and reptile hunts.

Internationally renowned Bronze Age expert Professor Chris Tilley will also be explaining the meaning of the tumuli and the recently excavated pebble pavements that make this area of East Devon archaeologically significant.

In addition to Woodbury Castle, locations close to Budleigh where events are taking place include Bystock Pools, Wheathill Plantation, Colaton Raleigh, Blackhill Quarry and Otterton Mill.

For more information click on to download a leaflet.

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