Devon Wildlife Trust has teamed up with North Devon AONB for the project.

Bats in North Devon could see a better future after a generous response to a fundraising appeal.

Devon Wildlife Trust has set up the Homes For Bats scheme in an attempt to secure the future of one of Europe’s rarest bats - the greater horseshoe.

Alongside North Devon AONB and other organisations, the trust is working to raise £26,000 to improve roosting sites for the bats.

The species relies on farm and woodland, with one roost housed near Braunton.

The appeal has raised £21,200 in the first month, but still has work to do to reach its target.

Project manager Ed Parr Ferris said: “We’re delighted to see such a generous response from local people.

“We’ve been working with children from Southmead Primary and Braunton Academy to inspire them about their local greater horseshoe bats and show them what amazing animals they are.

“People in North Devon can feel proud that their landscapes can still support such special wildlife – but these bats have suffered around a 90% decline in England over the last century so they need all the help they can get.

“Every donation to our appeal really can help improve things for North Devon’s wildlife.”

Jenny Carey-Wood, North Devon AONB manager, said: “Greater horseshoe bats, and the hedges, grasslands, orchards and woodlands they rely on, are great examples of what a beautiful part of the country North Devon is. That’s why it’s so important that these areas are protected for nature. One of the reasons North Devon AONB is involved in the Greater Horseshoe Bat Project is to inspire people about the wonderful wildlife around us – so we hope that more local residents and visitors will support the Homes for Bats appeal this summer”.

Donations can be made online at www.devonwildlifetrust.org/homes-for-bats-appeal or by phoning Devon Wildlife Trust on 01392 279244