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April 2023

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 (75 words + a pic).

Restoring nature for wildlife and people

marsh fritillary

Devon's Local Nature Recovery Strategy

Defra has now published the Regulations and Guidance for statutory Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS).  Responsible Authorities (responsible for working with others to develop LNRS) will be announced by the Secretary of State in late May / early June when funding will also be allocated. Devon County Council is likely to be the Responsible Authority with the other Local Authorities (including Plymouth City Council, Torbay and the two National Parks) and Natural England as statutory Supporting Authorities. Work will be done under the umbrella of Devon LNP to ensure collaboration across sectors. It is critical that the farmers, foresters, planners, developers, NGOs, community groups and other land managers who will deliver nature’s recovery are on board from the outset. Work is already underway to identify opportunities, priorities and actions for recovering nature across the county. See our website for more details (including a video and simple questionnaire for you to share ideas) and links to the Defra documents. 

Our 2023 Conference provides an opportunity for us all to get together and discuss priorities and actions for the Local Nature Recovery Strategy. It will be held on June 13th at Exeter Racecourse (all day). Those who bought tickets for the postponed 2020 Conference have been offered a place.  We are now opening up bookings to others at the same price of £45. To reserve a place please email  Bella will send out the agenda and booking details for you to confirm your place in the next few weeks. The agenda will include presentations and workshops on a wide range of themes such as designated sites, habitats and species, farming, woodlands, marine, community action, health and wellbeing, nature based solutions, landscapes and biodiversity net gain. We will have a few free places for students and volunteers. 

Huge thank you to Devon County Council, the Woodland Trust and Clinton Devon Estates for Sponsorship.

Wild About Devon - our community action network

Wild About Devon logo

Forum, 2023 Awards and Grant scheme!  

Wild About Devon (WAD) is a Devon LNP initiative, set up as a platform and network to help guide and inspire community action for wildlife, particularly through helping groups connect with each other and find resources and advice from organisations and experts. We held an online community forum last week as a chance to network and discuss some important and exciting things in the pipeline such as the Local Nature Recovery Strategy, the WAD Awards and top tips for successfully obtaining funding through our grant scheme. You can view the presentation used on our WAD webpages. There will be another Forum in-person later in the year. The Forum is open to anyone involved in or supporting community action for wildlife. To be added to the mailing list and help other groups find you please contact and add your group to our interactive map on the Wild About Devon pages.

The 2023 Wild About Devon Awards are now open!. This is all about celebrating the amazing work being done to tackle the ecological crisis and fight for Devon's nature. There are four categories; Community Group, Parish and Town Council, School, and Outstanding Individual. Deadline for nominations is 31st August, via this link. We are particularly lacking in school nominations! The ceremony will be held in the autumn, details to follow soon. 

Apply for a small simple grant to help you take action for wildlife. Thanks to Devon Environment Foundation, Devon Communities Together and DCC we have been able to continue and expand the popular WAD small grant scheme. Apply for a grant now here

Mid Devon Wildlife Warden Scheme

Join the Mid Devon Wildlife Warden Scheme

Do you need support to help nature to thrive in your parish? The Mid Devon Wildlife Warden Scheme exists to support residents of Mid Devon parishes (and the wider Devon area) with environmental projects focussing on nature, gardens, public spaces and farming. 

They offer a simple induction training session and provide opportunities for Wildlife Wardens to attend talks by experts and visits in the field as well as gaining access to unlimited support. If you would like to chat more about how you can access support and a friendly community keen to play their part for nature, please contact the coordinator, Jess Carter, by email or on 07722301375 and you can find them on Facebook

Belltower and flowers

Sid Valley Biodiversity Festival 

Sid Valley Biodiversity Group announces new June festival. The first week-long Sidmouth Biodiversity Festival takes place 5th-11th June. It will support the group’s purpose- to work with the community to understand and celebrate the rich diversity of wildlife present in the valley and to take action to enhance and enrich it.

The programme offers a range of events suitable for all ages and knowledge levels. This includes guided nature walks, fascinating talks on diverse subjects and various family-friendly activities.

The festival promises to be a fantastic opportunity to connect with nature, learn something new, and make some wonderful memories with friends and family. Find out more here and sign up to their newsletter for regular updates.

Naturally Healthy

Naturally Healthy May

Let's get Naturally Healthy  

May is right around the corner and as usual LNP partners will be promoting opportunities to encourage everyone to get outside and be #NautrallyHealthy. This links in with National Walking Month, Mental Health Awareness Week (15th-21st) and Outdoor Learning Day (18th). 

We will be hosting three lunch-time webinars (12:30-1:00pm) to kick start your interest in Devon's incredible wildlife;

We'll also be posting about some active travel routes. If you're interested in walking, cycling and horse-riding check out Explore Devon and for advice and guidance see Travel Devon.

