LNP November newsletter: Wild About Devon webinar tonight!, Devon Dark Skies Week update, trees, funding and more……

Local Nature Partnership

November 2021

The Devon Local Nature Partnership is a collaboration of all those working to tackle the Ecological Emergency and develop a healthy nature recovery network across Devon for wildlife, communities and business. Please see our website for more information.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

To submit an article please email katrina.crenol@devon.gov.uk (50 words + a pic).  

Strategic Updates

woodland with bluebells

Environment Act

The first dedicated Environment Act for nearly 30 years received Royal Assent on 9th November 2021.

The Act introduces wide ranging new commitments, including provision for the newly-formed Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), Local Nature Recovery Strategies, 10% biodiversity Net Gain for new developments, and requirements on the Secretary of State to set legally binding, long-term targets for air quality, water, biodiversity, and resourced efficiency, and waste reduction.

Work has begun across Devon on Net Gain and on developing a Nature Recovery Network map as the evidence base for a Devon Local Nature Recovery Strategy. More information will be provided in the next newsletter and on the LNP website. Devon LNP responded to Defra’s consultation on Local Nature Recovery Strategies raising a number of issues including data, scale and resourcing.

Wild About Devon

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Devon Wildlife Community of the Year Awards 2021/22

Communities right across the county are taking action to restore and improve habitats for our wildlife. There are some fantastic projects and initiatives across the county. The Devon Wildlife Community of the Year Awards aims to encourage more communities to take action and to celebrate those communities that are having a real impact in giving Devon’s wildlife a helping hand.

There are four award categories: Wildlife Community of the Year Award, Wildlife Parish & Town Council of the Year Award, Wildlife School of the Year Award, and Outstanding Individuals (entry for this award is slightly different to the aforementioned).

To enter, you need to fill out an entry form and send it in, telling Devon LNP about your wildlife projects that have improved the wildlife value of an area, and resulted in a social benefit (further details can be found on the Devon LNP website). The competition is open from 15 November 2021 to 15 July 2022. Prizes are kindly donated by Devon Wildlife Trust  and South West Water, with more to come.

Action on Climate in Teignbridge

Action on Climate in Teignbridge

Over the last month, Action on Climate in Teignbridge’s Food, Farming, Forestry and Fisheries group held a series of events for local farmers and members of the public. This included a talk by Cath Jeffs from the RSPB on the success of the cirl bunting recovery project, a farm walk to discuss sustainable farming practices and an evening of talks about funding options for regenerative agriculture.

Please contact Betina Winkler (betinawinkler@hotmail.com) if you would like to be added to the mailing list for future events.

exminster green spaces

Exminster Greenspaces on Film

The Exminster Greenspaces Volunteer team have just completed a short film highlighting the special places on their doorstep. A local volunteer film maker helped the team put the film together and is now live on YouTube.

The objective was to encourage the local community to explore the green and natural spaces within the village and promote the idea of volunteering to help develop these for people and nature.

best churchyard 2021

Devon's Best Churchyard Competition

Devon’s Moorland Team Ministry is celebrating its success after St Andrew’s in Ashburton was named the winner of this year’s Devon CPRE ‘Best Churchyard’ award.

St Peter’s Burial Ground in Budleigh Salterton (East Devon) was runner-up. Three churchyards were Highly Commended: St Swithuns in Shobrooke (Mid Devon), St Swithuns in Woodbury (East Devon) and St Mary’s in Buckland Filleigh (Torridge). All Saints Church in East Budleigh, previously a winner and a runner-up, received a Certificate of Excellence and Holy Trinity in Buckfastleigh received a Certificate as Most Improved Churchyard. Certificates of Merit were also awarded.


Monitoring Our Seas webinar

Wednesday 24th November, 7-8pm

After some technical difficulties, we have rescheduled this webinar.

Our Wild About Devon community webinar will focus on the marine environment and citizen science, with Paul Naylor, a marine photographer, Jules Agate, from the Marine Conservation Society and Coral Smith, from Devon Wildlife Trust. Tickets are free to book online!

tree in tube

The Benefits of Trees webinar

Thursday 2nd December, 7-8pm

Wild About Devon's free community webinars continue with the Benefits of Trees. Jon Burgess, a Forester at Forestry Commission, Rosie Walker, Regional External Affairs Officer at The Woodland Trust and Rebecca Naylor, South West Promotion and Engagement Manager at Forestry Commission, will tell us more about woodland creation and protection.

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Exmoor Non-Native Invasive Species Project – Film Premier and Update

Thursday 9th December, 7-8pm

The Exmoor Non-Native Invasive Species project team are joining the Wild About Devon community wildlife webinars for the exclusive premier of their new short film. They will also be giving an update on their work mapping and controlling invasive species within the National Park. Tickets are free to book.

Devon Dark Skies Week 2021

light pollution

Devon Dark Skies Week ran across October half term, with two webinars and a virtual bat walk from Devon Bat Group.

Our two webinars, 'An Introduction to Moths and their Declines', and 'The Importance of the Night Sky and Getting Lighting Right' are available to watch on YouTube, and you can take a look at all the wildlife that we saw on the virtual bat walk on Facebook.

