Devon Giants

Biosphere Site for ‘Giants in the Forest’

Posted on May 14, 2012 by caroline

During the Spring of 2012, they are being installed in woodland environments from Dumfries & Galloway in Scotland, to theDyfiValleyinWales, and to the Tarka Trail inNorth Devon.  The heads will hang from May to November 2012, growing and changing with the seasons.

Matt Edworthy, Outreach Officer for the North Devon’s Biosphere says; “Having the heads beside the Tarka Trail is perfect because it maximizes the number of residents and visitors that can see and engage with the. May 2012 is also the Trail’s 20th birthday as it was opened by Prince Charles in May 1992.”

Matt Edworthy continues, “The Giants will overlook the River Torridge and help raise awareness of the Biosphere’s Nature Improvement Area work that begins this year which will re-create, restore and connect important habitats such as rare culm grassland and woodland, raise water quality, reduce floods and boost the local economy.  How we live has changed a lot in the 20 years since the Trail was opened and it is important that as many of us as possible consider the benefits we receive from a healthy environment and that do what we can to make sure that changes in future years protect the environment and keep those benefits coming”.

In the Biosphere, there are also plans to develop and extend the outreach opportunities inspired by ‘Giants in theForest’ into 2013 as part of the Nature Improvement Area outreach programme.

The North Devon Biosphere celebrates our special area and challenges us to conserve, enhance and sustain it into the future. Three of the giant heads were hoisted into place into trees alongside the Tarka Trail between the Puffing Billy at Torringtonand Weare Giffard on May 10th. Local volunteers braved dreadful weather to help plant the heads with native species on May 9th.

The Giants in theForestproject involves sites in the twoUKmainland UNESCO Biosphere Reserves of theDyfiValleyinWalesandNorth DevoninEngland. It also includes a site inDumfriesandGalloway,Scotland, due to be launched as theUKmainland’s 3rd Biosphere Reserve this year. This is the first time that theUK’s Biosphere Reserves will be linked together through a national project and is an important opportunity to promote the role of Biosphere’s across the UK.

North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve is one of fewer than 600 worldwide and the only one inEngland.  All are recognised by the United Nations (through UNESCO) as areas with internationally important environments where there is a focus on sustainable development, learning and conservation.

As well as coordinating Biosphere activities, the Biosphere Team manages the Coast Path in northernDevon(except onNationalTrustLand) and the Tarka Trail between Braunton and Meeth.

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