Helping to safeguard Devon’s Nocturnal Wonder…..
The Tamar Valley AONB was delighted to be a partner in the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat project which finished in December 2020. The project enabled people to learn about, celebrate and help to care for these enigmatic bats and the landscape they live in. Hosted by Devon Wildlife Trust and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other funders, this 5-year project worked across Devon and beyond looking to secure a brighter future for this species. The Tamar Valley AONB is a stronghold for these bats and we are very pleased to be one of the 18 partners helping to deliver this project.
The project team worked with schools, communities and local landowners to raise awareness of the bats and help to improve habitats within the feeding areas and to safeguard the bat’s homes. In the Tamar Valley the Bat Project team worked with communities in both West Devon and East Cornwall who live within the feeding zone of a large maternity roost in the area. The team worked with schools to achieve their Bat Buddy awards and supported a number of Bat Works projects, providing small grants for habitat improvements that would help a wide range of species in addition to Greater Horseshoes. Farm Advisors visited landowners across the project area and held workshops at the Tamar Valley Centre supporting applications for agri-environment scheme grants.
A wide range of other events have been hosted in the Tamar Valley during the course of the project ranging from bat walks to exhibitions. The Tamar Valley Centre was a monitoring centre for the Devon Bat Survey and hosted one of the project bat detectors. Lots of people have had the opportunity to get involved and provide valuable data for the local area. They have also discovered the number and range of bat species visiting their gardens during the summer months and many have been amazed and delighted with the results! We are hoping to continue to offer some monitoring resources going forward. Please contact Tamar Valley AONB Project Officer Valerie Darwall for further information.
Visit the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project website for more information about this fascinating project and to explore the wide range of videos and other resources about these amazing bats.
Image: Greater Horseshoe Bats (c) Natural England – Michael Hammett