19th March 2021
The long term future of award-winning Dawlish Countryside Park has been secured through a landmark agreement which will see its management taken over by national land management charity, the Land Trust, which will safeguard recent public and environmental benefits.
Teignbridge Council is to award a 999 year lease to the Land Trust to use an endowment investment to deliver the long term goals of Dawlish Countryside Park, which mirror the Trust’s vision of improving “the quality of people’s lives by creating sustainable, high quality green spaces that deliver environmental, social and economic benefits”.
Local communities will be encouraged to get involved with the Land Trust in managing sustainability, biodiversity and supporting the Habitat Regulations outcomes essential for mitigating the likely impact of population growth on the nearby Dawlish Warren and Exe Estuary protected European wildlife sites.
Councillors decided that placing the financial and delivery responsibility with the Land Trust is the best way to secure in-perpetuity protection for the green space legacy of social, environmental and wildlife benefits within the popular award winning park.
The Land Trust has been involved with Dawlish Countryside Park since 2016 when it was appointed to produce the site’s Master Plan and has a wealth of experience and an impressive track record of managing major SANGS (suitable alternative natural green space).
The Land Trust will secure the long-term ecosystem services such as carbon storage, flood relief and pollinator habitats and support the health and wellbeing of local communities and visitors. Better investment returns on the endowment and economies of scale are likely to be secured via the Land Trust’s existing investment portfolio and the contractual arrangements provide robust safeguards.
Executive Member for Planning Cllr Gary Taylor, said: “This is a first class, value for money arrangement which will ensure people can enjoy Dawlish Countryside Park into the next millennium and removes any threat of redevelopment.
“It means that the vital Habitat Regulations will continue to be met and that existing and new planted trees and habitats are protected for the long-term benefit of visitors and the environment.”
Executive Member for Sport, Recreation and Culture Cllr Andrew MacGregor, added: “Our greenspace rangers have an excellent knowledge of the site and will be appointed by the Land Trust to continue delivering their expertise, helping to maintain this wonderful asset for the next ten years and hopefully for longer providing they continue to offer best value.
“This really is a fantastic outcome for staff, residents, visitors, the Council and especially the environment and the beautiful wildlife at the Park. I am delighted we have reached such a positive agreement”.
Land Trust Chief Executive, Euan Hall, added:
“Well managed green spaces play a particularly important role in protecting people’s physical and mental wellbeing and we have seen over the last year what an important role they play in people’s lives.
“We are delighted to be taking over the long term management of Dawlish Countryside Park, which is already delivering a wide range of benefits to the community who live and work around this green space.
“For the foreseeable future we’ll be working hard to ensure that Dawlish continues to provide a vital service to the people it serves and create significant economic and social value for the local area.”
It was a very physical day but worth every moment. It’s great the give back to the community and to see the difference you made at the end of the day.
Tim Green, Skanska Corporate Volunteer
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