Natural Devon newsletter - June

Local Nature Partnership

Newsletter 3 - June 2014

Natural Devon is Devon's Local Nature Partnership.  It acts as an umbrella, bringing together everyone with an interest in securing the benefits of our natural environment.  Its purpose is to ensure that a healthy natural environment underpins a high quality of life across Devon, with a strong green economy and healthy communities. 

To find out more visit our website,, read our Prospectus and get involved! 


Update from Suzanne Goodfellow, Natural Devon's Chair

It has been a busy and exciting few months for Natural Devon. We have launched our prospectus at a successful conference; published two 'State of ....' reports; initiated new work on health and the environment; provided input to the Local Enterprise Partnership's strategies and supported new exciting partnership projects (e.g. the Helping Hands project led by Tamar Valley AONB and the Greater Horseshoe Bat project led by DWT). We have established close links with other LNPs and Defra so that we can learn from each other. The next few months are likely to be just as busy as, with your help, we develop our Action Plan around our seven themes.

Providing the right evidence.....

bog hoverfly

Devon State of Environment report

Natural Devon has just published a web based State of Environment report as an evidence base for LNP partners.  The report is being used to inform Public Health's Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. 

The State of Devon's Nature, 2013

Our State of Nature report was launched at the March conference by Nick Baker and sets out how well our priority species and habitats are doing.  Both the main report and summary are on our website.  Next steps are to use this evidence to identify priorities for conservation across Devon. 

Rebuilding Devon's Nature Map

Members of the Devon Wildlife Strategy Group have now updated Devon's Nature Map.  This identifies priority areas for maintaining and expanding our most important terrestrial habitats.  In Devon this replaces the South West Nature Map.  A GIS layer is available from Devon Biodiversity Records Centre.

Improving communication.....


One important way in which Natural Devon can 'add value' is through improving communication and networking between Forum members.   

March conference - connecting people and nature

A big thank you to everyone who spoke at and attended our March conference and made it such a success.  The conference was attended by 140 people from a wide range of backgrounds.  Presentations and a summary of  seminar outputs are on our website

Website and newsletter

These aim to provide an update on Natural Devon's work and, importantly, to share information across the county (especially relating to projects being run by Forum members and related case studies / best practice).  Please send any ideas and information to

Unlocking resources......

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership  (LEP)

Devon, Plymouth and Somerset LNPs have been providing input to the LEP's various strategies.  This included a workshop which brought the economic and environmental sectors together.  LNP members are represented on LEP groups, including a new rural interest group. 

The LEP is currently discussing funding allocations and sign off of plans with government. There are likely to be a number of funding opportunities arising over the coming months and we will keep you posted.  If you have ideas for projects which help to meet both LNP and LEP aims please email  For a quick LEP update see the LNP website, for more detailed information see the LEP website.

Find out more about how Wild Anglia LNP and New Anglia LEP are working together via a webinar on the 15th July, organised by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network.  See

LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs)

All Devon LAGs have received our Prospectus in order that they can link our priorities into their emerging Local Development Strategies.  

DCC’s funding officer has produced a summary of how our priorities relate to EU funding opportunities. 

Championing priorities......

We are currently developing an action plan for our priority themes each of which has a lead Board member.  See themes below for a quick update.   

Lord de Mauley is visiting us in the autumn to find out more about our work, giving us the opportunity to showcase projects and raise issues with Government.

Naturally healthy.....


Natural Devon has signed a Compact with the Devon Health and Wellbeing Board to align priorities.    

Research into barriers and motivators

Our Naturally Healthy Task and Finish Group has commissioned a Behaviour Change Scoping Report to investigate the barriers and motivators to people accessing the environment.  A summary of research findings is available now whilst final reports will be available on the web soon.  

