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May 2016

Estuary Project Success

The Biosphere's Estuary Project, which used on-farm wetlands to improve water quality and benefit wildlife, has now come to an end.

A project film has been produced, due for release in July, that will demonstrate the benefit of the project to the environment and to a farm's economic bottom line.
Shebbear & Langtree

Welcome to two new UK Biospheres

Congratulations to Wester Ross in Scotland and the Isle of Man for being awarded Biosphere status. The Isle of Man is the first 'entire jurisdiction' to gain the UNESCO accolade.

It is great to see so many people across the world recognising the value of the environment and coming together to strengthen the connection between people and nature for a positive future.

Biosphere artist celebrates 2016, The International Year of Soils

Soil is fundamental to agriculture, terrestrial habitats and of course, our wellbeing.  See artist Jonny Briggs’ work, produced as part of the CCANW’s Soil Culture Project, that celebrates our soil at Barnstaple’s White Moose Gallery between 16th April and the 4th June.
Saving soils
Soil is a farmer's most precious asset but it can all to easily be washed by run-off into our rivers and watercourses. 

In March, the Torridge Headwaters Facilitation Project organised a ‘Soils event’ with farmers digging soil pits and learning best practice. There will be further events on a variety of different subjects. Contact Deborah Deveney ( or 01409 221823   

Schools support the Biosphere

South Molton Primary School is creating new ponds in its grounds and is promoting a “Totally Unplugged” teaching day on 7th July. It will be electricity free and they are looking to get as many schools, groups and businesses as possible to get involved.
South Molton Primary is also hosting the Devon Education for Sustainability Working Group (DESWG) meeting in June on behalf of the Biosphere whilst Goodleigh Primary School near Barnstaple is now using the Biosphere’s Key Stage 2 (7 to 11 year olds) “People and Environment” learning resources.

NIA in the news

Check out the current edition of Ecosystem News for the latest from the Northern Devon NIA on reconnecting people and nature.

Marine wildlife leaflet
We are very fortunate to share the coastline of North Devon with a wealth of marine wildlife. The Biosphere has produced a guide and code of conduct leaflet to help you see it safely and without causing undue disturbance.

Escape to the Biosphere

The popular BBC programme, Escape to the Country visted the North Devon Biosphere for the latest series. Keep a look out for Matt Edworthy on the Tarka Trail in the 17th May episode on BBC1 at 3pm.

Riverfly restarts
for 2016
Our forty Riverfly citizen science project volunteers began their 2016 sampling in April. Since the project began in 2014, they have collected over 300 samples that have helped us to monitor water quality in the River Torridge and its tributaries.

This May, 11 more volunteers will be trained and will help expand the project network into the River Taw catchment.

Box of delights

Two community-based wildlife projects providing nest boxes for barn owls and dormice are taking shape this spring. The first will provide 20 barn owl nest boxes on farms with plentiful rough grassland across the North Devon Biosphere.

The second will see at least 50 dormouse nest boxes installed in richly wooded areas in the Cairn Local Nature Reserve in Ilfracombe. Both projects will involve the local community in wildlife conservation and provide data for national monitoring programmes.

Devon Hedge Tree Competition

A new competition has just been launched to find and reward farmers who are looking after their hedge trees.  The Devon Hedge Tree Competition has the following prizes: First prize £200, second prize £100 and third £50. All entrants will receive a free copy of The Hedge Tree Handbook and free tree tags. The competition is now open and the closing date is 31st August 2016.
Copyright © 2016 North Devon's World Biosphere Reserve, All rights reserved.

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