Natural Devon Updates

Local Nature Partnership

Issue No.8

Welcome to the Autumn 2017 issue of Natural Devon's e-newsletter

Natural Devon (Devon Local Nature Partnership) is a collaboration of all those working to ensure that a healthy natural environment underpins a high quality of life across the county. Please get involved - see

To submit articles for this newsletter please email

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Changes to the LNP Board and Executive 

Welcome to two new Board members,  Mark Williams (CEO at East Devon District Council) and Iain Vosper (Director at South West Water). 

Massive thanks and good luck to Jonny Miller (Exec lead for our Green Infrastructure work) and Richard White (Exec lead for our Sustainable Seas work).    Due to job changes both Jonny and Richard are having to step down as LNP leads.  Their replacements are being agreed and will be announced in the next newsletter.

Naturally Healthy

To find out about our Naturally Healthy Working Group please contact and see our Naturally Healthy pages


Funding success!

The LNP's Naturally Healthy Group has been awarded £500,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England.  The   5 year Connecting Actively to Nature (CAN)  programme aims to help over 3000 older people in Devon and Torbay to connect actively to nature.  Massive thanks to Active Devon for leading this bid and all partners who are contributing.

If you are 55+ please fill out this CAN survey (£30 gift voucher prizes!)


Feel Good Autumn

The Forestry Commission is working with mental health charity, Mind, to offer a series of activities at Haldon Forest Park over the autumn period - see  'Feel Good Autumn'. This initiative follows a Mind survey which revealed that 94% of respondents said green exercise benefited their mental health.  


Get walking!

Public Health England has launched a new Active 10 app as part of its ‘One You’ physical activity campaign encouraging people to walk briskly for 10 minutes.  To find some great Devon walks see the Explore Devon website. 

Wellbeing Exeter shortlisted for national award

The Integrated Care Exeter initiative explores better ways of supporting patients who visit their GP with socially based rather than medical problems. The project has been shortlisted for a prestigious National Health Service Journal award and also has been extended to April 2020 to cover all 16 GP practices. See the award shortlist.  If you are involved in an Naturally Healthy projects that could be linked to this initiative please contact


Responsible dog walking

Devon Loves Dogs is a free membership scheme aimed at dog walkers using the Exe Estuary, Dawlish Warren and East Devon Pebblebed Heaths - all internationally important wildlife sites. Follow the project on Twitter and Facebook

Get Devon Buzzing!

There is loads of work going on across the county which contributes to the Get Devon Buzzing initiative.  To find out more please see our website.

Build for Bees competition Winners!

This summer we launched the Build for Bees competition, which has encouraged families, schools, community groups and others to build bug hotels to provide valuable habitats for pollinators.  Thanks to all of those who entered and please continue to share pictures of new bug hotels and via Twitter or Facebook


Winner of best Individual/Family build

Congratulations to our first winner, Niquita Potter in East Budleigh, who has built this fantastic bug hotel for pollinators all by herself. An amazing effort with lots of great features for solitary bees in her build.

Winner of best School build

Well done to everyone from Bishops Nympton Primary School.   As well as building a huge bug hotel for pollinators, they also made their own wildflower patches!


Winner of best Community group build

Congratulations to Friends of the Byes, a community nature group from Sidmouth, for putting these very creative builds together.  Local thatchers donated some thatch bales to create the roof.

Well done  to two runners up; Ebon Seldon Green from Great Torrington and the Honiton beehive community gardeners.

Many thanks to Goren farm, The Natural History Book Service, Stover Country Park, Devon Wildlife Trust, Buglife and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust for sponsoring the competition.


