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Stover Country Park takes action for nature thanks to £2.5million Heritage Fund grant

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We’ve been successful in our bid for National Lottery Heritage funding to help pay for an exciting nature and restoration project that will revitalise biodiversity in our historic Grade II listed Stover Country Park, and we’re delighted!

The £2.5 million funding paves the way for a comprehensive programme of work that will include the removal of silt from the 10-acre naturalised freshwater lake, the largest in the south west, and which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

It will also enable the restoration of the historic Gatehouse, and the reopening of a portion of a second lake, which was once a major feature of the landscape.

The project will deliver a network of walking routes, linked to an improved Discovery Centre, community workshop and outdoor learning areas.

Rare species on the site include downy emerald dragonflies, pearl-bordered fritillaries, nightjars, dormice and greater horseshoe bats.

Councillor Andrea Davis, our Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said:

“This is fantastic news for Stover Country Park and a credit to everyone who has worked so hard to secure this funding over a number of years.

“This investment along with funding from Devon County Council, National Highways and other key partners will make an enormous difference to the Park. Not only will it remove the Gatehouse from the National ‘Heritage At Risk’ register and assist Stover Lake into regaining its SSSI favourable condition criteria by de-silting, but it will enable a new programme of activities to improve existing visitors’ experience and encourage use of the Park by under-represented communities. All in all, it will help secure a vibrant future for Stover Country Park.”

Stover Country Park is one of Devon’s most accessible and popular heritage sites and as part of the project the activity programme will help to engage new and existing audiences of all ages. These will be developed through a wide programme of activities including history, landscape, wildlife, culture and wellbeing, hoping to help inspire communities, volunteers and the next generation to play an integral part in securing a bright and thriving future for our natural world.

Stuart McLeod, Director England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“Through our conversations with National Lottery players, we know that nature is incredibly important to them. I’m delighted that we’re able to support Stover Country Park and their vision to preserve this significant and varied landscape in Devon. At The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’re incredibly proud to be playing a role in ensuring our natural heritage is safeguarded for generations to come, but also that the projects we fund give people the chance to connect with the nature and wildlife that is on their doorsteps.”

Since 1994, The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded over £1.8billion to more than 4,200 land, nature and biodiversity projects across the UK.