Landowners & Bats
Landowners who carry out sensitive countryside management can really improve the feeding areas and habitats for greater horseshoe bats.
During the course of the project our Advisory Officers completed 950 farm visits. In addition, they organised and delivered in excess of 100 landowner workshops on a wide variety of topics relating to greater horseshoe bats and wider environmental management. Workshops on the subject of Countryside Stewardship grant schemes were particularly well received, as was the detailed follow-up advice and ongoing support offered by the team’s Advisory Officers in helping landowners to put their applications together.
The project’s priority areas were Avon Valley/Harbertonford, Berry Head, Bovey Tracey, Branscombe/Southleigh, Braunton, Buckfastleigh, Chudleigh, Dartmouth, Gunnislake.
View and download our Management Guides here. These contain advice and information about how to manage a range of habitats to help bats.
Bat Works grant scheme
More than 40 small grants were awarded to landowners within the project’s priority areas, through our BatWorks grant scheme. With the assistance of grants up to the value of £2,000, these landowners were able to undertake projects such as hedge planting, wildflower meadow creation, orchard restoration and bat roost creation, which will all enhance the landscape for greater horseshoe bats.
Read all about a BatWorks project in the Avon Valley here.
Out on the farm
Greater horseshoes rely on cattle-grazed pastures, diverse grasslands, networks of hedgerows and broadleaved woodlands – all created and managed by farmers.
The project supported farmers by offering free farm visits in key greater horseshoe areas to discuss management including:
- Countryside Stewardship agreements (Higher and Middle Tier, capital grants)
- Effective parasite management – cultural and chemical systems, faecal egg counts, natural anthelmintics
- Grazing links schemes – putting together graziers and landowners
- Use of volunteers to help with practical management tasks
- Developing links with your local community – schools and community visits
- Small capital works where other schemes aren’t available
- General support and advice
You can read a case study about the Braunton Facilitation Group here.