Earth Day 2024

Sign for Earth Day event outside Braunton Countryside Centre

Rockpooling, seed ball-making, birdwatching and time travelling were all on offer at this year’s Earth Day event! On 21st April, nature enthusiasts gathered at the centre to learn more about our amazing local environment and discuss the future of our beautiful planet.

Vision for a sustainable future

This year’s theme was Planet vs Plastics, so of course we partnered with the wonderful team at Plastic Free North Devon. Outside the centre, the charity set up a time machine to transport visitors to 2030. Powered by sustainable energy bikes provided by 361 Community Energy, the time machine activity (led by knowledgeable volunteer Andy Clee) encouraged people to share their vision for a more sustainable future. Suggestions from the time travellers included: a park and ride to our beautiful beaches, traffic-free Sundays, improved local recycling schemes, a ban on harmful pesticides, and safer cycling routes. One attendee in Year 6 hoped for kindness, happiness, and more accessible green spaces for children to play in 2030 – a reminder of the importance of protecting the planet for future generations.

A closer look at North Devon’s marine life

Over at Coastwise North Devon’s stall, visitors were treated to some amazing aquatic discoveries! The charity brought in samples from local rockpools and carefully searched through them via a large microscope. Curious visitors gathered around the screen to see a hermit crab, sea spiders, and even a mystery sea slug, all found among the seaweed from our wildlife-rich coastline. Virtual reality headsets were also available on the day, transporting visitors to the North Devon coast to explore the vast array of marine life.

Coastwise North Devon showing visitors a hermit crab on a large microscope

Pollinators and wildflowers

To support pollinators, children were invited to make wildflower seed balls to take home, and design signs to raise awareness for the ‘No Mow May’ campaign, in a workshop led by Live Well in Braunton. We are delighted that these beautiful signs are now on display throughout the parish. We are also looking forward to seeing photos of the wildflowers growing in your gardens this summer!

Signs created for the No Mow May campaign

Birdlife in Braunton and beyond

Along the Tarka Trail, which runs just behind the centre, local bird expert Andy Leat guided attendees to look for and identify local birdlife. If you missed out on Earth Day, Andy runs monthly birdwatching walks via the centre! Visitors were also invited to learn about the Swift – a magnificent migratory bird that is sadly on the conservation Red List. Swifts are facing a shortage of nesting sites and desperately need our help. If you have spotted Swifts in Braunton Parish, we would love to hear from you so that we can better understand how to support Swifts in the area.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this inspiring Earth Day event. It was uplifting to bring so many people together who are passionate about protecting our environment and sharing knowledge. We’d also like to thank Plastic Free North Devon, Devon Wildlife Trust, Live Well in Braunton, Coastwise North Devon, 361 Community Energy, North Devon Coast National Landscape, the Museum of British Surfing, and all of our volunteers for making this event possible.

Visit our Events Calendar to see upcoming events and activities.

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