Explore Devon website launched

The group has fed into a new website which has just been launched by Devon County Council to help us 'explore Devon the naturally active way'.  To add further information email

Get Active Devon website

Aimed at health practitioners this website needs more 'naturally healthy' activities.  Email

- Examples of delivery projects being run by Natural Devon members

 Healthy National Parks

Somerset and Devon Health and Wellbeing Boards are working with Exmoor National Park Authority to develop a three year Healthy Exmoor Project.  Learning will be shared with others via the LNPs.   Devon Public Health team is discussing a proposal for a similar project with Dartmoor National Park using insight from the Behaviour Change Scoping Report (see above).

Countryside Mobility - user video

See their great new video about their mobility hire scheme.   

Home Grown Community Owned

This HLF project ran from 2009-2014 and a summary of highlights  is now available.   The Community Council for Devon are continuing to support community food growers and are exploring how to grow the network. Please contact them to find out more. 

Green connections.....

DCC family on cycle trail

A meeting of Devon Green Infrastructure officers is being held in July to develop this theme.  Our website provides links to Devon Green Infrastructure projects as well as other useful GI links. 

 Biodiversity offsetting update

The official Defra pilots have now finished and learning collated.  Defra is considering the pilot report along with feedback from the 2013 consultation paper.  No announcement yet made on when Defra will make a decision as to how to take things forward.   The Devon projects (South Devon, North Devon Biosphere Reserve and Exeter & East Devon Growth Point) will continue to be developed.      

 Devon workshop on the new British Standard for Biodiversity

We are planning a Devon workshop on this new British Standard.  If you are interested in attending please email

Outdoor learning.....


This theme is being led by Devon Education Sustainability Working Group (DESWG).   The group is made up of a large and diverse group of practitioners (from local government, schools, further and higher education institutions, NGOs to local communities).  All are committed to developing environmental awareness, stewardship and learning for sustainability. 

- Examples of delivery projects being run by Natural Devon members

  Taking the Exe Estuary into the classroom

Over 50 teachers gathered near the Exe Estuary in May to find out more about how Devon's coastline is managed and how the Exe  can be used to inspire learning in primary school classrooms.  The event is part of the  Living with a Changing Coast (LiCCo) project.  A  free new schools resource pack for primary and secondary schools will be available at  after the final training day in late June. after the final training day in late June.  

  Natural Connections

The Natural Connections Demonstration Project is one of the largest outdoor learning projects in the UK. This three year project (2012-2015), working in more than 200 schools across the South West, aims to significantly increase the number of children experiencing the full range of benefits that come from learning in natural environments. 

Farming for nature / Resilient wetlands .....

east devon bat landscape

New Environmental Land Management Scheme (NELMS) - webinar on 1st July

NELMS will combine both agri-environment and forestry measures and aims to help achieve national Biodiversity 2020 and Water Framework Directive targets.  Defra has asked LNPs to organise consultation on local data validation and targeting.  In Devon NE is organising two small technical workshops (invite only) in mid July.  Contact

A scheme update webinar is available to everyone and is being held on 1st July, 11.30 - 12.30.  Dial in details are on our website.  A link to the webinar will be made available on our website shortly after the event.   

Separately to the above events, East Devon and the Blackdown Hills AONBs are hosting a morning introductory NELMS event on 16th July at Cotleigh Village Hall.  Call 01404 46663 or email

- Examples of delivery projects / events being run by LNP members

  South Devon AONB celebration - 3rd July

 An evening for all ages to discover more about farming for wildlife in the AONB.  Email

  Devon Farming Food and Nature network 

The network's second event for farming practitioners was held in May and presentations and other video / audio clips are availableTo get involved contact Matt Lobley or Mark Robins (   

  Blackdown Hills Rough Grazing Association

Provides a network for owners, managers and anyone interested in rough, wildlife rich grazing land. 

  North Devon Biosphere helps tackle agricultural diffuse pollution

The Biosphere has led a three month Agricultural Diffuse Pollution Project on behalf of the Environment Agency providing advice (infrastructure audits, soil and nutrient testing), grant aid and infrastructure improvements.  

