June 2017

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Published on 12 June 2017

Come to a public drop-in event to review new proposals for the Exe Estuary

Exe Estuary

Local residents, businesses and users of the Exe Estuary are invited to a drop-in event on Thursday 29 June, between 2pm to 8pm at County Hall, Exeter. People can view recommendations on new ‘Wildlife Refuge’ areas for the Exe Estuary, with staff on hand to answer questions.

Stephanie Clark, Exe Estuary Officer, said:

“On behalf of the Exe Estuary Management Partnership (EEMP), I would like to thank everyone who participated in the public consultation on the ‘Review of Zonation of the Exe Estuary’ which closed on 28 April 2017.

“We have listened to all the comments and views received and taken these into account to form new recommendations for Wildlife Refuges, formerly known as Voluntary Exclusion Zones. The proposals have been discussed and amended by the EEMP Officer Working Group and South East Devon Habitat Regulations Partnership (SEDHRP) officers. These final recommendations will be presented to the EEMP Management Group for review and endorsement on 21 June.

“We would like to share these updated proposals with the public and answer any questions at the drop-in event. People will also be able to view and comment on the recommendations through an online survey from the 29 June.”

From 29 June until 10 August, there will be a 6 week period when people can help refine the final recommendations. This means that local people can comment on the amended proposals, as well as people who tend to use the Exe Estuary during this peak holiday season.

Details of this survey will be available on the South East Devon Habitat Regulations Executive Committees’ (SEDHREC) website at: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/committees-and-meetings/south-east-devon-habitat-regulations-executive-committee/.

Following the close of the survey, all comments will be reviewed for the final report. The report will be published by SEDHRP prior to the October SEDHREC meeting which will decide whether to approve the proposals.

Details of the next steps are outlined below (these may be subject to revision):

  • 21 June: Final recommendations presented to the EEMP Management Group for endorsement.
  • End June: Final recommendations available on SEDHRP website.
  • 29 June, 2pm to 8pm: Drop-in event at County Hall for display of final recommendations – no booking required, please turn up at a time which suits you.
  • 29 June – 10 Aug: 6-week online survey for comment on recommendations, carried out by SEDHRP.
  • Aug to Sept: Analysis of results and accompanying report produced by SEDHRP.
  • October: Final report of EEMP and SEDHRP presented to SEDHREC for consideration.

In addition, codes of conduct for users of the Exe Estuary are being reviewed by talking to local user groups. The codes will be updated to ensure safety, consideration of other users and nature conservation. Each user group, as well as national recreational bodies, are being asked to share with us their experience and expertise, so we can understand different perspectives and take on board their views.

Codes of conduct are important for the Exe Estuary because there are a wide range of users who may not be linked to a particular club. They may have different interests, where activities overlap.

Next steps for review of codes of conduct:

  • May to Aug: Drafting of updated codes of conduct, based on existing codes and national guidance (working with user groups and national recreational bodies).
  • Sept: Draft codes publically available for feedback.

Further detail will be added to the EEMP website as it becomes available.

Please note that further information about the review of zonation, including minutes and detail about the various groups involved, is available on the EEMP website at www.exe-estuary.org/national-and-local-consultations.

The results of the online questionnaire and comments which were received by letter and email are also available at www.exe-estuary.org/results-of-consultation.

The consultation on the Exe Estuary Voluntary Exclusion Zone proposals began in December 2016. The process included 18 meetings with different user groups, 2 general meetings and an online questionnaire which closed on 28 April 2017. The EEMP will analyse all responses and comments to help inform the final recommendations.