Farms for AONBees

South Devon AONB has teamed up with Cornwall AONB and the University of Exeter, as part of a new project which is working with farmers to help bees and business.  The project is looking for guidance from farmers and agri-food businesses.  For more info see here or contact

Pollinator Monitoring Scheme

The Pollinator Monitoring and Research Partnership is  establishing how insect pollinator populations are changing across the UK. For more information or to get involved, visit the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology website 

Farming with Nature


FWAG SW - Devon Bronze Otter award

Congratulations to Hamis Bengough of Dennings Down Farm, Axminister. A family-run livestock farm including a County Wildlife Site, ancient semi-natural woodland, hedges, ponds and other habitats. 

Read more about the winner and other finalists 


All the Moor Butterflies

This project has engaged over 1,000 people and visited almost 100 sites across Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin moor.  For information (including survey results) and to get involved see the website and contact Megan Lowe (


Back from the Brink projects

A new national project is giving a boost to some of Devon’s rarest species including the Narrow headed ant (contact  and the Grey long-eared bat (contact  Projects on lesser butterfly orchids and arable plants are being developed.  Work will include habitat management, events, community activities and volunteering opportunities.  More info in the next newsletter!

Outdoor Learning


Outdoor Learning and Sustainability Conference 2018 – Book now!

As lead for Outdoor Learning for the LNP, each year the Devon Education for Sustainability Working Group (DESWG) organises an annual conference.  This is aimed at educators a who are involved in engaging children and young people with learning about, in, and for the natural environment.  The day involves practical workshops, seminars, Teach Meet sessions, an extensive exhibition of local providers and a magnificent lunch at Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre.  The event is always eagerly anticipated and fully subscribed and so early booking is advisable. Find out more and download the booking form online 

Wood for Good

Unshaven hedges attract the birds!

At the start of the hedge trimming season, the Devon Hedge group is encouraging farmers and contractors to ensure that some berries survive for birds, dormice and other wildlife by:

1. Cutting slow-growing stretches of hedges only once every three years, providing a lifeline for wildlife on any farm.

2. Not trimming hard – leave a few inches of new growth. There’ll be more flowers and berries next year.

FWAG SouthWest and the Devon Hedge Group have produced a document about management advice for hedgerow trees.


Survey of Ash Dieback in churchyards

The Devon Living Churchyards Project is asking people to survey the extent of ash dieback in Devon churchyards. Ash dieback disease causes leaf loss and crown die back in affected trees and can lead to tree death. Take part and read more about the survey


Great Trees in the Clyst Valley

This new project is all about getting communities involved in the tree-scape of the Clyst Valley, surveying ancient trees and restoring historic orchards, hedgerows and parkland. For more information contact


Countryside Productivity Scheme grants

This scheme offers grants of £35K to £1 million for up to 40% of the cost of capital investments required to improve forestry productivity. This round of CPS closes on 3rd April 2018.   Contact

LEADER grants are also available across most of the South West and are offered by Local Action Groups to support projects outside the scope of CPS.

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Members of the LNP's Devon Invasive Species Initiative are producing fact sheets for some of our problematic invasive species.  To see these and information on partner invasive species projects see or contact Kate Hills ( or Jeremy Peirce (


Invasive plant control on Dartmoor

Dartmoor  ‘Moor than meets the eye’ project is successfully working to control invasives species such as Himalayan Balsam and Skunk Cabbage starting at the top of the Dart and Bovey catchments.  .

Sustainable Seas


Bringing Marine Protected Areas to life

Natural England and partners have set up an exhibition at the National Marine Aquarium (NMA) in Plymouth to promote Marine Protected Areas.  It includes interactive  maps, videos and kids’ colouring activities. 


Torbay cleaner coast initiative

Launched in August 2017, this new initiative aims to clean up and protect the coastal habitats in Torbay. Work involves reducing marine litter pollution and its impacts.  For more information or to get involved visit their Facebook page.



Blackdown Hills AONB - new manager

Tim Youngs has been appointed as the new manager for Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty. Tim previously worked with the Somerset Wildlife Trust where he was Director of Land Management.  Read more about Tim's appointment.

To find out more visit our website,, read our Prospectus and please get involved. Contact (LNP Manager) or (LNP Communications and Partnerships) or theme leads (see website)