This land was bought by the Parish Council from the Church Commissioners in 1993 at the same time as it also bought The Court Room, Childrens’ Playground, Playing Field and the Land Adjoining the Dart Valley Railway (Riverside Walk). All these sites were put in trust except the Nature Reserve. The reason why it was excluded is no longer known, but the councillor who at the Parish Council meeting in January 1994 proposed the motion – that was carried by just one vote – to exclude it from the trust now has no idea why he opposed it and, in light of the present threat of it being sold, bitterly regrets that decision.
We are told by Spencer Keys, who was a councillor at the time that the aim of the PC was to buy all the land being sold by the Church Commission between the river Dart and the road to Staverton village to consolidate its holding and link the whole area and put it in trust for the benefit, free access and visual pleasure of the public. By what now appears to have been an accident of history the Nature Reserve was unfortunately excluded from that trust.
However, the Parish Council does acknowledge that it is a wildlife area – it was described as such in the minutes of their meeting in Jan 1994 and the Council’s own plaques on the gates to the area state:
“ This nature area is provided for the residents and visitors alike……Please keep out of the adjacent Wildlife Area which has been fenced off as a habitat for flora and fauna……which has been provided to commemorate the Third Millennium.”