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Action for Biodiversity


The Action for Biodiversity project (biodiversity' simply means 'the wonderful variety of life') is all about encouraging people to become actively involved in helping to promote their local wildlife.  The project is based at the Woodland Education Centre in Offwell, Honiton, East Devon, South West England. There are many ways in which local people can become involved with the project, depending on their preferred level of physical activity, as well as on their particular interests and inclinations.
wpeC8.jpg (2777 bytes) The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and will run until 2009.

Practical conservation work.

New, supported, volunteering opportunities will be provided at the Woodland Education Centre. Volunteers will help with an organized programme of practical conservation tasks which will benefit a wide range of species at the Centre.  Conservation work parties will be organized throughout the year.

No specific skills or knowledge are required to volunteer and make a really worthwhile contribution to the local environment. General training will be provided and specialist training events will be organized to teach practical countryside skills.

If volunteers wish to do so, they will be able to gain recognition for their input at the Centre by working towards achieving a John Muir Environmental Award.

A variety of volunteer wildlife surveys of the Centre (mainly from April through to September) will also be organized. The main aim of the surveys is to increase knowledge of the species found at the Centre.

Surveys can focus on anything in which volunteers have a general interest. For example; mammals, birds, butterflies, moths, dragonflies or other insects, plants or fungi. Training will be provided by experts willing to volunteer their time and skills to help other volunteers learn survey techniques and species recognition.

Identifying species.

The Woodland Education Centre is a 50 acre nature reserve and County Wildlife site, situated on the outskirts of Offwell, two miles from the town of Honiton. The Centre is dedicated to promoting habitat restoration and conservation, as well as to providing practical, real world, environmental education. It is a Forestry Commission site, run by the Offwell Woodland & Wildlife Trust, a registered charity, in partnership with the Forestry Commission.

Holly Blue butterfly on Heather. Over the past 20 years, the Centre has been restored from an ecologically sterile, rhododendron jungle to a great variety of native habitats, including many different types of woodland, ponds, a lake, streams, wetlands, marsh and even a regenerating heathland.

This diversity of habitats means that there is also a great diversity of wildlife. Over a thousand different species have been recorded at the Centre. Nine of these species are of national conservation importance.

This project offers great opportunities to learn new skills, really make a difference to the environment and enjoy being part of a team of like-minded people. If you would like to know more about the project, or would like to volunteer, please contact the Trust on 01404 831373, or email:


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The Action for Biodiversity project is funded by
the Heritage Lottery Fund,
with additional joint support from Offwell Environment Link
and Offwell Fundraising Group.


Action for Biodiversity


The Woodland Education Centre - In Pictures


John Muir Award