Surveys gather data on bio-diversity in East Devon

From bats to butterflies and dormice to dragonflies - volunteers joined East Devon District Council’s Countryside team to conduct several surveys to collect a range of wildlife data from local nature reserves across the district during 2017.

Surveys took place at all ten of East Devon District Council’s nature reserves and the data reveals what a huge variety of species there are in these areas.

Bat surveys were conducted on three reserves as part of a Devon-wide survey run by the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project. More than 12 species of bat were detected at Trinity Hill Local Nature Reserve alone with similar numbers at Holyford Woods and Knapp Copse.

Weekly bird and butterfly surveys took place at selected nature reserves and bi-weekly or monthly dragonfly and reptile data was gathered. A pleasing variety of species were seen and heard at all of the reserves.

Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon District Council's portfolio holder for the environment, said:

The stewardship of local nature reserves in East Devon is a vital element of our commitment to biodiversity and the environment and is a key element to making East Devon a truly outstanding place for our residents and visitors to enjoy. 

The initial data from the East Devon surveys shows an incredible variety of species, which is a good indication of the health of our wildlife sites. I look forward to seeing developments in biodiversity when surveys are repeated in future years and encourage people across the district to visit these special sites and experience the wildlife for themselves.

Countryside team leader (sites) James Chubb said:

Surveying is an important way of measuring how successful our site management plans are being delivered and the impact it is having on bio-diversity in East Devon. The first year of results shows a broad range of species at nature reserves, a particular highlight was finding harvest mice at Seaton Wetlands. We are extremely grateful to the fantastic group of volunteers who enabled us to gather such vast quantities of data.

The East Devon District Council's Countryside team manage ten nature reserves in East Devon for the benefit of local people and wildlife. To find out more about the work of the team visit wildeastdevon.co.uk. The countryside team can be contacted through email at  countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk or by calling 01395 517557.