During the winter of 2006 we sympathetically walked a path through this area to study what species we could find there. We were amazed as the thick undergrowth was teeming with an array of interesting flowers, wildlife and insects. This led experts in wildlife and conservation to conduct various studies and in 2007 we received funding from the North Devon AONB`s Sustainable Development Fund to develop a natural trail for visitors. The fund helped to identify our unique species and the construction of a suitable pathway for visitors to explore, understand and conserve the natural world. The fund also assisted in the production of a unique trail map and guide along with interpretation signs to aid visitors to relate nature to the need for conservation. We are continuing to install bird boxes, bird feeding tables, owl and bat boxes, birdbaths and around 20 dormouse boxes.
On an annual basis we cut back a small area to clear dead fern and nettle and then wait to see what grows. Today the trail is rich with nature and continues to amaze with new species found every day. We are delighted to offer visitors an area of stillness and a opportunity to explore and enjoy the hidden treasures that nature presents.
Following extensive research already achieved we are able to offer lots of information about what you will see on our Nature Trail during any season. When the trail is more established we hope to invite experts to talk to us about specific species we might see such as moths, bats and mushrooms.
We have recently added some bug and bee hotels to make all our creepy crawly friends feel at home.
We are very proud of our natural environment and help to protect it in every way possible on a daily basis. Our efforts are well rewarded by the variety and beauty of nature we witness every day during our jobs as well as being awarded the GOLD David Bellamy conservation award with Distinction. We like to share our enthusiasm by inviting you to join us at Hele Valley for an eye opening natural experience and a breath of fresh air.