Devon is a great county for bats, having 16 out of the 18 species found in the UK. As bat numbers decline and their habitats are lost, they need all the help they can get. We want villages and towns to be proud of their local bats. By recognising their value and importance, people can celebrate these amazing bats by becoming a ‘bat-friendly’ community.
Villages and towns can become ‘bat-friendly’ by carrying out lots of different activities. This could be as simple as asking everyone to do some bat-friendly gardening, for example, building a ‘bug hotel’. It could include planting wildflowers to attract night pollinating moths (great food for bats). You could take part in the Devon Wildlife Trust’s Action for Insects campaign to encourage insects in your area – this improves biodiversity and provides more food for bats too!
Visit our downloads page for our full range of downloads and resources.
Visit the Local Organisations page to find out about the local groups taking action near you.
Bats in Churches project
Scroll down to see examples of the events during the bat porject to raise awareness in towns and villages around Devon;
Bat walks galore
A lot of bat detecting went on during summer evenings. Plenty of bats were heard using our range of hi-tech bat detectors. Even when the weather got cooler and the nights started to draw in, bats were still be found out and about. Autumn is a busy time for bats as they feed like crazy to put on enough weight to get them through the long winter months ahead. It’s also the mating season ahead of hibernation.
Bovey Heathfield Nature Reserve Discovery Day
There was some fantastic creativity from these youngsters at our Discovery day bat stand, as well as a lot of interest in the project and the bats. Visitors to the stand also enjoyed seeing the recorded roost footage of the babies and their mums in the roost this summer.
Deer Park Farm Habitat walk
As well as evening walks, we ran daytime walks throughout the year to see examples of good habitats. On this walk at Deer Park Farm near Chudleigh, locals were treated to a fascinating look at how to manage habitats for greater horseshoe bats. This included a visit to a beautiful wildflower meadow (great for insects!) and discussion on how parasite management can impact on the dung beetle population (a favorite prey item for greater horseshoes).
Buckfastleigh Fun Day
Some great bat craft creations were made at the fun day and we enjoyed meeting bat enthusiasts from Buckfastleigh. We worked with the local community to make the town a ‘bat-friendly’ place to live and work.
Brixham children create a giant mural
Our Bat beacon (found in the Artillery Room at Berry Head National Nature Reserve) was transformed into a hive of activity as children from Brixham C of E Primary School created a masterpiece based on their classroom drawings of greater horseshoe bats. Local artist Helena Clews volunteered her time and expertise to turn the idea of a mural became a reality. The mural is on permanent display in the Bat Beacon.