LNP October newsletter: Introduction from our Chair, Devon's Nature Recovery Strategy, Government Announcements, Climate Action, and more!

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October 2022

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 bella.birch-hurst@devon.gov.uk (75 words + a pic).

Introduction from the Chair

Michael Winter- LNP Chair

Welcome to the October newsletter. In these politically turbulent times, I hope you find it is reassuring and encouraging to see, despite all the uncertainties, that lots of great activities continue in Devon.  It is true that we need the right policies at the national level for our nature and people to thrive, but we also need local action and commitment and we have that in abundance in Devon. So as we wait to see, and seek to influence if we can,  how the national politics plays out in the coming days and weeks, let’s also double down on our commitment to local initiatives. There is so much good work taking place on our farms, moors, woods and seas, and in our schools and communities. And much of this work can align well to growth and wellbeing. We need to keep arguing the case for nature-positive economics.

Michael Winter, Chair of the Devon LNP. 

Devon's Nature Recovery Strategy


14th November - Local Nature Recovery Strategy Warm-up Webinar

Preparations are underway for a major new strategy to guide nature recovery across our entire County, including Plymouth and Torbay.  Local Nature Recovery Strategies are a requirement of the Environment Act (2021) and will provide spatial guidance and set priorities to support nature at a local level in England.  We plan to give everyone in Devon the opportunity to contribute their views and get involved.  

The Warm-up webinar takes place on November 14th, 10:30am-12pm which is free and open to all. To join the event, follow this link.  

Government Announcements

Dead robin

Concern raised by eNGOs

Concern has been raised by numerous environmental Non-Government Organisations and others, including some senior conservative MPs, about a change in direction from the new government regarding the environment. Recent announcements include:

  • The Retained EU Law Bill, which looks set to repeal over 2,000 bits of environmental law by the end of 2023.  These laws, built up over decades, have provided basic wildlife protections, and cannot be quickly replaced.
  • The new planning and infrastructure law and ‘investment zones’ which, as currently set out, will weaken the protection provided by designations such as SSSIs and National Parks that fall within them.
  • The rapid review of Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS), which has been a flagship government policy associated with leaving the EU. Although uncertain, it seems likely that some elements, at least of the policy, will remain in place, but that funding will be heavily weighted towards the lowest of the three tiers (Sustainable Farm Incentive). Agri-environment schemes have achieved a huge amount here in the southwest, it will be extremely important for the new schemes to provide sufficient funding and availability to enable a high proportion of Devon's farms to make a real and lasting contribution to nature's recovery. 
  • The lifting of the ban on fracking, although no proposal has come forward to address concerns previously raised about safety or environmental impact

A number of campaigns, including Defend Nature and Attack on Nature have been launched on the back of these concerns, with more action expected in the run up to the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in Montreal in December.  


Good news! 

Two Devon-based projects have passed the first test in being selected as among 22 Landscape Recovery Areas; 

  • The East Dartmoor Project. 
  • The Killerton Three Rivers Landscape Recovery Scheme. This will create naturally functioning rivers in parts of the catchments of the Culm, Clyst and Crannybrook, a key part of an ambitious vision for the National Trust Lowland Estate. This will involve working with tenants, partners and communities to create an area that is connected and rich in wildlife, restores river catchments, stores more carbon, protects soils and allows natural processes to take place. A landscape that will be a flagship for nature, climate action and people.

Additionally, the Holnicote River Corridor Project covers part of our county and the Axe Landscape Project will have trickle down benefits into Devon. These all form part of the ELMS third tier funding, and will seek to restore and recreate habitat across areas of up to 5,000ha. More details can be found here.

Also, beavers became a protected species from 1st October!  More detail is needed about the government’s ambition for a roll out across the country, but this is a huge step forward, following the leading roll that Devon has played in the return of this native mammal that was hunted to extinction. The government also announced a ban on peat in compost. Unfortunately the ban does not cover commercial use, a significant omission, but this is still a major advance in the fight to conserve this most important habitat and carbon store.