Devon Invasive Species Initiative (DISI)


Webinar for Invasive Species Week

To kickstart Invasive Species Week the Devon Invasive Species Initiative (DISI) has organised a webinar on Monday 15th May (12:00-1:00pm) all about rabbits! Book your free place here

We've all seen rabbits hopping around, but you may have noticed that they seem to be declining in numbers. Join this webinar to find out more about their ecology, origins, population changes and their influence on the food web. 

To find out more about DISI see the LNP website

Photo credit: Derek Crawley- Mammal Society 

Network of Environmental Educators in Devon (NEED)

Network of Environmental Educators in Devon

New monthly webinars- this is what you NEED

The Network of Enviornmental Educators in Devon, or NEED, are a Devon Local Nature Partnership initiative focused on environmental education that have just launched a monthly webinar series! So far, the webinars have focussed on sustainability in schools and the student-led Sustainable Schools Network, and Outdoor Classroom Day (18th May). Join the webinars, on the last Tuesday of the Month 1-2pm. Joining info can be found on the LNP Events page

NEED spring event

NEED Spring In-person Event

In April NEED ran a fantastic networking event hosted at Kingsley School followed up by a tour around Skern Lodge and Northam Burrows.They said it was great to have so many enthusiastic environmental educators round one table to brainstorm all things environmental education in Devon. They shared best practice, gaining inspiration from colleagues, and solidified plans for a campaign to raise the profile of environmental education in schools in the county. Find out more about NEED on our website

To keep up to date with NEED join the mailing list by contacting

Trees for Devon

Trees- the Woodland Trust

Devon Tree and Woodland Strategy update

The Devon Tree and Woodland Strategy team (led by the Woodland Trust and supported by DCC) is working full steam ahead to develop this 'tree-mendous' strategy. It is likely to be based around five working themes (Protect, Improve, Plan, Inspire, and Deliver), include a stretching target to increase tree cover across Devon, and ensure that Local Plans result in positive outcomes for trees and woodlands.   

The Strategy will be out for consultation later this spring/summer and discussed in a workshop at the LNP Conference on 13th June. Find out more on our website.

Photo credit- The Woodland Trust. 


Forest Rising- youth action group 

Forest Rising is a free programme taking place this spring/summer for 16-28 year olds.  It offers a platform for younger people to be heard and get involved in local action, to influence and inform the creation and running of the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest.  Find out more and sign up on their website.

Photo credit: The Woodland Trust

Saving Devon's Treescapes

Update on Saving Devon's Treescapes 

Devon Wildlife Trust's Saving Devon’s Treescapes project has had a busy planting season. Community groups and parish councils have hosted over 20 free tree hubs across the county and over 25,000 trees have been planted outside of woodlands!

Earlier this month, Devon Wildlife Trust opened their new community tree nursery in Broadclyst and they’ve now got thousands of new trees growing in their nursery in Meeth. Check their events page for upcoming volunteering sessions! 

3 spades

Own land? We want to know!  

Devon County Council are currently looking to identify public and private land for tree planting across the next two years. If you own land, or know someone who does (for example, your local parish), then please get in touch with Elliott Saloman-Carter either by email or telephone 01392 381966. 

Climate Action

Devon Climate Emergency graphic

Devon Climate Emergency update

Devon Climate Emergency (DCE) is working with environmental consultants RSK on the development of an Adaptation Plan. 

The Adaptation Plan aims to help communities across the Southwest (Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly) to better understand the risks their area might face in future, as climate change increasingly affects the UK. It will also help them to adapt to these changes by reviewing current levels of community preparedness in a warmer world. There will be a public consultation on the Adaptation Strategy later in the spring.

Langage energy park

Langage Green Hydrogen project to be backed by Government

The Langage Green Hydrogen project is the only project in the South West to be backed by Government as announced last month.

Subject to agreement with Carlton Power, the Government will provide financial support to the project through its Hydrogen Business Model process, which aims to stimulate the growth of the hydrogen economy in the South West and across the UK.

This project will use renewable energy to produce green hydrogen fuel. The development will have an initial capacity of 10 MW, which will produce enough hydrogen to heat the equivalent of 14,000 homes! Find out more here.

County-wide updates

Stover country park

Restoring Stover Country Park 

This year a successful three year grant from National Lottery Heritage Fund will start the delivery of restoration works at Stover Country Park, Newton Abbot.

The programme of delivery includes large capital works but also an activity plan of engagement, which encompasses many volunteer opportunities. Roles currently available include:

•British dragonfly monitoring; 16-25 year olds, living close to Newton Abbot
•Community shed project
•Site maintenance for new forest school sites

Many more opportunities will appear across the project. Email or visit their website to find out more! 

