Orchard Planting Day & Landowner Advice session to help Devon’s Bats

A Devon-based project dedicated to conserving one of the county’s most endangered animals is running a practical volunteer task day later this month, to plant apple trees back into a traditional orchard. A Landowner Advice day has also been planned for mid-February.

The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project is joining forces with Valley Volunteers (Tamar Community Trust), where volunteers will help to dig in trees and fence them to prevent damage from livestock, providing vital habitat for these bats.

Ruth Testa, who manages the project, said: ‘Orchards are a great habitat for foraging greater horseshoe bats, and this orchard is right next to the River Tamar and very close to an important greater horseshoe bat maternity roost.’

The orchard planting day will take place on Wednesday 31st January at Hatches Farm, Gunnislake, 10:30am – 4pm.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided, but please bring lunch. Wear suitable clothing and sturdy footwear. For further information, or to book your place, please contact Anna David, tel: 07572 687601 or email: adavid@devonwildlifetrust.org

On Friday 16th February, a free workshop aimed at landowners will be held at the Tamar Valley Centre, Drakewalls, from 9:45am – 4pm, for anyone interested in applying for the;

–       Hedgerows and Boundaries Capital Grant

–       Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship

–       New Offer Countryside Stewardship

The workshop will provide up-to-date guidance on the scheme requirements, submitting successful applications and potential further assistance. You are welcome to come to all or part of the day to suit you. Booking essential – tel: 07572 687601 or email: adavid@devonwildlifetrust.org (Anna David).

The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project is a 5-year partnership project of 18 organisations (including the Tamar Valley AONB), led by Devon Wildlife Trust and is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), as well as other funders. The project aims to secure the future of the greater horseshoe bat in Devon; the northern European stronghold of this highly threatened mammal. To do this the project is working with landowners and communities to raise awareness and to improve habitats, as well as running research programmes like the Devon Bat Survey to increase understanding of bat species.

Hatches Farm orchard planting 190117 (9)