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January 2016

Pink Sea Fan - Mike DeatonTwo new MCZs are a boost for the Biosphere

The Biosphere welcomes the announcement of two new Marine Conservation Zones off the Biosphere’s North Coast - Bideford to Foreland Point and Hartland to Tintagel. The Biosphere’s Marine Working Group, which includes fishermen, recreational users, divers, scientists and conservationists, worked hard to develop these new MCZs. They are designed to protect rare and important species like the honeycomb worm, pink sea fan and spiny lobster and also respond to fishermen’s concerns about retaining important fishing grounds. More.
 


Tarka Trail shelter design coming together

Four students from Petroc have designed a new shelter to replace the iconic “Wave Shelter”, whch was removed in 2015 after becoming unsafe. The new shelter will be constructed mainly from old car tyres, and will have turf facing to soften the outside walls plus a green roof. We need volunteers to construct this wonderful new building.  It will be hard and physical work. Interested?  Please contact us at the Biosphere.

















Tarka Trail audio posts updated

Devon County Council's Local Sustainable Transport Fund has been used to replace the rotten audio posts on the shared-use section of the Tarka Trail. The new posts have updated information plaques that now include QR codes, which users can scan with a smartphone to download and listen to the audio clips. More.


Scrapes benefit estuary bird life

The Gaia Trust has created a new wetland scrape at its Home Farm Reserve. This is to create a new laying-up habitat for estuary birds, such as Canada Geese and Common Snipe. Find out more about the Gaia Trust and the excellent conservation work they are doing here. More
 

Bears back the Biosphere

A 'sleuth' of adorable bears has been helping customers of Marsdens Devon Cottages to raise money for the protection of North Devon's Biosphere. The bears, called Monty, can be found in each of the company’s cottages, and visitors are encouraged to take the best snapshot with Monty while showcasing the region's stunning environment. Visitors can also buy a bear for £10 with the proceeds going to the Biosphere. More
 

Andy flies the Biosphere flag at the climate conference in Paris

Andy Bell, Director of the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, was invited to present on the role of UNESCO sites throughout the world as hubs for monitoring climate change and for testing new approaches to tackling it. More.

Make Devon your #PlaceToBe for walking and cycling this year

To celebrate the wonderful variety of walking and cycling trails on offer across the county, Visit Devon have made an exciting series of films to spread the word and get more people using them. The Tarka Trail, Coast Path and other Biosphere routes feature again and again. More.

On course for Hedge Laying

Two hedge laying courses have been run by the Biosphere to help promote this traditional method of thickening and rejuvenating traditional Devon Hedges.  The second course, at Little Comfort Farm near Braunton, was run in conjunction with the Greater Horseshoe Bat Project.  Hedges are really important to help bats navigate through the countryside as well as helping with provision of insect food. Find out more.
 

Phil gets to work

Phil is a new volunteer for the North Devon Biosphere. He recently attained a master’s degree in applied ecology from the University of Exeter and is currently working on two reports. One looks at the spread of an invasive plant called Himalayan balsam throughout the Taw and Torridge river catchments.  The other provides advice on the future management of the Kenwith Valley Local Nature Reserve. Phil says “Volunteering for the biosphere is a great experience, and has allowed me to see how environmental protection and community engagement can combine to make a better place for us all”.
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