Dartington Parish Council has won a coveted Wild About Devon Award from the Devon Local Nature Partnership.

It is one of only three town and parish councils to have won the award which is nominated by local people.

Chair Trudy Turrell said: ‘’We are all delighted to receive this award.

‘’As a parish where we’ve experienced the development of over 500 houses in a decade, standing up for local habitats can absorb much of our Parish Council’s time, so it’s great to be proactive in creating them.’’

Trudy explained that it all started with tree planting.

With a background in conservation she started working with local volunteers to grow then plant trees around the parish all funded by donations collected in a jam jar in the village stores.

In 2021 people including members of local youth clubs managed to plant 1,000. They were all socially distanced and worked in the wind and rain.

Since then the parish council has planted trees each year including over 300 in 2022 including a new hedgerow by Week Church Hall with more being planted this month.

The Parish Council has even printed it’s own wildlife gardening booklet which has been delivered free to every household and offering advice on how to improve habitats, make bug hotels, hedgehog boxes and mini meadows at little or no cost.

Trudy said: The environment is something that we share and we’re aiming to make it better for people and wildlife at the same time.

The council plan to put Vehicle Activated Signs on the A384 and A385 near Huxhams Cross and later at Barracks Hill to try and slow down traffic.

Councillors want there to be an off-road path between Huxhams Cross and Shinners Bridge as people often drive to the school or shops just to avoid the A384.

The council has also been working alongside Food in Community to teach people to grow organic vegetables as well as providing produce for the food boxes for which there s an increasing demand.

Finally the council want to improve the concrete open space at Webbers Yard by adding planters and seating. It’s hoped occasional community markets will be staged there.