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The UK ranks 191 out of 218 countries for Biodiversity Intactness (State of Nature Report 2016). It’s not just rare species that are in trouble, the abundance of common species are falling. Nature needs our help and this project will pool the resources, knowledge, land and labour in the Parish of South Brent to come to the rescue.


What will we do?

Wildflower meadow

On the grass verge along Exeter Road opposite the play park, we have sown a native wildflower meadow with members of the community including the Primary School. We have used a local mix of annual and perennial wildflowers and will create a traditional hay meadow. This display will provide a colourful welcome to drivers entering the village and will serve as an advert for the project.


Wildflower meadow preparation day 16th February 2019

This is what the site looked like in July 2019

Traditional orchard

We have launched a new project to create an orchard under sown with native wildflowers on land at South Brent Health Centre. We will recreate a traditional orchard using local fruit tree varieties, local wildflower seed and by training the local community in traditional management methods – pruning, scything, pressing. The orchard will be known as ‘An apple a day’ orchard’ and we will work with the Doctor’s to record health outcomes for participants. The Doctor’s will signpost the project to patients where appropriate. Whilst the proposed orchard is on private land, it will be accessible to members of the public outside of surgery hours (after 6pm on weekdays, after 12 noon on Saturdays and all day Sunday). The Doctor’s have indicated that they are very happy for us to create a traditional orchard at this location.


Orchard planting day 16th February 2019

This is what the site looked like in July 2019

Tuesday 27th August – ‘A few of the group practised the traditional art of scything the wildflowers in the Health Centre Orchard (aka the Apple a Day Orchard). Wildflower seeds were harvested to use on other sites and the green hay was composted’


Citizen science. We will set up a simple monitoring programme to establish baseline diversity and abundance records for a few key insect indicator species and then monitor progress through the project period.


Sharing resources and knowledge

We will capacity build a network of mentors who have sufficient knowledge and confidence to provide advice to other landowners/householders who may wish to create wildflower meadows at home from window boxes to meadows.



People will be encouraged to take photos and report sightings. Photos will be posted on the Sustainable South Brent facebook page. An annual report summarising the impact the project has had will be produced.


Skills and Learning

Ongoing traditional management of the habitats, increased knowledge in the community of local environmental issues, ongoing identification workshops/bug hunts, wild flower seed collection and cultivation, fruit tree grafting/pruning sessions.



  • Kew Gardens
  • South Brent Health Centre
  • Devon County Council
  • South Brent Parish Council
  • Brent Birders
  • Brent Island Trust
  • South Brent Primary
  • Devon Wildlife Trust
  • Orchard Link
  • Moor Meadows

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Latest News

27 May 2020

All the fruit trees have survived the extremely wet winter and now they have what increasingly looks like a drought to contend with. The yellow rattle seeds have not faired so well – probably falling foul to rotting in the extremely wet and mild winter. We sowed yellow rattle seeds at both the Apple a Day Orchard and the Exeter Road wildflower verge with the help of pupils from South Brent Primary. A few individuals have shown their face in the wildflower verge but none came up in the orchard. This is disappointing as we put thousands of seeds down. Better luck next year. However, the other wildflowers are showing really well now so overall we are pleased with progress.


Wildflowers and apple tree doing well at the Apple-a-day orchard

















One of the few yellow rattle plants that made it on the road verge
















Volunteer with SSB

Autumn is just around the corner! It’s a great time to start something new, and if you’re thinking about volunteering, Sustainable South Brent (SSB) has lots of opportunities – from regular weekly sessions to just 3 hours a year. No matter how much time you think you can give, we welcome all new volunteers and…

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Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey – Volunteers needed

Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey – Volunteers needed Butterfly Conservation are after volunteers to survey 1km grid squares within Dartmoor National Park. If you are interested, Please open the links below for details of what is involved and the 2018 Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey newsletter. Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey – local volunteers wanted Wider Countryside Butterfly…

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Project Documents

Brent Bees Butterflies and Bugs (4Bs)


Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey_Newsletter_2018

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Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey_local volunteers wanted

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