Generous contributions helping to secure future of Branscombe’s rare bats

Greater horseshoe bats

Greater horseshoe bats - Credit: Archant

Appeal reached 80 per cent of £26,000 target in just one month - but more support needed

Generous contributions from the community are helping to secure the future of rare bats in Branscombe – but more support is still needed.

Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) has reached 80 per cent of the £26,000 needed to improve roosting sites and help protect greater horseshoe bats after launching an appeal a month ago.

The breed is one of Europe’s rarest bats and safeguarding maternity roosts – one of which is in Branscombe – is a key aim of the charity’s Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project.

Project manager Ed Parr Ferris said: “We’re delighted to see such a generous response from local people. We’ve been working with pupils at Branscombe Primary School to inspire them about their local greater horseshoe bats and show them what amazing animals they are. People in East Devon can feel proud that their landscapes can still support such special wildlife – but these bats have suffered around a 90 per cent decline in England in the last century. They need all the help they can get.”

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The DWT is working in partnership with other organisations, including East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Homes for Bats appeal aims to cover enhancement of at least one damaged maternity roost, as well as restoration of insect-rich habitat around roosts.

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East Devon AONB’s Pete Youngman said: “One of the reasons East Devon AONB is involved in the Greater Horseshoe Bat Project is to inspire people about the wonderful wildlife around us – so we hope that more local residents and visitors will support the Homes for Bats appeal this summer.”

The Heritage Lottery Fund is match-funding the project so for every £35 donated, an additional £65 worth of money becomes available for bat conservation.

Donations can be made online at or call DWT on 01392 279244.

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