A special display is giving North Devon residents the opportunity to learn more about one of the region’s rarest and most fascinating wildlife species.

The Heritage Centre at Fremington Quay is hosting a 'Bat Beacon' to bring awareness to greater horseshoe bats.

Heritage Centre chairman of trustees Rodney Cann said: "The Bat Beacon is well worth a visit to find out more about the life of this fascinating bat.

"The interactive touchscreen has a wealth of virtual information about greater horseshoe and other British bats, complete with games and videos."

The touchscreen is provided by the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project.

The project, made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is a five-year partnership of 18 organisations led by Devon Wildlife Trust.

The trust relies on charitable donations, grants and the generous support of its members and the public to raise more than £3million every year.

Project manager Ruth Testa said: "Thanks to local people taking part in our annual Devon Bat Survey, we have discovered higher than expected levels of greater horseshoe bat activity in the Fremington area.

"Now we are conducting more research to find out more."

The greater horseshoe bat population has declined by more than 90 per cent over the last 100 years. This population decline has been mirrored across northern Europe.

The rapid decline in population is attributed to a 50 per cent reduction in range available to the bats.

Currently, Devon holds one third of the UK's greater horseshoe bat population.

The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project aims to reverse the decline of the greater horseshoe bat's population.

Over the coming years, it will work with local landowners, farmers and communicates to ensure the bats continue to flourish.

That will include working with landowners to encourage appropriate habitat management, carrying out a massive citizen science programme engaging communities in monitoring how these bats use our landscapes, installing a live infra-red camera in a roost with footage available online, organising events for the public to learn about habitats and more.

Find out about taking part in the 2019 Devon Bat Survey, as well as future events, by visiting www.devonbatproject.org .