The Biodiversity Action Plan for East Devon's Heathlands has been developed through a
partnership between East Devon District Council and the Devon Wildlife Trust, to provide a
blueprint for the future of the heathlands of East Devon.
The Plan forms part of a sequence which together define East Devon's role in
international biodiversity conservation, and should be viewed in the context of the
biodiversity planning process in Devon and the UK. It builds upon the Action Plan for
Lowland Heathland contained in the Devon Biodiversity Action Plan, published in the summer
of 1998, which in turn takes its lead from the Heathland Action Plan in Action for
Biodiversity in the South West. These documents serve together to put into a local context
the UK's commitments to heathland conservation as set out in the UK Biodiversity Action
Plan, based on Britain's commitments to the global Biodiversity Convention signed in Rio
The Plan provides full assessments both of the wildlife and environmental value of
heathlands in this part of Devon, and also of the perceptions and needs of the many public
groups, from local schools to the Royal Marines, who make use of them.
The Plan includes a set of Action Plans containing targets against which to measure
progress, which clarify the opportunities and methods available to the East Devon
community to make wise and sustainable use of its heathlands, and to conserve and enhance
their value for wildlife. Beyond this, the Plan presents a series of actions and means by
which the area of heathland in East Devon can be expanded, thereby reversing the century's
trend of loss and degradation of this characterful, rich and unique element of East
The Plan thus provides a resource which can inform wider strategic planning and land
management initiatives, such as the current development of a Management Plan for the East
Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as agri-environment strategy,
development control policy, and educational and information initiatives.