National Nature Reserves week has begun across Devon and Cornwall

Devonshire landscape The first-ever National Nature Reserves Week has begun, with people up and down Devon and Cornwall being encouraged to get out and about and explore nature in one of England's 221 National Nature Reserves (NNRs).

The ten-day event, a new annual celebration will champion the country's 221 National Nature Reserves and the benefits they provide for nature and people. The NNRs boast a unique tapestry of flora, fauna and geological wonders and are home to more than 17,000 species, spanning 106,000 hectares of protected habitat across every corner of England - approximately 0.7% of the country's land surface.

The event is being marked with a host of activities – a number of which are free of charge which families up and down the country can enjoy. Events are being held in East Dartmoor, the Pebblebed Heaths in Devon, Golitha Falls and The Lizard in Cornwall, and include bat walks, art sessions and an open day at Goss Moor in Cornwall.

Natural England chief executive Marian Spain said, "I am delighted to come together with our partners to launch National Nature Reserves Week – a chance for all of us to celebrate England's remarkable wildlife and natural habitats. National Nature Reserves for decades have played a vital role in conserving various species of plants and animals, but also provided an outdoor space for research and education, and opportunities to access, enjoy and engage with our natural heritage. Whether you are visiting for the first time, or it's a part of your daily walk, I invite everyone to explore one of the 221 National Nature Reserves nationwide and see what's on offer."

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