Cofton Holidays has stepped on the accelerator of green-minded conservation practises over the past few years. Eastdon Woods and the surrounding area has seen a series of developments brought about in order to improve the ugly-duckling woods for both visitors and nature alike. In addition to the clear bright signs to show entrances to the nature trails, work has begun in clearing and widening those paths which have begun to fall into disrepair. This ensures not only ease of access for visitors, but also defines the edges of the path. This in turn should improve the surrounding woodland by restricting access but also giving visitors a clear insight into the wild nature of Eastdon.
Who likes bees, bugs and creepy crawlies? Whilst not being the most glamourous of guests, Cofton is committed to improving their habitat, even constructing their very own hotel. This structure has been built and tailored for different insect species, each with their own specialised rooms. This grand hotel will form the flagship of many more to come, small and large, hidden and visible, so that our fantastical minibeast population continues to flourish.
It is often overlooked how important such creatures are to the gritty workings of the British ecosystem. Their initial obvious role is that of prey for larger animals; on a warm evening, one can walk up to the entrance of the woods and spend time watching the many swifts and house martins swooping down a defined route, catching the lazy evening insects as they buzz around the grassland. With a bit of luck, you may even spot a common frog hopping around the rotten wood-piles, hoovering up as many creepy-crawlies as they can fit in their slimy bellies. Many of our guests are also responsible for keeping the machine running as nature’s very own waste personnel. Trees and plants have a habit of being messy litterers; the leaves of which provide gourmet dining for woodlice, worms, earwigs, centipedes and many many more. The “leavings” of these creatures form the final link in the chain, providing the vital nutrients for plant growth. Such is the wonderful hidden cycle we walk past, over, through and under every single day.
If you love the woods, or feel like being inspired here at Cofton, we offer two immersive club activities, run by our on-site Entertainers, as well as our resident ecologist and conservation officer, George. Come along to our Funky Foresters club to learn some basic woodland survival skills; maybe even find a bug or two!
If a calmer walk deep through the dappled cosy green of the woods is more your thing, then why not join George and Owen on our Woodland Explorer club. This walk is aimed at all ages with encouragement on family participation. Come and experience the beauty of our local wildlife with great views across the estuary to Exmouth or over the fields to Haldon in the opposite direction. Educational and fun, complete with more bug hunts, bird-watching and mammal-spotting, this walk is especially engaging after the Thursday morning Funky Foresters club, which takes place in a fir woods as opposed to the deciduous Woodland Explorer woodland. This is a great opportunity for inquisitive minds and those parents looking to inspire with a majestic oak or beech instead of the dreaded electric screen.