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Wild Exmoor – a North Devon Rewilding Project

April 10, 2023 HannahMaben DevonEcological ConsultancyEcologistProjects

As ecologists, there’s nothing quite like being given the opportunity to work on a nature restoration project, especially one as prestigious as the National Trust’s ‘Wild Exmoor’ project on the North Devon coast. And that’s exactly where Seasons Ecology find themselves, as we have just been appointed to assist with baseline ecological surveys ahead of the project!

The Wild Exmoor project is an exciting initiative that aims to restore an upland landscape within Exmoor National Park, to a more natural state. This is part of wider efforts centred around habitat restoration, extensive conservation grazing and species-re-introductions across sites in North Devon.

As part of the project, the National Trust has commissioned a series of baseline ecological surveys to assess the current state of the landscape and to help guide the restoration work. These surveys will cover a range of ecological aspects, including flora and fauna, soils, water quality, and climate.  Seasons Ecology will be leading the dormouse and small mammal surveys, reptile surveys and invertebrate surveys and helping to interpret the data.

Baseline surveys are being carried out near Countisbury and made possible thanks to funding from DEFRA’s Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Programme.

Hannah Willis is leading our input with support from our team in Somerset and North Devon.  Hannah is an experienced ecologist with extensive experience working on Exmoor and has supported the National Trust on several other projects.  “Overall, I feel incredibly fortunate to be leading on several baseline ecological surveys on this project. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to one of the most exciting and important conservation projects in the UK today, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The Exmoor landscape is complex and varied, presenting challenges such as difficult access and harsh conditions. However, our ecologists are used to this and are motivated by the opportunity to contribute to the restoration of habitats and create a better future for people and the planet.

Working on Wild Exmoor is an opportunity for our team to learn from the expertise and experience of the passionate conservationists at the National Trust. The project offers benefits for both the environment and society, including enhanced biodiversity, improved soil quality, and reduced impacts of climate change. It also provides opportunities for outdoor recreation, cultural and spiritual values, and improved mental health and wellbeing.

Overall, the Wild Exmoor Project is an exciting and important conservation initiative, and Seasons Ecology are privileged to be a part of it. By contributing to the baseline ecological surveys, our ecologists are helping to guide the restoration work and create a better future for the natural world and all its inhabitants.


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Seasons Ecology Limited Directors: K M Hayward MCIEEM & H M Maben MCIEEM
Registered Address: 69 High Street, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2AT
Company No: 11258906