91 Woodbury Common

On a lovely June morning, the scout set off on a “lunchtime 30” to Exmouth via Woodbury. He could never tire of the view west from the edge of the common and so he put off the thrill of the steep descent and turned right to follow the track, as he had often done. He was surprised to find a new car park and gates restricting access beyond.

The view north is restricted but this is no complaint. Raddon Top can be made out left of centre, beyond Pinhoe. +
Another vantage point, Waddles Down at Whitestone, can just be seen left of centre. +
Woodbury lies beneath, with Exminster beyond the estuary. Cotley Castle is just discernible. +
Lyme Bay is visible at left. The Parson and Clerk can be made out. +

The scout was so grateful for the experience that he sent a wire to the good folk at Pebblebed Heaths.

What an unalloyed joy it was on Thursday to find no cars parked at the vantage point by the castle. I had cycled from Exeter and very nearly did not bother to turn off the road but I am glad that I did, for when I made my way along the new path I found that I had the place to myself. The experience was heightened by not having the intrusion of people sitting in their cars or setting up for the day in their campervans.

This change I realize must not be popular with everyone but it gladdens my heart. I do not know what caused you to restrict access but I have to say that I am very pleased with what you have done.

It may be that I never again enjoy the place to myself in glorious sunshine as I did on Thursday, so thank you for that memorable moment.

When looking towards Woodbury from a distance, it will now be nice not seeing the glint of car windscreens.

A reply was received ten days’ later:

Good afternoon Colin

Thank you for your email. It is always lovely to hear when someone has a memorable moment on the heaths. I am pleased that you like the changes we have made at the viewpoint. As you mention in your message, some people were less enthusiastic about our new approach up there but once we explain the scale of antisocial behaviour we were dealing with most people understand why we have limited vehicle access.

It is a lovely spot. I hope you continue to enjoy it.

Kind regards,

Kim (Kim Strawbridge, Reserves Manger, Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust).

This entry was posted in Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.