A landscape for learning
Moor Trees and Hannah’s at Seale Hayne
A 6 year project – June 2014 – 2020
Hannah’s and Moor Trees have been working together since 2011 to enhance the hill top of Howton Down, above the former agricultural college campus.
Our aim is to create an inspiring and creative community landscape for all abilities on 28ha (64 acres) of sheep grazing land, a base for outdoor activities whether active, outdoor pursuits or enjoyment of the arts and quiet leisure.
We want to transform the closely grazed fields by creating native woodland, hedgerows and biodiverse meadows to build a backdrop for amenity and education with an environmental spirit.
Moor Trees has been working closely with Hannah’s to plant over 12,000 native trees between 2014 and 2016. This phase was finished over Easter 2016. Amongst the trees will be open areas for wild flowers, natural hedgerows and space for family activities.
Biodiversity will be encouraged with emphasis on Devon BAP species such as dormouse, cirl bunting and a range of bats, including Greater Horseshoe bat for which this area is a known feeding corridor. Regular survey and monitoring work will be undertaken, involving a wide range of the public in ‘citizen science’ activities.
Access is vital. A network of paths and tracks will enable people to enjoy the land in different ways. At least one route to the top of the hill will be barrier free to enable the fullest range of uses for people with disabilities and there will be options for pedestrians, wheelchairs, bikes and horses, all linked to facilities in the campus. Within the campus, transport links will be enabled to offer the widest range of visitor access to the natural space.
The hill top itself is a marvellous natural viewpoint and this aspect will be enhanced with interpretive materials and the delivery of a setting that can be used for story telling, performance, or quiet enjoyment.
The arts are well represented at Seale Hayne. The access routes will be enhanced by community arts and thought provoking pieces, some designed by the children and adults supported by Hannah’s.
Areas for old countryside crafts and pursuits, such as den building, woodworking and camp fires, will be made available.
Across all these aspects we will be encouraging volunteers to get involved, whether gathering seed and planting trees with Moor Trees or learning a range of new countryside skills with the Conservation Volunteers.