THE management plan for the Taw and Torridge estuaries at the heart of North Devon s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is being reviewed and given a new lease of life. Members of the public are invited to play their part by going to the Civic Centre in Barnstaple

THE management plan for the Taw and Torridge estuaries at the heart of North Devon's UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is being reviewed and given a new lease of life.

Members of the public are invited to play their part by going to the Civic Centre in Barnstaple next Tuesday to contribute their knowledge and opinions on the future of the estuary.

Northern Devon Coast and Countryside Service, which co-ordinates the Biosphere Reserve, is working with the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum, which helped to produce the original plan 10 years ago.

Andy Bell, Biosphere Reserve Co-ordinator, said: "It's hard to believe that so much time has passed since the last plan, but we have done so much since then. That original plan

was the a key reason the area was newly designated a Biosphere Reserve. It has served us well, but it's now time for a fresh look at what the estuary needs."

Tony Pratt, Chairman of Taw Torridge Estuary Forum, said: "As a result of the last plan, the estuary forum has come to be a respected body for sharing information between its members and the community about estuary issues. With so many changes coming on, such as the Marine and Coastal Access Act, it is a good time to make sure the plan for the estuary has good public support."

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are designated by the United Nations, through UNESCO, as areas with internationally important environments, where there is a focus on sustainable development, learning and conservation.

North Devon's is the first of only two new-style Biosphere Reserves in the UK with core functions of conservation, learning and research and sustainable development and three different management zones.

There is an open invitation to join the review of the estuaries plan, which is taking place between 1pm and 7 pm next Tuesday (Nov 17) at the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Barnstaple.

More information from Andy Bell, Manager of the North Devon Biosphere Reserve - 01237 423655 on.

The consultation will then continue until the end of January through the website:-www.northdevonbiosphere.org.uk