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Sid Valley Biodiversity Group: projects in the press

  • by JW

If you’d like to get involved in helping to record and restore our wildlife, there are now projects galore happening in and around Sidmouth.


This week is right in the middle of a nationwide citizen science project:

Big Butterfly Count: Friday 17 July to Sunday 9 August – Vision Group for Sidmouth


This is also capturing the enthusiasm of members of the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group, who are also taking part in the butterfly count – as one of the several projects showcased at the latest Café Scientifique:

online: Biodiversity Special – Vision Group for Sidmouth


The Herald reports on that session, showing the breadth and scope of all the projects on offer: the article and photo are republished here with permission:


Get involved in nature projects with the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group

Large Skipper butterfly, spotted on Soldier’s Hill, Sidmouth. Picture: Charles Sinclair


First off was an introduction to plans to enhance the Ham, with Jan Strapp recounting how she’s working with Sidmouth in Bloom to bring in a richer abundance of plant life to what’s become a rather scrappy area.

Jon Ball of the Arboretum then showed attendees display boards for special themed sections at Connaught Gardens, based on our area’s geological periods, with the first focussing on the Cretaceous and its magnolias and palms, the first flowering plants to evolve. Future stages will showcase plants from the Jurassic and Triassic periods.

Next was Cllr Denise Bickley talking about how the council is working on the ‘Life on the Verge’ project and trying to manage roadside verges better, to help wild flowers and insects. Meanwhile, we can all do our bit and leave the grass verge in front of our house – perhaps with a small sign saying ‘Pardon the weeds, we’re feeding the bees!’

Cllr Chris Lockyear outlined exciting plans to create new allotments, a community orchard and a biodiversity education area in the grounds of St John’s School. And finally, Charles Sinclair introduced the ‘Surveying the Sid Valley’ project, the idea being that first of all, wildlife needs to be recorded. And the first survey will be to take part in the national Big Butterfly Count, which started on Friday, July 17 and runs until Sunday, August 9, which, as Charles said, is easy to get involved in and provides valuable information to feed back into local records.

To finish, Jon Ball produced a very impressive digital GIS map of the Sid Valley, part of the Devon Biodiversity Action Plan – and which will be where all the survey information will be gathered, to see how the area’s wildlife can be protected and enhanced.

If you’d like to get involved in any of these projects, contact the Biodiversity Group at

Sid Valley Biodiversity Group report: latest projects | Sidmouth Herald