Tuesday, 30 June 2015

'Bat cam' provides unique view of rare animals

Viewers of a very different kind of reality TV have been going batty in recent weeks. People tuning into a live webcam of a greater horseshoe bat roost have seen hundreds of the rare animals appearing on screen at one time. The bat cam is beaming live pictures around the world from an undisclosed greater horseshoe bat roost in South Devon. The camera was specially installed last winter as part of the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project - a 5 year Heritage Lottery Funded initiative which is working towards sustaining Devon's population of these threatened nocturnal animals. 
Ed Parr Ferris is manager of the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project and said: 'The bat cam is playing a key role showing as many people as possible what fascinating creatures bats are. By logging on to our website http://www.devonbatproject.org and watching the live footage, people can get a unique and intimate view into the lives of these wonderful animals.' 
Colin Morris, Reserves Manager for The Vincent Wildlife Trust which owns and manages the site and is a partner in the project, said: 'The bats are very active at this time of year - people should keep their eyes peeled as the female greater horseshoes are now giving birth. While difficult to see during daytime, the new-born pups are left on their own once the adults go out to hunt at night time. The coming days should see some drama as a succession of baby bats appear on screen!' 
Greater horseshoe bats have seen their numbers plummet by over 90% in the last 100 years. Today Devon remains a stronghold of the endangered species with about a third of the UK population thought to be surviving in the county. The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project hopes to reverse the species' decline. Over the coming years it will be working with local landowners, farmers and communities across Devon ensuring that Devon remains a place which offers greater horseshoe bats the room to live and flourish. 
Ed Parr Ferris said: 'Devon still offers an important home to this rare and fascinating bat. We're lucky that we have kept some of the kinds of landscapes they love - especially the patchwork of small cattle-grazed fields, hedgerows and woodlands. It is this type of countryside which still provides flight paths and rich feeding grounds for greater horseshoes. Of course, it is also this kind of landscape which makes Devon such a special place for us to live too.' 
 A Greater Horseshoe Bat - Photo copyright John J Kaczanow (All rights reserved)

About Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project
Devon is the northern European stronghold for greater horseshoe bats whose populations have fallen by over 90% in the last 100 years. The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project is a partnership project of 15 organisations across Devon hosted and led by Devon Wildlife Trust 

It's Show Time. A celebration of North Devon Coast and Countryside events

The sun is out,  perfect for Hartland Abbey's outdoor theatre performances. Let's hope the weather holds fast for Clovelly's Maritime Festival and the Woolsery Agricultural Show a real celebration of what's great about the coast and countryside, a delightful way to experience the area's age old traditions. A host of TV characters, an Abba Tribute Night, Toddler Takeover Day and a Great British Bake Off, are just a couple of the fun events at the Big Sheep. Summer fairs and fetes and special fund raising charity events abound around local villages and towns. We have highlighted just a few of the North Devon events this month but use the local press and tourist information links below to check what's on elsewhere around the region.

Friday 3rd July ABBA Tribute Night at the Big Sheep. Are you a ‘Dancing Queen’ and fancy becoming a ‘Super Trouper’ for an evening?’ – if so, why not ‘Take a Chance,’ and come and enjoy what promises to be one of the best night’s out in North Devon this year. An ABBA REUNION will be taking place in The EWE2 arena at The BIG Sheep family attraction in Bideford on Friday 3rd July at 7.30pm. Doors and bar will open at 7pm. Click here for the Big Sheep Website

Sunday 5th July  The Great North Devon Bake Off at the Big Sheep. Help raise money for Starfish Community Charity. Can you bake the perfect cake? Would you like to be this year’s Ultimate Champion? Why not put your sensational skills to the test be entering? Professional, amateur and junior bakers are invited to enter up to 5 categories: Click here for the Big Sheep Website

10th July Charity Tandem Skydive 2pm at Honiiton Airfield Devon. Tandem Skydive for the brain tumour charity I'm memory of my husband Vince who lost his life to a brain tumour on 19/1/2015 aged 49. In aid of BRAIN TUMOUR CHARITY Contact: gwyneth62@hotmail.co.uk. Click here for The Brain Tumour Charity Just Giving Website

Friday July 10th 7pm The Rude Mechanical Theatre - The Comedy of Babi Babbett at Hartland Abbey Set in Islington in 1793 it is an out and out farce in the classic commedia dell'arte style and probably the funniest of all their plays."Rich men are very attractive. There's nothing so romantic as the creak in the moonlight of a chequebook opening." Hartland Abbey Open Air Theatre Season in conjunction with the Plough Arts Centre 

Sunday 12th July Enjoy a day out and see George Pig. Peppa Pig’s little brother, George, will be coming to the BIG Sheep family attraction in North Devon to see his fans Click here for the Big Sheep Website

Thursday 16th July Toddler Take Over at the Big Sheep. Clowning Around will be an action packed day with balloon modelling, hula hooping, bubbles and children can make their own clown hat to take home and face painted as a clown.  As well as clowning around all day, the toddlers will be able to enjoy The BIG Sheep’s resident clown Vaughan perform some clown tricks.  Toddlers who come dressed as a clown will gain FREE entry to the park. Click here for the Big Sheep Website

Sunday 19th July 7pm Illyria Theatre - Iolanthe at Hartland Abbey. Gilbert and Sullivan's most magical comic opera is set half in Fairyland, half in Westminster. Its surprisingly topical satire pokes fun at Love, Class and Politics - and on how people from different backgrounds form uneasy coalitions…. Many believe its sumptuous harmonies to be the most beautiful Sullivan wrote. It gets the complete Illyria treatment, faithfully performed by a reduced cast with live piano accompaniment. Hartland Abbey Open Air Theatre Season in conjunction with the Plough Arts Centre 

