This September people from the Tamar Valley are invited to celebrate bats at one of 25 Bat Festival events across the county. The Festival is organised by the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project, which is led by Devon Wildlife Trust. The Project exists thanks to National Lottery players and a £785,500 Heritage Fund grant. Working alongside local farmers and communities, the aim is to secure a future for Devon’s population of endangered greater horseshoe bats.
Ruth Testa, Project Manager of the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project, said:
“Welcome to the Bat Project’s fourth Bat Festival! Devon is an important place for the greater horseshoe bat. About a third of the UK’s population of this special mammal live here, making Devon a stronghold for them. The Bat Festival is a brilliant opportunity for people to learn about and celebrate our bats. We really need your help to protect greater horseshoe bats into the future as they have declined by over 90% in the last 100 years. We look forward to meeting people at what promises to be our biggest and best Bat Festival ever!”
Valerie Darwall, Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), added:
“We are delighted with all the exciting events taking place that have been organised by the project partners, particularly those in the Tamar Valley AONB. The Bat Festival gives everyone an opportunity to find out more about the secret life of bats. Here in the Tamar Valley you can come along to a family Wildlife Weekend at the Tamar Valley Centre, join a bat detecting walk and even try your hand at scything!”
You can also visit a ‘Bat Beacon’ information area at Braunton Countryside Centre which includes an exhibition and interactive touchscreen all about the bats.
Most events are free of charge to attend. Further details and booking information can be found at www.devonbatproject.org/events.
In addition, Devon residents can find out about the bats living near them by taking part in the Devon Bat Survey. Booking slots are still available for September and October 2019. Visit http://devonbatproject.org/devon-bat-survey/ to request a survey square.
image (c) Mike Symes