How we support wildlife


Hatherleigh is fortunate to have some wonderful wild spaces and diverse habitats which host orchids, bats, swifts, otters, deer and many other fantastic species.

From Hatherleigh Moor to wildflower verges to wildlife friendly gardens and the wildflower meadow in St John the Baptist Churchyard, the wildlife is not only on the edges of our town but right in the heart of it.

Hatherleigh has a Biodiversity Audit undertaken by Devon Wildlife Trust which provides a baseline of information about our local wildlife (add PDF).To help keep records up to date and to inform future biodiversity audits, Devon Biodiversity Records Centre would love to hear about wildlife you have spotted in our local parishes.

We frequently hold volunteer work parties to help maintain and enhance our local wildlife, regularly collaborating with key wildlife organisations and local wildlife groups. We monitor species with regular surveys and run engagement activities at events. These are great opportunities for learning new skills, keeping fit, making a difference and meeting new, like-minded people.

We’re always grateful for additional helpers, in which ever capacity you can offer.

Get in touch if you would like to get involved with any of the activities listed below or if you have additional ideas for how we can help local wildlife.

Autumn activities (our busiest time):

  • The churchyard wildflower meadow rake-up. This has become a community event with people of all ages coming together to be part of the Churchyard Project.
  • Cutting and raking-up of two wildflower verges in the centre of town. It has been wonderful to see an increase of wildflower species develop over the years, turning a forgotten verge into a colourful and bountiful resource for various local wildlife species.
  • Bird box cleaning and maintenance. In support of the Hatherleigh Moor Management Committee and Devon Birds we have seen an increase in diversity and sustaining important local species on Hatherleigh Moor.
  • Start of the harvest mouse survey season (runs until March). With support and training from the Devon Harvest Mouse Project, a group of us regularly survey the area to keep an eye on this elusive species.

Winter activities:

  • We call on volunteers for scrub clearing on Hatherleigh Moor. Recently we cleared the scrub from around Roberts Pond on Lower Moor.
  • Other winter surveys (examples from the past include a pearl bordered fritillary butterfly egg survey and a hedgerow survey).
  • Mammal nest box cleaning.

Spring activities:

  • Bird surveys (monitoring of nest boxes).
  • Spring flower surveys.
  • The Riverfly Partnership has supported volunteers to survey for indicative invertebrate species to show if there are raised pollution levels or invasive species in our local rivers(runs until September).

Summer activities:

  • Himalayan balsam pulling. A funcommunity summer event that prevents the damage Himalayan balsam causes to our riverbed, not only does it suppress plant diversity but also causes riverbanks to collapse.
  • Wildflower surveys and monitoring. This is a wonderful way to learn about plants and their important role in wildlife resilience. We hold wildflower walks to help local people of all ages to identify local species.

Wildlife engagement activities with the Hatherleigh Primary School and Hatherleigh Festival.