"Looking out for Bats" - A Landscape Scale Conservation Initiative 2008 - 2011

Beer Quarry Caves is internationally important as a bat hibernaculum. Supporting hibernating bats of seven species the most numerous being greater and lesser horseshoe bats.The site is also important for swarming activity in the autumn, this is associated with breeding and brings bats to the caves from across the region. The project set out to learn more aout these special mammals within the AONB and raise awareness of how they use our outstanding landscape. 

This amazing film shows how the 'Looking Out For Bats' project arranged special behind the scenes access for local school groups....and it allows you to see sleeping bats on your computer without disturbing them !


Greater Horseshoe Bats are important because -

  • they are one of the rarest of the 17 species of British bats (the existing 4,000 - 6,000 Horseshoe bats are only found in the South West and South Wales)
  • they feed along hedgerows, woodland edges and streams, which are important elements of the East Devon landscape
  • they can live up to 30 years
  • they are easy to recognise in their roosts as they are about the size of a pear and hang freely upside down with their wings wrapped around them

What did the project achieve?

  • identified where in the East Devon AONB the Greater Horseshoe bats live and feed.  Click here to download a pdf of the Greater Horseshoe Bat tracking summary report
  • worked with landowners to enhance bat habitats and maternity roosts
  • encouraged people to learn more about the bats in their neighbourhood
  • 13 bat walks and talks
  • 4 hibernating bat talks at Beer Quarry Caves
  • over 400 people attended our various events
  • 6 primary schools held school assemblies based on the conservation of bats
  • 250 local school children visited Beer Quarry Caves to see the hibernating bats and met Dr Fiona Mathews with her rescue bats. One visit was captured on film and you can watch it on our East Devon AONB Vimeo Channel
  • restoration of 2 maternity roosts as well as general habitat restoration
  • worked with landowners, church wardens and volunteers to improve the understanding and conservation of bats
  • 51 farm bat surveys carried out which identified 84 separate roosts for 6 different species of bats
  • over 1,900 hours of volunteer time (loss of valuable sleep!) spent radio tracking greater horseshoe bats which located 1586 locations of bat activity

Want to know more about bats?

  • visit the Bat Conservation Trust for much more information
  • get involved with the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project
  • become a bat detective and help us locate Greater Horseshoe or other bats in the landscape
  • have you got a bat in your building and don't know what to do? Call the Bat Helpline 0845 1300 228

About 'Looking Out For Bats'
Looking out for bats (2008 - 2011) has been delivered by the East Devon AONB Partnership on behalf of and with the financial support of the SITA Trust, Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, the Sid Vale Association and the Axe Vale and District Conservation Society.

Pete Youngman is your first point of contact at the AONB team for this project - contact him on 01404 46663

Contact Us

East Devon AONB Partnership
Kennaway House
Coburg Road, Sidmouth
EX10 8NG

Tel: 01404 46663

Email : info@eastdevonaonb.org.uk

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