Climate Action

DCE logo

Launch of the Devon Carbon Plan

Devon Climate Emergency is excited to announce the launch of the Devon Carbon Plan, after three years of collaboration with the Net Zero Task Force and the public.

The Devon Carbon Plan is the roadmap for how Devon will reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. It has been built on detailed, ongoing assessments of Devon’s greenhouse gas emissions.

To find out more, visit the Devon Climate Emergency website

August winner- Dartmoor

Net Zero Visions Project

Devon Climate Emergency's Net Zero Visions project is a collective effort to visualise how the places we live in might look in a net-zero future. Art professionals are working with communities to create these visionary pieces of art.

You can get involved with the Public Visions part of this project. They are currently inviting anyone from the public to submit their own artistic visions of the future. The winner from August can be seen on the right, a beautiful painting of Dartmoor. To find out more and submit your vision, visit their website.  


LNP Updates 

awards animation

Wildlife Community of the Year Awards 2021/22

Thank you for all the nominations for the Devon Wildlife Community of the Year Awards, we had some really great entries. The deadline has passed to submit a nomination and judges are reading through the entries. Plans are underway for an awards ceremony to take place later this year, and winners will be announced soon - keep an eye out on our social media pages.   

If you'd like to find out more information about Wild About Devon visit our website

starry night

Devon Dark Skies Week 

LNP and partners will be taking to social media to raise awareness of the value of dark skies both to wildlife and humans through the annual Devon Dark Skies Week from the 22nd-30th of October.

Be sure to keep up to date on our Facebook and Twitter to find out more.

The week ties in with the annual Exmoor Dark Skies Festival running from 13th-30th of October which celebrates Exmoor's Dark Sky Reserve status. There are over 50 events happening to suit all ages - for more information, visit the festival website

Jess Carter - New NEED chair

New chair of NEED- Jess Carter

We are thrilled to announce that Jess Carter has recently been appointed the new chair for the Network for Environmental Education in Devon. She is passionate about encouraging positive environmental action across Devon and is the co-founder of Planet & People, a community interest company dedicated to delivering environmental workshops to schools to empower the next generation to be a part of the environmental movement. As coordinator, Jess is also currently focused on rolling out the Mid Devon Wildlife Warden Scheme to support parishes with wildlife projects across the Mid Devon District. Jess is keen to work with LNP partners to ensure that education is embedded into the Local Nature Recovery Strategy and to drive the NEED community towards a focus on environmental education in schools.

Oyster catcher

Naturally Healthy Forum

Our Naturally Healthy Forum is on the 27th of October online. If you would like to attend please contact Kate.Hind@devon.gov.uk . Included in the agenda is a talk on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion from Active Devon and Natural England, a talk from Chill UK on cold water swimming over winter, and updates on future projects.

Over the winter, Naturally Healthy is also promoting people to go outside to see our wonderful visiting #WinterWaders. We will be running a webinar in November for people who are completely new to identify these fantastic migratory estuarine birds, and tips on where to see and hear them. Details of the event will be shared soon through our Twitter, Facebook and website.

Trees for Devon

saving devon's trees

Saving Devon's Treescapes

The Saving Devon's Treescape Project, alongside the Devon Hedge Group, is running a series of events celebrating our hedgerows and looking at the importance of hedgerow trees. You can sign up to their many events now. 

The project is also looking for communities and parish councils who want to plant community orchards and a landmark tree. Please get in touch with Jaz Atkinson (jatkinson@devonwildlifetrust.org) for more information and how to get involved. 

Living Legends tree image

Living Legends

The Woodland Trust’s campaign - Living Legends – aims to increase protection for the UK’s oldest and most important trees, like the Royal Oak in Meavy. The UK has more ancient oak trees than the rest of Europe combined but they don’t have the same level of legal protection that endangered wildlife and old buildings have. There is lots of information online about how to press for greater protection of these living legends.