Sunday 19th July Majorettes Day.. As well as all the usual BIG Sheep fun, on Sunday 19th July, you'll be able to watch 4 troupes compete in superb choreographed dance routine they will have practiced for the past 6 months. See the skillful Baton Twirling and fun Pom Pom Displays. Click here for the Big Sheep Website

Sunday 19th July Clovelly Maritime Festival in aid of the N. Devon Hospice. 10th Anniversary. Clovelly Harbour 10 am to 5 pm. The day will be full of fun and packed with a programme of activities and entertainment for all ages. There'll be lively music, crafty creations and family activities throughout the day, including a workshop all about exploring the great outdoors, along with a Pirate Parade, maritime storytelling, Punch and Judy, and street theatre. On the quay there will be seafood kitchens and arts and crafts. Free entry for under 16s if they come dressed as a pirate or salty seadog, mermaid or fishwife.*** Hartland ATC will now be doing a Gun Run up the cobbles from the harbour to Victoria Fountain starting at about 09:30. 

Sunday 26th July See The Gruffallo at the Big Sheep. The Gruffalo will be making appearances at The BIG Sheep at intervals between 11am and 3.30pm for children and families to say “hello”. Don’t forget to bring your camera! Click here for the Big Sheep Website

Sunday 26th July Rotary Club's Bideford Water Festival with Bungee Jumping. Also Appledore and Instow Ferry attendance, Paddle boards, Skern Lodge power boat rides and the RNLI will make an appearance depending on operational demands! Quay Events, Fun Fair, Food. Visit Website for details

Monday 27th July Woolsery Agricultural Show at Clovelly Court in aid of various charities. A highly popular summer show. Classes include crafts, cattle and sheep. There will be horse and pony competitions, vintage farm machinery, trade stalls offering locally made crafts and food, fairground rides, a bouncy castle and the Young Farmers' 'It's a knockout'. A great day out for all the family!

Wednesday 29th July 2pm Family Arts Afternoon At Hartland Abbey. Most activities free - some may have a small additional charge. A chance for all the family to try a wacky range of arts related activities in the beautiful grounds of Hartland Abbey. Fun creative activities will include a character treasure hunt, 'through the portal' story-making with Celia Busby, willow sculpting, tree of hands, fancy dress races, kite making, inventions, nature frames, pottery, storytelling, drama, and many more…. See website or call box office for more details. Then stay on to see Mr Stink at 5pm! Hartland Abbey Open Air Theatre Season in conjunction with the Plough Arts Centre

Wednesday 29th July 5pm Heartbreak Theatre - Mr Stink' by David Walliams at Hartland Abbey. On a perfectly average afternoon, two restless souls unite on a bench in an average English town - one of them the lonely 12 year old Chloe and the other an incredibly smelly homeless man. Oh, and let's not forget his loyal dog, the Duchess. Acting upon her curiosity and responding to her kindness, Chloe and Mr. Stink forge an extraordinary and rewarding friendship that takes them to the heady heights of live television and Downing Street via a garden shed. An outdoor show packed with fun, humour and a heart-warming message, Heartbreak Productions' adaptation of Mr Stink from the infamous novel by David Walliams is suitable for the whole family to enjoy together. Hartland Abbey Open Air Theatre Season in conjunction with the Plough Arts Centre

Thursday 30th July 7pm Jazz at The Abbey - Digby Fairweather's Half Dozen & Special Guest Tina May at Hartland Abbey. Swing's the Thing' direct from Ronnie Scott's to Hartland Abbey! Ten-time winners of 'Top Small Group' in the prestigious British Jazz Awards (2014) this all star group - led by the legendary Digby Fairweather - promises you an unforgettable evening of swinging sounds, latin jazz, and gorgeous selections from the Great American and British Songbooks. For one night only they are joined by special guest, Tina May, one of the most expressive and inventive jazz singers of the last 20 years, renowned for her nuanced interpretive skills, freewheeling creativity and richly varied repertoire.
Quality catering & bar available
"The best new jazz show I've seen" Sir Michael Parkinson
"The greatest band I know" Paul Jones
"The best band I ever sung with…." George Melly
Hartland Abbey Open Air Theatre Season in conjunction with the Plough Arts Centre 
 For more North Devon Events see Local Press: What's On North Devon Gazette - North Devon Journal  


 Woolsery Agricultural Show - Photo Copyright P. Adams (All rights reserved)
North Devon Tourist Information Centres
Barnstaple Tourist Information Centre, North Devon Museum, The Square, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX32 9LS
Bideford Tourist Information Centre, Burton Art Gallery, Kingsley Road, Bideford, EX39 2QQ 

Braunton Tourist Information Centre The Bakehouse Centre, Caen Street, Braunton, North Devon, EX33 1AA
Combe Martin Tourist Information Centre Cross Street, Combe Martin, North Devon, EX34 ODH 

Holsworthy Visitor Information Centre: The Memorial Hall, Holsworthy, 
Torrington Tourist Information Centre, Castle Hill, South Street, Torrington   
lfracombe Tourist Information Centre The Landmark Theatre, The Seafront, Ilfracombe, North Devon, EX34 9BX
Lynton Tourist Information Centre Lynton Town Hall, Lee Road, Lynton, North Devon, EX35 6HT T

South Molton Tourist Information  1 East Street, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3BU 
Woolacombe Tourist Information Centre The Esplanade, Woolacombe, North Devon, EX34 7DL 
Click here to add an event go to North Devon Focus Coast & Country Chronicle Community Calendar 
(We advise that you check with venues to ensure events are taking place, to confirm details dates & times)