July 2017

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Published on 17 July 2017

Dawlish Countryside Park set to officially open on 3 September 2017

Teignbridge residents will soon be able to enjoy a vast, new 65-acre countryside park – about the same size as 26 rugby pitches – at Dawlish.

Teignbridge District Council will celebrate the opening of the new Dawlish Countryside Park on the outskirts of Dawlish near Sainsbury’s, on Sunday 3 September by putting on a free event for the whole community. “A Family Day Where Dogs Can Play!” will be a fun-packed day for all ages to enjoy, whether or not you have a dog to bring with you. 

The Countryside Park has been 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.

Local excitement for this brand new green space for residents, visitors and dogs to enjoy has been steadily growing over recent weeks. The fun day will begin at 11am and finish at 3pm.

Teignbridge Countryside Rangers are planning a whole host of activities for the entire family to experience, including exploring the new Countryside Park through a series of walking routes, from a 2.3km network to longer walking routes of 5km or so. You will be able to see the panoramic views from the Ridge Path, visit the Lookout, go on a mini-beast safari, and learn about the ancient history of the Park, with archaeological finds on display!

Cllr Humphrey Clemens, Teignbridge’s Executive Member for Housing and Planning, said:

“It’s a very exciting day for Teignbridge and our residents. It’s the culmination of years of hard work and we’re thrilled to celebrate the opening of this beautiful area of countryside, by holding a free event for the local community and dogs to enjoy.

“The creation of a new natural recreational area and haven for wildlife in Teignbridge is a real boost for Dawlish and the whole district.

“There have been archaeological finds on the site, including pottery, Georgian coins and prehistoric worked flints which are currently being dated. They will be on show on the day so people can find out about the history of the area.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the planning, preparation and opening of this wonderful green space, available for local people and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.

“This natural green space is needed to help protect internationally important conservation sites at nearby Dawlish Warren and the Exe Estuary, giving more leisure choices for the growing population and people living in new developments nearby, as well as an area where dogs can run freely. By providing the Dawlish Countryside Park it means that Teignbridge is adhering to its Local Plan, meeting the needs of local people and its legal obligations, and making sure development only takes place in agreed areas.” 

The new countryside park will be public open space with wild countryside and walks, available to all.  It will be home to native species including wildflower grassland, scrub and woodland, and native wildlife, such as cirl buntings. 

Access to the free car parking on site is from a new road off the Exeter Road (A379) on the edge of Dawlish.  In addition, there are pedestrian access gates from Shutterton Lane and Orchard Lane.

Cllr Ted Hockin, Teignbridge District Councillor for Dawlish Central & North East Ward, said:

“This is an ideal location for the Countryside Park linking in to the new housing development and with good access from the A379. I am sure it will be popular and well used and I look forward to its opening.”

Cllr Lisa Mayne, Teignbridge District Councillor for Dawlish Central & North East Ward, said:

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the new Countryside Park open – it’s a large site with lots of room for local people to enjoy and their dogs to run free!”

Cllr Graham Price, Teignbridge District Councillor for Dawlish Central & North East Ward, said:

“The new Countryside Park will give residents and visitors much more choice and help to protect the special wildlife at Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve.”

Last year, on Thursday 24 November 2016, Teignbridge Planning Committee approved plans for the creation of a new Countryside Park in Dawlish.