This October, between 22nd-30th, the Woodland Trust are running a 'Check a Tree' week, where they're asking people to visit a local ancient or veteran tree and record details. This will help to keep The Woodland Trust's records as up to date and accurate as possible and ultimately help to give them better protection. To find out more visit their website

before and after image of oak

Flitton Oak Restoration 

Devon County Council's Highways team have been working with the Ancient Tree Forum to save the incredible 1,000 year-old Flitton Oak tree.  A new prop was designed by Steve Raine and Tarl Martin and work was overseen by Devon's Tree Officer Bob Stevenson and Mat Shute, Chair of the Ancient Tree Forum. New shoots have been noted in the crown since its restoration and the completed project has been deemed a great success. Well done to all!                

Updates across the county

Dark-bellied Brent Geese

Exe Estuary hosts its most impressive natural event of the year

The iconic Brent Geese are on their way to Devon after travelling 3,000 miles from the northern arctic tundra in search of food and milder climates. 

You can watch them arrive at the internationally important Exe Estuary and at Exmouth Duck Pond throughout Autumn.

People are asked to avoid wildlife refuges on the Exe Estuary at Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve all year round and Exmouth Local Nature Reserve from 15th September to 31st December to protect wildlife. There are also Wildlife Wardens based near the duckponds with telescopes for you to see birds up-close for yourselves! 

Oil beetle

Life on The Edge Oil Beetle Workshops 

The Life on The Edge project is taking forward action for one of LNP's Special Species, the Mediterranean Oil Beetle (Meloe mediterraneus). In 2017 a team of people across Devon produced a list of ~1,600 rare species in Devon ('Priority species'), and from that, about 96 'Special species'. You can see the full list on our website. 

This project is up and running, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and is offering two free workshops with John Walters. You will discover the fascinating ecology of the oil beetle and learn how to identify UK species in the field! 

Workshop one (two consecutive evenings):An Introduction to Oil Beetle Ecology and ID

  • Tues 8th November 6pm-7:30pm online webinar
  •  Wed 9th November 6pm-8pm meet at Prawle Point, National Trust carpark

Workshop two: Spring Oil Beetle Workshop: Absolute beginners welcome!

  • Tuesday 18th April 2023 10am-12pm. Meet at Bolberry Down, National Trust car park.

For further information or to book, please contact Hayley Herridge hayley.herridge@buglife.org.uk  

Myles Pinkney in a traditional orchard at the Cotehele Estate, overlooking the River Tamar

First Apprentice kick-starts career in Tamara Landscape Partnership

Last September, the first trainee of the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme's quarter of a million pounds training project, started as an Assistant Ranger Apprentice. 

23-year old Myles Pinkney is the first of 20 apprentice, foundation and internship trainees who has begun work in the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a historically important and protected landscape bordering Devon and Cornwall. 

The Tamara Landscape Partnership scheme is working with farmers, landowners, and communities to manage and enhance landscapes that are rich in wildlife, as well as cultural and historic heritage. Myles is working to protect and improve the health and wildlife richness of the National Trust's Cotehele Estate 

last year young landscape artist winner

Young Landscape Artist of the year competition

Devon's Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has run a Young Landscape Artist competition again! It is a chance for young artists aged 18 and under to showcase their creativity by capturing Devon's unique and precious landscapes in a painting, drawing, or mixed media artwork. 

One of last year's winners is shown above and you can watch a video explaining last year's shortlisting process. 

Entries are now closed, so keep an eye out for the results on their website

butterfly on thistle

 Wildlife Trust's 60th Birthday

Did you know that Devon Wildlife Trust is celebrating its 60th birthday this year?

Since 1962, they have been working to protect and restore Devon's wildlife and wild places. They are celebrating this milestone with a variety of FREE events which provide a snapshot into DWT's work across the county. You can sign up for these free events online by searching '60 Years Wild' in the keyword search.

Photo credit: Penny Mason

Funding Opportunities


Water Saving Community Fund 

The £75,000 a year fund is designed to help community groups and registered non-profit organisations who can provide a benefit to the community by saving tap water and demonstrating a reduction in water use. Applications may be submitted at any time. To find out more and apply. 

Electric Vehicle charging sign

Grant Schemes for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure 

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) administers several grant schemes for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. They are currently offering 6 different schemes, including workplace charging. For more information and apply. 

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