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Batscapes in Devon

Blackdown Hills AONB/Devon Wildlife Trust

Our client’s project aims to identify important bat habitats and the connecting corridors they use for navigating the landscape within an area of the Blackdown Hills AONB.  Using primarily desk top interpretation of the project area, DBRC are categorising land features and habitats and linking these with maps from a previous project in Somerset to increase understanding of Bats' habitat needs. 

This is an outline of the work DBRC is delivering during the project:Brown_longeared_bat

  • Habitats will be mapped from aerial photographs using the ‘Integrated Habitat System’ (this represents an integration of existing classifications in use in the UK with particular emphasis on Biodiversity Broad Habitat Types, Biodiversity Priority Habitat Types, Annex 1 of the Habitats Directive and Phase 1).

  • A ‘Habitat Suitability Index’ will be applied to the basic habitat map.  This is a system of scoring habitats based on whether a) habitats are integral to species survival (high score) or b) habitats do not provide any species support (low score)

  • The results will be used to produce a thematic map that will show which parts of the selected area of the AONB are good for bats.

  • DBRC will be supported by Devon Wildlife Trusts Blackdowns and Redlands reserve officer and their East Devon reserves officer who will offer in depth knowledge of the area and its habitats.

DBRC have been engaged by Devon Wildlife Trust to deliver this work and the project has received funding from the Blackdown Hills AONB Strategic Development Fund.  Staff at the AONB will also be able to use the resulting maps to guide future work to protect and enhance the Blackdowns Hills and its important habitats and wildlife.  Devon Wildlife Trust will use the results to guide landscape scale conservation work, linking the work on their reserves to the wider environment.

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