A SURFBOARD, an otter and an amphibious Army assault craft are helping raise awareness of a jewel in North Devon s coastal crown. North Devon MP Nick Harvey on Friday unveiled the first of three new interpretation boards at Saunton Sands, specially design

A SURFBOARD, an otter and an amphibious Army assault craft are helping raise awareness of a jewel in North Devon's coastal crown.North Devon MP Nick Harvey on Friday unveiled the first of three new interpretation boards at Saunton Sands, specially designed to explain the international importance of the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere, centred on Braunton Burrows, and to tidy up beach signage.The Saunton Sands board, made of local chestnut wood, includes a surfboard design to reflect surfing's local importance. It replaces numerous signs of various ages and condition.A second board at Broadsands depicts an otter to remind people of the importance of the local estuary for this shy creature.On the coast path at Sandy Lane, a third board has a Second World War Army DUKW as its icon, reminding of the role of the military, which still uses Braunton Burrows for training.The boards have been funded by Leader Plus, the Ministry of Defence, proprietors of Saunton Beach and the North Devon Coast and Countryside Service.Mike Moser, chairman of the Biosphere Reserve Partnership, said the Biosphere presented the biggest opportunity North Devon had had for a long time and was a celebration of everything so special in the area: superb wildlife, fantastic landscape and seascape and the culture of the local area.With Braunton Burrows at its core it also encompassed buffer Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Hartland to Lynton.One of the top priorities was to make sure people were aware of this and the interpretation boards were important in communication the message, said Mr Moser.Mr Harvey said: "This interpretation board is a huge improvement on what was here before. The North Devon community is gradually waking up to the designation of the Bisosphere, what it is and what it holds for us. "Making people more aware of this wonderful natural asset is something we all must strive to do.