Working with Devon County Council to improve Stover Country Park

Ecus worked with Devon County Council to improve Stover Country Park – delivering Ecological Impact Assessment, SSSI assessment, and Biodiversity Net Gain.

Ecus Communications Team
Written by:

Ecus Communications Team

March 20, 2023

We’ve been working with Devon County Council and Royal HaskoningDHV to deliver improvements to Stover Country Park over a two-year development phase.  The project has been awarded £2.1m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund with contributions from Devon County Council, National Highways and other key partners, to deliver the final phase.

The park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a designated nature reserve.  It has 114 acres of woodland, grassland, heathland and a lake, which has been named a dragonfly hotspot by the British Dragonfly Society.

One of the key aims of the work is to improve the water quality of Stover Lake – once famous for its water lilies.  It was once known to be the best freshwater lake in the South West because of its plant life, and habitat for freshwater invertebrates – the reason it was designated an SSSI in 1984. However, its biodiversity has declined in recent years.

Our ecology teams and environmental consultants worked with Devon County Council to:

  • Wet dredge 14,000m³ of sediment from Stover Lake
  • Spread the sediment from the lake on 1.4 hectares of a removed conifer plantation
  • Replant the conifer plantation with 55% deciduous broadleaf trees, 15% conifer and 30% open grassland to improve the SSSI condition
  • Extend the Discovery Centre with a new workshop facility and car park improvements.

Ecus delivered the Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA), the SSSI assessment, and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) for the lake project. We also delivered the BNG assessment and advice on the planning application for the visitors’ centre and car park.