Wood for Good

Further to discussions at the LNP conference a small meeting is being held on 3rd July to link up Devon woodfuel projects and  funding bids. 

- Examples of delivery projects / events being run by LNP members

  Devon Year of the Hedge 2014

To mark its 20th year, the Devon Hedge Group has declared 2014 Devon Year of the Hedge with the aim of celebrating Devon’s amazing hedges which are the best in Europe and perhaps the world!   A series of events are taking place across the county.

A Wood Fuel from Hedges guide is about to be published.  Copies are £5 and available from the Tamar Valley AONB or Devon Hedge Group (see links at end of newsletter).  

There are lots of other 'wood for good' initiatives taking place across Devon.  For more information see our website.


Sustainable seas

 We are currently setting up a  Marine Task and Finish Group to take forward this theme and identify priority actions.  To find out more contact Richard White,  Further information will be on our website shortly.   

- Examples of delivery projects / events being run by LNP members 

South marine plan stakeholder engagement workshops - July

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is holding a series of South marine plan workshops in mid July.  The Devon workshop is in Exmouth on 18th July.  To register go to eventbrite.  For updates see

Valuing Marine Ecosystem Services in the Western Channel (Valmer)

The Valmer Interreg project (2012 - 2015) is examining how improved marine ecosystem services assessment can support effective and informed marine management and planning and should provide useful information for Devon's Marine Strategy.

- Other useful info

Research undertaken in the US demonstrates the economic benefits of restoring coastal ecosystems and provides us with useful evidence.   

- Examples of Devon landscape scale projects........

marsh frit

Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area (NIA)

The NIA is an active, ambitious partnership of 15 organisations working in the river Torridge catchment and led by Devon Wildlife Trust. The project is working towards bigger and better culm grassland, woodland and river habitats; better water quality and stronger connections between local people and their environment.  Now in its third year the NIA is already delivering impressive results.     

kids and bat detector

Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project

Devon is a stronghold for greater horseshoe bats which are one of the rarest bats in NW Europe.  Under threat from changing agricultural practices and new development, this partnership project (led by Devon Wildlife Trust) aims to work alongside farmers, landowners and communities to secure their long term future.  The project has been awarded development phase HLF funding, matched by contributions from a wide range of organisations including all of Devon's AONBs.

B-lines project in the South Devon AONB

Buglife and the AONB have just started a new project which will work with landowners and communities to restore and create  wildflower habitats (our local B-lines).  For more info contact the AONB team.

Information on other Devon landscape projects can be found on our website.

National reports.....

Helping nature conservationists prepare for climate change

A new manual has just been published by the Defra family and RSPB to help conservation managers prepare for and respond to climate change.   

Nature offers a great return on investment according to new report

A new report demonstrating that investment in the environment offers excellent value for money has been published by Natural England. The report assesses the evidence across a wide range of themes, including economic growth, health, social cohesion and resilience to climate change. 

England Natural Environment Indicators

Natural England has just published its 2014 ‘England Natural Environment Indicators’ report to track progress on the ambitions of the 2011 Government Natural Environment White Paper, including a set of biodiversity indicators for the England Biodiversity Strategy.

Bits and bobs......

Niki Cooksey has undertaken an arts project focusing on Devon's endangered species and impacts from pollution, reduced habitat and human intervention. "I use recycled paper that is secured to walls using a homemade, biogradable wheatpaste. The pieces break down from weathering, being eaten and inhabited by all kinds of local regional wildlife."   See

Links to key partners / countywide groups

Devon Maritime Forum  

Devon Landscape Policy Group

Devon Wildlife Strategy Group

Devon Education for Sustainability Working Group

Devon Hedge Group

Devon's Protected Landscape Partnerships

Devon National Parks


This newsletter has been sent to you because you have expressed an interest in the issues covered by the Devon Local Nature Partnership.  To contact us, unsubscribe or provide contributions to the autumn newsletter please email or call Sarah Jennings, LNP Coordinator on 01392 383871.