August 2017

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Published on 16 August 2017

‘Leading’ the Way at Dawlish Countryside Park open day

Teignbridge is set to celebrate the opening of the new Dawlish Countryside Park on 3 September with a free event where families and canine friends are welcome.

“A family day where dogs can play!” will be a fun-packed day for all ages to enjoy, whether or not you bring a dog with you. 

The event, which will feature fun for dogs, trick displays, canine first aid demonstrations, and information for dog lovers, will signify the Teignbridge launch of a new, free membership scheme for dog owners and dog walkers, called Devon Loves Dogs

Devon Loves Dogs co-ordinator, Julie Owen will be on hand to give advice to people who visit Dawlish Warren, the Exe Estuary and the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths. Julie is setting up a community of dog walkers who love where they live and walk their dogs. She is promoting responsible dog ownership at the same time helping people to appreciate these important conservation sites, protect the wildlife, flora and fauna that make these areas internationally important. Julie will provide useful information about places to walk and codes of conduct, as well as organising fun activities to encourage people to join Devon Loves Dogs.

Julie will work closely with partners including Teignbridge Countryside Rangers, the Exe Estuary Management Partnership, Devon Wildlife Trust and RSPB to share the special nature of these internationally important areas and how small changes in behaviour can have huge benefits for wildlife and their habitats.

Julie said:

“I’m very excited to be launching Devon Loves Dogs in Teignbridge for dog walkers and dog owners.

“We are planning lots of woof activities and as members of Devon Loves Dogs, you will get helpful advice and freebies, such as dog tags, treats and poo bags, so our canine friends are not mucky pups!

“To find out more, visit www.devonlovesdogs.co.uk

Visitors to the new Dawlish Countryside Park will be able to meet Jon Steward - the new Countryside Ranger for Dawlish Countryside Park, who will spend his time helping people enjoy the huge Countryside Park, showing them the amazing views and telling them about historical artefacts discovered on the site.

Jon said:

“I am over the moon to be part of this wonderful facility for Teignbridge residents, visitors from neighbouring areas and further afield. The vast new Countryside Park marks a significant milestone for Teignbridge, providing an extensive natural green space where people can play, walk or relax and for wildlife which will be able to thrive there.

“We’ve been amazed at the wealth of wildlife we’ve seen here while setting the site up – from buzzards and foxes to colourful wildflowers and golden ringed dragonflies.

“The Countryside Park will give people much more choice about where to spend their leisure time and walk their dogs, as an alternative to Dawlish Warren.  Dawlish Warren is special because it’s home to some very rare plants and animals. It is also incredibly popular with people who love the outdoors attracting half a million visitors a year. With this many people we do receive complaints about dog fouling and dogs disturbing wildlife, because huge flocks of waders and wildfowl roost there from late July until the following late Spring.

“We’re keen to support Devon Loves Dogs so everyone, dog owner or not, can enjoy this wonderful environment to the full while helping to look after important habitats and the species which call the Warren home.”

Jon’s post has been partly funded, and the Countryside Park has been entirely funded by the South East Devon Habitat Regulations Executive Committee (SEDHREC), a partnership of Teignbridge, Exeter and East Devon Councils set up to help protect key conservation sites at Dawlish Warren, the Exe Estuary and East Devon’s Pebblebed Heaths. The 26.4 hectare site was purchased with money from developers of new housing across the three council areas.

Dawlish Countryside Park is located on the outskirts of Dawlish near Sainsbury’s.