Ambassador profile


  Name: John Varley
  Function: Estates Director of Clinton Devon Estates
  Country: United Kingdom
  E-mail: john.varley(at)clintondevon(dot)com
  Tel: +44 01395 443381

Organisation profile


  Organisation: East Devon Pebblebed Heath Conservation Trust (charity formed by Clinton Devon Estates)
  E-mail: mail(at)
  Tel: +44 01395 443881
Conservation Trust: After 2005
Heathland has been owned by Clinton Devon Estates for hundreds of years: since 1519
  Category: NGO
  Number of staff: 2
Site profile
  Site name: East Devon Pebblebed Heaths (Woodbury and Adjacent commons)  
  Location: East Devon, UK  
  Land area: 800 ha  
  Nearest urban settlement: Exmouth, Devon  
  Natura 2000 ID: S.A.C.: U.K.0012602; S.P.A.: U.K.9010121  

  Annual visitor count: Circa 200,000  
  Majority of visitors from: Local area and UK  
  Site description:

Heathlands are characterised by poor, acidic soils and low vegetation, with a predominance of rough grasses, gorse and heathers. Unique plant and animal species thrive in this wild and largely untouched environment. The heathland supports a diverse range of floral species including the bee like structure of the Bee Orchid and in the wetter areas unusual plants thrive such as insectivorous (insect eating) pale butterwort and sundew The habitat is also ideal for heather and August is the best time to see it in a purple haze of colour as three of the many British species can be found - ling, bell and cross-leaved. The Heaths provide a breeding ground for many birds including curlew, yellowhammer, and the rare Dartford warbler and Nightjar which flies during dawn and dusk. During the summer more than 30 species of butterfly can be spotted including silver-washed fritillary, brimstone, grayling and the rare silver-studded blue butterfly. The heaths are also a good place to find reptiles and animals. Adders live in dry areas and grass snakes frequent the wetter places hunting for frogs.



Priority species
  Species code Latin name Common / local name
      Silver Studded Blue Butterfly
      Dartford Warbler
      Southern Damselfly
      Night Jar
      Klugermans Beetle
All habitats
  Habitat code Common / local name
Northern Atlantic Wet heaths with Erica Tetralix
Common/Local name: Dry Heathland
European Dry Heath
Common/Local name: Heathland
Stakeholder profile        
  Stakeholder activity in the management planning process:
  Stakeholder group activity level
  hi ←        → nil
  Local Government        
  Central Government        
  Private landowners        
  Green NGOs        
  Private sector        
  Private individuals        
  Port authorities        
  Recreational groups        
Stakeholder success stories

New signage on the Heaths at each car park

Signs in all car parks and at the main access points to the heaths outline the important information that the public needs to be aware of before entering the heathlands.They also give a brief description of the area local to each sign and what may be found.


A walks leaflet giving 6 approved routes of varying lengths

The public was granted access to all seven of the heaths 2,800 acres in 1930, by the 21st Baron Clinton. Since then, the Estate has had a progressive attitude to public access. The Estate has created many new footpaths linking current paths into six circular walks. Walks and information leaflets are available on line at


Acceptance of the 800 ha into the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme

The Trust was accepted into HLS a European and British government grant in February 2007. This is a ten year subsidy scheme to ensure that the heathland are managed in a way that recognises its outstanding archaeological and natural habitat but also taking account of the landscape and its amenity value.

Photo credit: Clinton Devon Estates
Communication profile

Activities and products for the communication of Natura 2000


Green Days (Heathland week once a year) more info
Guided visits
Other: Website
Other: Brochures


  Event frequency
A few times per year


  Use of seasonal workers / volunteers


  Kind of work / volunteering opportunities
  • Reed cutting
  • Footpath work
  • Scrub clearance


  Communication literature produced
Magazines / periodicals
Guides / maps
Other: Website
Other: Book giving history


  Communication target groups
General public
Local community
Site visitors


  The organisation has a dedicated communication strategy for Natura 2000


  Description of communication strategy


  • PR
  • Website
  • Site visits / events
  • Presentations locally, regionally and nationally
  The communication materials are produced
At the central office co-ordinated via the Estate


  Site involved in joint working / networking


  Details of joint working / networking activity
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) they lease part of the site.


Site management profile
"Application for the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme (HLS)"
  Key site management issues:


Maintaining a balance of work that looks after the important flora and fauna of this site without compromising the archaeological artifacts on the site, whilst also providing the benefit of public access


  Integration of Natura 2000 in overall site management:


It is the basis of the management of the site, through the 10 year management plan with Natural England.


  Key site management objectives:


  • To be accepted for the HLS
  • Working with Natural England and Devon County Council Archeologists
  • To focus the Scheme on a large lowland heath site


  Stakeholders targeted as part of management action:


  • Clinton Devon Estates
  • Natural England
  • Devon County Council

  Description of work carried out / methods and methodology:


  • Production of a management plan that would guide the work on the heaths over ten years and enable the introduction of capital grants
  • Flora and fauna surveys
  • Surveys of the archaeology of the site


  Results of action and activities:


The acceptance into the scheme for the next ten years with an enhanced management plan and grants for special projects to enhance the wildlife and access benefits for the heathland.


  Indication of budget allocation for these tasks:


£ 12,000 (approx Euros 17,000) to produce the application


Financial overview
  Organisational budget for nature conservation (annual):


Circa £180,000 (approx Euros 260,000)


  Budget reserved for communication:


£5,000 (approx Euros 7,000)


  European funding:


  • Higher Level Stewardship Scheme
  • Single Farm Payment


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East Devon Pebblebed Heaths: UK