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Sustainable motive power for nature conservation & management

Sustainable motive power for nature conservation & management

East Devon District Council's (EDDC) Countryside Team maintain 10 separate nature reserves, providing the 'Wild East Devon' experience for residents and visitors alike. The reserves are located between Axminster and Exmouth with the largest, ‘Seaton Wetlands’, covering nearly 4km of level trails and boardwalks through beautiful marshland and reed beds alongside the river Axe.

This unique collection of natural habitats is managed by EDDC’s Countryside Team with the help of dedicated volunteers.  They have the continual task of balancing the needs of the natural environment whilst ensuring safe access together with an enjoyable and informative experience for visitors.

Seaton Wetlands alone, a prime example of a freshwater grazing marsh, attracts 65k visitors each year and is home to dragonflies, swans, otters, pond life and a multitude of bird species.

To assist their important work, EDDC’s Countryside Team had been looking for a robust and flexible general-purpose vehicle capable of carrying personnel, tools and materials around the various sites. A further requirement was to ensure the chosen vehicle would help reduce the department’s carbon footprint through sustainable electric power – a direction already embraced through using battery powered tools and machinery.

Sustainable motive power for nature conservation & management

Considerable research led the team to Eco Charger, whose extensive range of ‘all electric’ quad bikes, proven track record coupled with their Southwest location seemed an ideal company to explore the team’s requirements in depth.

James Chubb, Countryside Team Manager comments,

"We had a good idea of our outline requirements for an all-terrain, all purpose vehicle with sustainability and environmentally sensitivity being key drivers.

Eco Charger were ideally placed to match our needs and to offer a vehicle that ticked all of our boxes and we have been both delighted and impressed by our choice of the Pioneer model.

The Pioneer has excelled in many ways:

  • It’s very quiet, an absolute must for working with wildlife and visitors alike.
  • Its compact size has proved to be ideal for working our relatively narrow cycle paths and pedestrian walkways, it can pass visitors and other users without forcing them onto the verges.
  • It’s compact footprint and low relative weight (compared to a pickup or Landrover) allows it to work directly within the marsh areas without damaging the surface or churning up mud.
  • Its versatility allows the work teams to speedily complete tasks with the minimum of disturbance to visitors, covering large distances each working day and getting to locations where a normal 4x4 would cause damage. An example being the re-seeding of wildflowers over large tracts with the minimum of disruption.
  • It’s robust build and flexibility has resulted in direct cost savings, often doing away with the need to hire in additional machinery. We can attach tools such as a ‘Bracken Basher’ and hoppers to expand its roles.

To us the PIONEER is now a vital member of the Countryside Team!"