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Vandals won’t ruin tree photography project, organisers vow

Published: 14 April 2021

Damaged sign Damaged sign

The people behind a project aimed at saving Devon’s treescapes have said they won’t let vandals ruin the initiative.

It comes after vandals damaged a sign at a fixed photography post in one of Exeter’s parks.

The sign at Exwick Playing Fields was snapped in two.

Rosie Cotgreave, of Saving Devon’s Treescapes, said: “This is just mindless vandalism but it won’t halt our efforts as part of this worthwhile project to protect Devon’s Treescapes, and we will be replacing the sign.

“I would urge anyone who knows anything about this incident or sees similar acts of vandalism to report them to the police.”

The project encourages people to take photographs from fixed photography points across Exeter and Devon to assess the effect of ash dieback disease on the landscape.

The project is being run by Saving Devon’s Treescapes –part of Devon Wildlife Trust – working in partnership with local authorities such as Exeter City Council to mitigate the loss of trees caused by the deadly ash dieback disease. The project is already underway in neighbouring East Devon

Exeter has three fixed camera points in three locations across the city where ash dieback is having an impact.

Members of the public can take photographs from the fixed posts to capture Exeter’s changing landscape over the coming months and years. The pictures help capture changes to the treescape and will help inform decisions about future plantings across the city.

So far organisers have received 58 images from the points across the county, with 22 taken in Exeter.

The posts in Exeter are at the following locations, with more positions being considered:

  • Eastern Fields, Pinhoe – by the entrance from Beacon Heath Road (what3words location ‘assist backs fancy’)
  • Exwick Playing Fields – at the footpath junction beside a bench and dog litter bin (what3words location ‘dimes backs loose')
  • Topsham Recreation Ground – at the northern end of the park (what3words location ‘powder asleep lives’)

All three posts are mounted with a bracket, allowing people to take a photograph of the landscape with their camera phone and then send it to the project via email. The three posts help make up 25 across the county. There is also a post in Stoke Woods.

Photographs all need to be taken in the same way:

  • Using a smart phone placed in the bracket
  • Photos can be taken in ‘landscape’ or  ‘portrait’ mode
  • Don’t use the zoom function
  • No selfies or people shots
  • Email the picture to In the title of the email include the number in the top left corner of the sign on the post of the fixed camera point
  • Those on social media can share their photos online using the hashtag #SaveDevonsTrees

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