Finding Nature's Footsteps

Finding Nature's Footprints update

Finding Nature's Footprints is a three-year project based in North Devon which aims to learn more about the nature in our villages, gardens, fields and shores through surveys, monitoring and mapping of wildlife.

It supported the launch of the Hartland Nature Society in January which attracted 50 enthusiastic locals. Their first event was harvest mouse nest surveying in collaboration with the Devon Harvest Mouse project on Bursdon Moor in February. The group found two nests, adding new records to the map.

Alongside Ilfracombe museum, they coordinated the Community Environment Fair, where local environmental organisations joined them at the Landmark, it was a big success! Find out more on their website


Gardening for wildlife

Spring has arrived and it’s time to think about what we can do to make our gardens even better for wildlife.

All wildlife needs four things – food, water, shelter and a place to breed. Devon Wildlife Trust has got some tips to help you provide each in your garden, big or small, and if you’ve got at least eight of these features you can apply for Devon Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Garden Award! Find out more. 

Photo: Hetty Lewis

CCTV for wildlife

Caught in the act- using CCTV for wildlife monitoring 

Devon resident Susan Young has been carrying out research using CCTV for Wildlife Monitoring, working with Natural England and the Woodland Trust in their Devon sites.

Susan gave a webinar for the Mammal Society on CCTV earlier this year, the recording can now be accessed here. This is particularly topical as the Bat Conservation Trust now says that night vision aids should be used on all bat emergence surveys- CCTV is one such aid!

Dogs on leads with walkers

Keep paws on paths to protect Devon's birds

Devon Loves Dogs is asking dog owners and walkers to keep their dogs' paws on paths to protect ground-nesting birds.

Some of the UK’s most endangered birds make their nests on the ground during spring and summer so it’s important not to disturb them when you’re out enjoying walks. Birds such as dartford warbler and nightjar make their nests on or near the ground which means parent birds can be frightened off their nests and eggs can easily be damaged by dogs.

If you're a doggie lover, you can join Devon Loves Dogs for free to find out about where and how you can enjoy walking your dogs while protecting wildlife. 

Updates across the country

Wild Isles- BBC

Are you Wild about our Isles? 

Wild Isles was recently broadcasted on BBC every Sunday night and we hope you tuned in each week to watch it. This 5-part series showcased the incredible and diverse wildlife we have on offer on the beautiful isles we are lucky enough to call home. 

And our very own Dartmoor was featured (episode 2)! Sir David Attenborough captured the dream like magic of the ash-black slug, one of the largest land molluscs of this type in the world, growing up to 30cm in length. 

We hope this series inspires you to take action in protecting and restoring our beautiful wildlife. Find out how you can get involved on the save our wild isles website. 

The Big Help Out

The Big Help Out next month 

To mark His Majesty The King’s Coronation thousands of organisations across the country are getting together to give everyone a chance to help out in their own local communities.

Starting on Monday 8th May there will be opportunities for everyone to join in. No matter what you are good at, there’ll be something to suit helping hands of all shapes and sizes! From checking in on someone who’d like a bit of company or volunteering for a charity. 

If you can spare an hour…fantastic. The day?…amazing. If it becomes a regular thing, so much the better. If we all do a bit, it will really help a lot. Find out more here. 

Great big green week

Great Big Green Week coming up

This year's Great Big Green Week is happening 10-18th of June.

It's the UK's biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. Events and local Green Weeks in towns across the country will celebrate local action and show Government and local decision makers that people want them to urgently tackle the climate, nature and cost of living crises - to protect people and the planet now and for future generations. Find out more here and get involved. 

Funding Opportunities

Community fund

National Lottery Community Fund: Energy & Climate 

The National Lottery Community Fund has launched a new Energy & Climate fund as part of its Climate Action Fund. The fund aims to:

  • encourage communities to use energy in an environmentally friendly way
  • bring communities together so that they can explore ways to promote energy efficiency
  • enable communities to understand and engage with opportunities for clean energy generation, which do not use fossil fuels. Find out more here

Tree planting

Urban Tree Challenge Fund 

Grants are available for planting trees in and around towns and cities. This might be in streets, parkland, orchards or other planting. The areas planted will require public access unless there is a strong rationale against this such as planting on school grounds.

Find out more here. 

British Ecological Society

British Ecological Society: Outreach Grants

Grants up to £2,000 are available to individuals and organisations to organise ecological public engagement events. This includes, but is not limited to researchers, schools, museums, libraries and community groups.

All activities must be aimed at a non-academic audience and all projects must provide a clear demonstration of direct interaction with the public. Find out more here. 

National Grid logo

National Grid's Community Matters Fund

The National Grid's Green Spaces Community Fund is supporting charities and grassroots organisations to enhance their local environment and encourage more people to make the most of their green spaces.

Offering grants of up to £10,000 to registered charities and eligible non-profit organisations. Unregistered charity organisations can apply for up to £2,000. Find out more here

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