Looking after East Devon’s bats

And the limits of non-statutory bodies.

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Bats are very much a touchstone species when it comes to conservation efforts and public engagement:

Home – Bat Conservation Trust

Bats in Churches project: public engagement specialist – Heritage Update

Devon Bat Group – Helping bats in Devon for over 30 years

Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project | Devon Wildlife Trust

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Bats are everywhere, including in these parts:

Home – Sid Valley Bat Research Project

Bat Research in the Sid Valley | Sidmouth Science Festival

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And just over the hill:

Why we’re working hard to protect Britain’s bats… | Clinton Devon Estates

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But last year, all was not well:

The village being sent bat shed crazy over controversial development plans – Devon Live

East Budleigh residents protest over bat habitat demolition plan | Exmouth Journal

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The East Devon Watch blog has also been vociferous in its dismay at CDE failing to protect bats:

What can we believe about Clinton Devon Estates and bats? | East Devon Watch

The fight to protect East Budleigh bats – but no need to fight in Beer | East Devon Watch

Bats: East Budleigh Parish Conservation & Wildlife protection group speaks up for them | East Devon Watch

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This week, the EDW blog has turned its ire on the ED AONB – for failing to be more active in this case:

Saving the Grey Long Eared Bat – East Devon AONB Winter Update | East Devon Watch

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However, as a commentator points out, the powers of the East Devon AONB team are very limited:

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“The reality is they are a small team of professionals who rely on their partners, volunteers and extensive ambassador network. Whilst they are a consultative body with some authority, they are not a statutory authority and so have no powers of enforcement of the various rules and regulations that pertain to the AONB, flora and fauna.

“I know that Bats preservation features highly on their radar from both professional and personal perspectives, and I would suspect that they did all that could be done at the time.

“Sadly, the developers have their ways.”

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See also:

Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project | East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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Meanwhile, in south London:

Bellway housebuilders fined £600,000 for destroying bat roost in south London | Bellway | The Guardian

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photo: File: Rhinolophus ferrumequinum – Greater Horseshoe bat (2321181688).jpg – Wikimedia Commons

   
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