Two bat survey projects will go ahead in the Blackdowns Hills, thanks to support from the AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund.
Both Somerset and Devon Wildlife Trusts have been successful in their bids for funding to carry out surveys of bat populations.
Ongoing monitoring work by Somerset Environmental Records Centre has shown that the Blackdown Hills appear to have a higher bat population than other natural areas in the county nevertheless records of bats on the Blackdowns are very sparse.
Volunteers and scouts to help
Liz Biron, Survey Manager for Somerset Environmental Records Centre, said: “The Blackdown Hills are a very special place for bats. This project will allow us to map the area in detail for the first time so we can identity where and how bats use the landscape so these areas can be restored and protected.
“We will be working with local volunteers to carry out a ‘Big Bat Survey’ next September and taking scout groups on guided night time walks so they can learn more about the valuable wildlife that relies on the habitat within these beautiful hills.”
Bat numbers in the UK have plummeted in recent times as a result of pesticide use, habitat loss, and the destruction of roosts and hibernation sites.