Generosity of locals gives hope for cherished east Devon nature reserve

Devon Wildlife Trust said it had been ‘delighted’ by the kind contributions received to its fundraising appeal to purchase Bystock Pools nature reserve.
The popular wildlife haven and beauty spot, between Exmouth and East Budleigh, was put up for sale by the landowner in spring 2015, having been leased to Devon Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve since the 1970s.
The Exeter-based conservation charity launched an appeal in June to try to raise £45,000 to help meet the purchase price of the land. By the beginning of July, more than £36,000 had been received in donations from local residents, the Trust’s Bystock group of volunteers, and DWT supporters across Devon.
Liz Hamling, a member of the Exmouth & Bystock DWT Local Group of volunteers who help look after the reserve, said: “We are so thrilled with the support that local people have shown by donating to the appeal to save Bystock. It just shows how important the reserve is to everyone.”
Liz said that when visiting shops in Exmouth to ask if they would stock a donations tin for the appeal, one shopkeeper had said they would give £100 to help save Bystock themselves.
Volunteers at the reserve have reported that Bystock is already alive to the sights and sounds of summer. Southern hawker dragonflies and silver-washed fritillary butterflies are both on the wing, while a recent evening walk event included sightings of glow worms and the sounds of churring nightjars and seven different species of bat!
DWT’s Dan Smith commented: “we’ve been delighted with the generous response we’ve had to our appeal to help purchase Bystock Pools. Lots of people who’ve donated have commented on how much they love the place and how they remember coming to events or on primary school visits and the stunning wildlife they’ve discovered here.”
The Trust said they now required another £8800 in donations to reach the £45,000 target to help purchase the reserve. Donations can be made online at or by phoning DWT on 01392 279244.