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In 2002 East Devon District Council opened a brand new Local Nature Reserve at Colyford Common.

The Council purchased 27 acres of tidal marsh at Colyford which, together with 6 acres of similar land owned by the Burgesses of Colyford, forms a 33 acre nature reserve.

The site is managed by East Devon District Council Countryside Service and is known as Colyford Common Nature Reserve.

The access route to the common starts south of the village on the Seaton Road at the side of Springfield, the Goose Fayre field.

Colyford Common is an important site for many of the birds that live on the Axe Estuary and through careful management, the number of birds using this area will increase.

Among the many species found here in Summer are various warblers which abound in the areas of reed and sedge around the marsh, and a small population of redshank which make their nests in the large tussocks. Redshanks only breed at two locations in the County, the upper Axe estuary being one of them.

Winter brings a different range of species, many of which are visiting from the far north. Flocks of widgeon feed on the saltmarsh and large numbers of wading birds such as curlew can be seen in the area.

Some of the resident species are also worth looking out for and probably the most popular of these are the little egrets which often feed in the ditches. Kingfishers are also fairly common here and, although less easy to see, they can often be heard as they fly up and down the ditches looking for fishing opportunities.

Just like the nearby Seaton Marshes Local Nature Reserve, there is a volunteer wardening scheme at Colyford Common. This is an opportunity for local people to become involved and take responsibility for the management of the nature reserve by, for example, providing a much needed monitoring service. Voluntary wardens also become involved in a range of wildlife recording and even help out with occasional practical management duties.

If you would like to know more about the Colyford Common Nature Reserve contact the Eleanor Head on 01395 or e-mail EHead@eastdevon.gov.uk

Axe Estuary Wetlands

The Axe Estuary Wetlands is the coordination of EDDC, the Environment Agency and Natural England to create a large scale nature reserve with great opportunities for wildlife and people.

Covering most of the western side of the Axe Estuary, it has created a nature reserve stretching from Seaton to Colyford.

This links and extends Seaton Marshes and Colyford Common local nature reserves which were isolated from each other.

A wealth of new wildlife habitats has been created, making the area one of the best sites for wildlife watching in Devon, boosting the area's reputation for eco-tourism.

New ponds and meres, seasonally flooded fields, a large brackish water lagoon, reed beds and tidal salt marshes are set against the beautiful backdrop of the Lower Axe Valley.

Key areas have been left completely undisturbed and in addition there are new bird hides and viewpoints around the edges.

A large block of new land has been acquired and a saline lagoon has been created.

For more information visit: http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/countryside/countryside-sites/seaton-wetlands/

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