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Published on 8 January 2018
Official ceremony celebrates Dawlish Countryside Park
On Sunday 7 January 2018, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony was carried out by the South East Devon Habitat Regulations Executive Committee (SEDHREC): Cllr Rachel Sutton (representing Chair Cllr Daniel Gottschalk) for Exeter City Council, Cllr Humphrey Clemens for Teignbridge District Council and Cllr Phil Twiss for East Devon District Council.
The Countryside Park has been set up to help protect key conservation sites at Dawlish Warren, the Exe Estuary and East Devon’s Pebblebed Heaths, by SEDHREC, a partnership of Teignbridge, Exeter and East Devon Councils. The 26.4 hectare site was purchased with money from developers of new housing across the three council areas.
To celebrate the orchards on site with a winter wassail, Teignbridge Chairman Cllr Timothy Golder, planted a ‘Devon Star’ apple tree as part of an event for the whole family. The Wassail, meaning 'Good Health', is a midwinter orchard tradition to encourage a bumper apple harvest. Local people enjoyed a warming glass of mulled apple juice and apple pies, learned about the varieties planted so far, the fascinating history of the area and plans for future plantings.
Before the official opening ceremony took place, a guided dog walk was organised by Devon Loves Dogs’ Julie Owen and Teignbridge Countryside Park Ranger, Jon Steward. Funded by SEDHREC, Devon Loves Dogs is a community of dog owners and dog lovers who show they care about wildlife and the countryside by being responsible dog owners and adopting the Four Paws Code.
Cllr Humphrey Clemens, Teignbridge Committee member for SEDHREC and Teignbridge’s Executive Member for Housing and Planning, said:
“On behalf of the Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge councils, we are delighted to officially open the Countryside Park.
After years of hard work, we’re thrilled to celebrate this beautiful area of countryside for people to enjoy. It means that we are helping to protect our important wildlife and environment nearby, as well as giving people more choice.
I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the planning, preparation and opening of this wonderful green space, for local people and visitors to cherish for many years to come. It means that Teignbridge is adhering to its Local Plan, meeting the needs of local people and making sure development only takes place in agreed areas.
Many people are already enjoying visiting the Park, since it was open to the public in September. People are delighted with it, describing it as ‘fantastic, brilliant and having beautiful views’ – one dog even thanked us - with some help I think!
So, I send a paws up to the humans at Teignbridge who've worked hard to make this possible. My tail is wagging and I can't wait for our next trip to the country park. How lucky are we Dawlish dogs to have it on our doorstep!"
Cllr Timothy Golder, Chairman of Teignbridge District Council, said:
"I am delighted that co-operation between local councils and other organisations has not only given Dawlish and Teignbridge a leisure amenity which has proved so popular, but is helping to protect the Exe Estuary, the Warren and the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths which are areas of environmental sensitivity of national and international importance."
Cllr Ted Hockin, Teignbridge District Councillor for Dawlish Central & North East Ward, said:
“From the first day this park was opened it has been enjoyed and used by all. This is the ideal situation for the park and in making the decision, care and consideration has been taken of the views of residents and local councillors. It is a wonderful asset for Dawlish.”
Cllr Lisa Mayne, Teignbridge District Councillor for Dawlish Central & North East Ward, said:
“The countryside park is such a wonderful asset to the people of Dawlish and the surrounding area. I'm so pleased that Teignbridge has been able to provide this facility in such a fantastic location. It never fails to amaze me every time I pass by the amount of people, dogs and cars using the park.”
Cllr Rosalind Prowse, Teignbridge District Councillor for Dawlish South West Ward, said:
“I am delighted that the countryside park has already proved to be so successful and is being well used by residents, who have welcomed the park. It shows the commitment of Teignbridge to provide the open space required in our local plan.”