Exeter Wild City

Exeter Wild CityExeter Wild City

Cities can be home to abundant wildlife

Devon Wildlife Trust

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Exeter is striking proof that cities can be homes to abundant wildlife. But, as everywhere, wildlife is under threat. The city now has a human population of 120,000 – and it’s growing. We want to ensure that Exeter‘s future development will protect its wildlife and give it space to thrive.

Urban areas have a crucial role to play in the ecological robustness of our landscapes. Instead of being a barrier to wildlife, the city will offer opportunities for wildlife to flourish in a network of green spaces which will permeate the city and connect to the surrounding landscape. This connectivity into, through and beyond the city will be vital in the future to enable our habitats and species to adapt to a changing climate. It will also improve the quality of life for people in Exeter.

Virtual tour by Mike McFarlane

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What's happening?

We are:

  • Restoring, re-creating and reconnecting wildlife habitats. This enriched biodiversity will contribute to the delivery of the City’s multi-functional Green Infrastructure.
  • Providing land management advice to large landowning bodies in the City eg Exeter City Council and Devon County Council.
  • Providing  habitat enhancement advice to schools, colleges, the university, businesses and the public.
  • Developing a comprehensive Biodiversity Reference Map that will help to guide future development in the city.
  • Producing management plans for a number of sites across the City.
  • Running regular events (reserve open days, making nest boxes), community activities, bio-blitz, seminars and a comprehensive school education programme.

Start: date: 2008

Scheme area: The whole of Exeter City

Trust reserves within the scheme

Old Sludge Beds, Exe Reed Beds

This scheme is helping species including...

Swifts, wading birds, urban wildlife, hedgehogs, bees, insects.

Current threats to the landscape

Loss of habitat to development, unsympathetic development that excludes biodiversity, unsuitable habitat management.

This scheme is also...

Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, improving water quality, reducing flood risk, providing habitat for pollinating insects, improving access for people, providing recreational opportunities and health benefits, contributing to urban regeneration, providing volunteering opportunities, skills training and environmental education.


RSPB, Local Authorities, local landowners, Exeter University, Exeter schools, Met Office

To find out more

Email: contactus@devonwildlifetrust.org | Tel: 01392 279244  | Exeter Wild City 

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