First Wildlife Wardens in Mid Devon to be appointed after funding boost

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Wednesday 13th April 2022 6:00 am
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Butterfly
(Gill Westcott )

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THE Social Enterprise, New Prosperity Devon (NPD), has been awarded a grant of £9,700 from the National Lottery for setting up a Mid Devon Wildlife Warden Scheme for volunteers in each parish to undertake public education and conservation work in support of wildlife and biodiversity.

The project will start with a pilot programme training a limited number of volunteers in three parishes, including Cheriton Bishop, where the Parish Council has helped initiate the scheme.

“We’re excited to be able to go ahead with setting up the project to train our first Wildlife Wardens in Mid Devon”, said Gill Westcott, a Cheriton Bishop Parish Councillor.

“We’re also grateful to our County Councillor Frank Letch who has supported the pilot from the start and enabled us with £1,400 for a website and expenses to support the scheme.”

The project will now be recruiting a Co-ordinator to establish the scheme and train and support the Wildlife Wardens.

The community organisation “Acting on Climate in Teignbridge” already runs a Wildlife Warden scheme in Teignbridge District.

It has trained more than 50 volunteers to help communities monitor wildlife, raise awareness among the public, and carry out projects to improve habitats for biodiversity.

“The need is obvious,” said Mrs Westcott.

“We have lost half of UK butterfly populations since 1976 and 41 per cent of our insects are threatened with extinction.

“Songbirds are in decline. Many children today have never heard a cuckoo.”

The team believe that communities care about nature and with leadership and help, they can make a difference and enjoy doing it.

The Mid Devon project will be managed by a steering group with representatives of Sustainable Crediton, Sustainable Tiverton, Mid Devon Wildlife and NPD.

NPD is a social enterprise set up to organise events, trainings, research and projects promoting a sustainable, inclusive economy in Devon, a foundation for economic security, wellbeing, and a flourishing natural environment.

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