Climate Action

big climate fightback

The Big Climate Fightback

The Woodland Trust has launched its campaign – the Big Climate Fightback – to get people to plant more trees.

They are sending more than 700,000 free native trees to schools and communities to kickstart an autumnal blitz on tree planting. 16,665 of those trees will be planted in Devon in November! Do you know of any underused areas that could take some trees to help make a difference for climate change and wildlife?

Trees for Devon

oak sapling

Queen's Green Canopy

Landowners are invited to join the Queen's Green Canopy and help establish the 70 celebratory woods.

The Woodland Trust is leading the hunt to create 70 new, 70 acre woods across the UK – can one be planted in Devon? These majestic new woodlands will transform the UK landscape and help fight the climate and nature crises we currently face.


Saving Devon's Treescapes

As we head into planting season, Devon Wildlife Trust are finalising the details of their free tree hubs. The details of all hubs will be shared in due course on the Saving Devon's Treescapes webpage.

Naturally Healthy

The next Naturally Healthy Forum will be held  on 3rd February 2022, 10am-12:30pm.

Contact Tom Mack, or Kat Crenol for further details, and more information can be found on the Naturally Healthy webpage.

Nature songs

Nature Songs project

Join the Song Writing Project for their Nature Songs project in Bury Meadow Park, Exeter where they will explore the natural world through singing and songwriting for 8 weeks starting in January. You don't need to be a “good” singer or be able to read music. You just need a curious mind and a big warm coat!

The project is free for anyone 55+ years old and wanting to become a bit more physically active, and up to one friend they bring with them! For more information please email amy@thesongwritingproject.co.uk or call 07590 827887

wildflower meadow

Nature, Health and Well-being CPD course 2022

The University of Exeter is running the new virtual course Nature, Health and Well-being CPD on the 22nd and 24th March and 5th and 7th April 2022. The course will explore how natural environments can benefit the physical and mental health of people in a variety of different ways.

Outdoor Learning

The Network of Environmental Educators in Devon met (virtually) on the 15th Oct for an interesting update by Doug Eltham about work towards a Net Zero Devon, and heard about the role education could play in this work. They welcomed a new member, caught up on news from members, and the Terms of Reference were agreed. 

The next meeting will be in the early part of the New Year, to fit with the school Spring Term.

Contact Lucy Mottram, or Kat Crenol for further details, and more information can be found on the Outdoor Learning webpage.

Farming with Nature

future farming resilience logo

Future Farming Resilience - Navigating the Agricultural Transition 

Devon County Council has received funding from Defra to help update farmers and landowners in Devon and Somerset on upcoming changes to funding support. 

This “interim” phase of the Resilience Fund runs until March 2022 and will target farmers and landowners in the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership area. The move away from Direct Payments will be a big change for farmers. This initiative will give a better understanding of what the phasing out of Direct Payments will mean for them and how they can improve their business. Register on a local 'Navigating the Agricultural Transition' workshop

Funding Opportunities

defra logo

Farming Innovation Programme

Defra's new funding schemes aim to support ambitious research and development projects that will benefit England’s farmers, growers, foresters and other businesses. The new Farming Innovation Programme aims to boost productivity, enhance sustainable practices, improve environmental outcomes and reduce carbon emissions in England’s agricultural and horticultural sectors.

Application deadlines: Research Starter Projects: 24 November 2021; Feasibility Projects & Small R&D Partnership Projects: 1 December 2021

ITF logo

International Tree Foundation: UK Community Tree Planting

The International Tree Foundation is now accepting applications for grants towards community tree planting projects in the UK. Grants up to £6,000 are available to community-led initiatives that will conserve, restore and protect indigenous trees and woodlands, forests, habitats and associated biodiversity.

Application deadline: 16th December 2021

environment agency logo

Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund

The Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund has been established to fund nature projects in England which tackle climate change, create and restore habitats, or improve water quality. Organisations seeking investment for these types of nature projects are being urged to apply for the second and final round of this programme.

Application deadline for second and final round: 3 February 2022

Updates from across Devon

first fairway at sunset

Conservation Green Team

Warren Golf Club are Conservation Green Team finalists in the national Golf Environment Awards. The club, working with the site owners, Devon Wildlife Trust, have undertaken numerous environmental improvements including reopening drainage ditches and scrub removal to increase grass and heathland areas. Management has focussed on reinstatement, improvement and creation of wildlife habitats. With a total area of just 66 acres, this is a considerable, but rewarding, challenge on a 6,000 yard 18-hole course.

Other Events

brown hairstreak butterfly

Brown hairstreak butterfly training sessions

The Saving Devon’s Treescapes project has several Brown hairstreak butterfly training sessions coming up:

  • Dec 1st in Westerland, Torbay
  • Dec 6th in Neroche, near Angersleigh
  • Dec 14th in East Devon, exact location tbc

event image and logos

Launch of Green Infrastructure Mapping Tool for Local Plan Making

Tuesday 7th December, 10:30-12:30pm

Discover how Green Infrastructure (GI) mapping can support place making for health and wellbeing, nature and climate change and help deliver beautiful, prosperous communities. This event will provide a demonstration of a new, online, free, interactive baseline map of Green and Blue Infrastructure across England (beta version), for release to Local Planning Authorities and GI stakeholders. Book your free place through Eventbrite.

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