Opening of new nature reserve in Lynton

(L to R) John Patrinos, District and Town Councillor, Chris Sleep, Mayor of L&LTC and Alastair Rodway

(L to R) John Patrinos, District and Town Councillor, Chris Sleep, Mayor of L&LTC and Alastair Rodway, Chair of L&LTC Estates Committee - Credit: NDC

The new Ladywell Nature Reserve at Lynton’s Valley of Rocks was officially opened on Tuesday, September 21, by Chris Sleep the Mayor of Lynton & Lynmouth as part of a national series of events called the 'Big Green Week'.

The four acre reserve was purchased earlier this year with most of the cost met by a very generous local benefactor, Tony Thorpe.

His donation was on condition that the area will by managed in perpetuity by Lynton Town Council as a publicly access nature reserve.

Already the old overflow of the Ladywell stream has been restored and a more level walkway created, although this will be improved.

Mayor Chris Sleep said: “It’s a real pleasure to know that our small community still produces philanthropists like Sir George Newnes who paid for the Town Hall and Cliff Railway. Thank you Tony.”

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District Cllr John Patrinos said: “Today’s opening is just one of a national series of events called the Big Green Week being held in advance of the international climate summit COP26 to be help in Glasgow in November. Our local group, Lyn Climate Action, is holding other meetings and displays as well.”

Considerable further improvements are already planned including a hydrology survey that will let the water flow be fully understood and managed, then a wetland area will be recreated.

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An ecology survey will discover which species already live there and which can be attracted or reintroduced, including the planting of appropriate native trees.

A bird hide will be constructed overlooking the wetland, thanks to the further generosity of Tony Thorpe.

This is the last sizeable piece of the Valley of Rocks that was not previously in public ownership and has now been acquired for the benefit of local people.

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