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Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Hedgerow boost for Devon's bats

By Jemima Laing
BBC Devon

Work at Woodah Farm - Devon Wildlife Trust
Woodah Farm is home to the charity's nature reserves team

Devon's hedgerows are a beautiful feature of our countryside but they also play a pivotal role - not least for the county's bat population.

Greater and lesser horseshoe bats roosting in neighbouring caves use hedgerows as foraging routes as well as a food source.

Now the Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) has been awarded £25,000 towards conservation work at its farm in the Teign Valley.

The money - which comes from the SITA Trust - will go towards major restoration of hedgerows at Woodah Farm near Doddiscombsleigh.

The farm is a 65-hectare holding and home to the charity's nature reserves team.

Andy Bakere, DWT's nature reserve officer for Woodah said it was a "significant boost".

"It will help in delivering specific habitat improvements on this important site," he said.

"The work will be staggered over a three-year period starting in early 2011.

"Much of the restoration will be carried out with the help of volunteers and Devon Rural Skills Trust who will also be delivering public training days as part of the project."

Natural world awareness

Some of the money will also help DWT purchase a bat monitoring device.

This will be used to record which hedgerows are most frequently used across the farm and to evaluate the success of the project.

"Our panel of biodiversity experts was very impressed with both the benefits to wildlife this project offers and the involvement of the general public in delivering these benefits," said Jools Granville of the SITA Trust.

"With increased awareness of the natural world we are better equipped to protect it."




SEE ALSO
Bats' Devon flight paths tracked
30 Jul 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Preserving Devon's ancient hedges
08 Mar 10 |  Nature & Outdoors


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