Bat Beacons

We have two fixed beacons – one at Berry Head National Nature Reserve and one at The Donkey Sanctuary

‘Bat Beacons’ contain displays and information and are a great way to let people know about our project.

About The Donkey Sanctuary

Here at The Donkey Sanctuary we believe it is important to manage our farmland in a sustainable way that enhances wildlife habitats on our farms and enriches the environment for donkeys and people, and we are always exploring ways in which we can integrate donkey welfare and wildlife conservation.

What We Do

With the help of volunteers, we carry out habitat creation and enhancement: from hedgelaying and planting to woodland management, coppicing, pond restoration, invasive species clearance, species monitoring, wildflower areas, roost and nest box provision, and gardening for wildlife. If you’d like to be involved, please get in touch.

Bats at the Donkey Sanctuary

Our woodlands, hedgebanks, ponds, gardens, meadows and buildings provide roosts and foraging grounds to several bat species. Greater horseshoe bats visit the Sanctuary to eat dung beetles which live in donkey dung. Bats are important indicators that the environment is healthy and some species eat the flies which can bother the donkeys.

About Berry Head
National Nature

Berry Head National Nature Reserve and SSSI is home to rare greater horseshoe bats, the UK’s most southerly guillemot colony, and a variety of rare or threatened flora and fauna. The headland is occupied by ancient monuments in the form of some of the UK’s best-preserved Napoleonic fortifications. The site is managed by the Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust, an independent local charity.

What We Do

You will find a visitor centre and cafe in the Northern Fort. The Countryside Officer and his volunteers manage the National Nature Reserve throughout the year. The team are based on site carrying out practical habitat work, maintaining paths and infrastructure, surveying wildlife, managing the livestock and engaging with the public.

Bats at Berry Head NNR

Resident all year round, the bats roost in the extensive limestone cave systems here at the reserve, an internationally important site for them. During the winter they retreat further inside to ‘hibernate’ whilst in summer move to a maternity roost which houses first the pregnant females and then their babies. Since their formation, the TCCT has work tirelessly to improve the countryside for the benefit of the greater horseshoe bat. Re-instating grazing across the site and beyond, installing km’s of hedgerows and creating new pastures for our north Devon cattle. This not only benefits bats but many other species too.