Case Study

Finding Nature's Footprints in North Devon


Finding Nature's Footprints is a three-year National Lottery Heritage Fund project working with communities to survey, map and take action for the fantastic wildlife of the North Devon Coast National Landscape.

This information will be used to support action by communities, volunteers, landowners and local agencies to develop community-led nature recovery plans and take action for nature improvement. ‚Äč

North Devon Coast has teamed up with partners across North Devon to provide opportunities for new audiences in the area to connect with nature and benefit from the nationally designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Courtesy of North Devon Coast National Landscape.

The project

The project is running between 2022-2025.

Finding Nature's Footprints
is providing opportunities to connect people and communities with the nature of the North Devon Coast National Landscape. The project and partners are working closely with schools, community groups, youth groups and individuals to engage and enthuse people about our local wildlife.

The project and partners are working to train people in species identification, wildlife surveying and monitoring techniques that follow already set up and standardised surveys.

The project is also supporting communities to run their own wildlife surveying and monitoring projects in their local area by connecting people, providing training and the necessary resources and survey equipment.

The project draws on the most effective citizen science projects to ensure that the data collected goes to the right place and help inform decisions. For example, the National Plant Monitoring Scheme, National Dormouse Footprint Tunnel Survey, National Moth Recording Scheme and National Reptile Survey to name a few.


The project aims to map the data collected from the wildlife surveying carried out by local communities so that we can gain a better understanding of what the area has to offer and how we can help create more space for nature.

The knowledge collected from the community wildlife audits will then be used to contribute to local nature recovery plans through direct nature recovery action.

From a coastal perspective, the project is helping to support the work of Coastwise North Devon, a voluntary group with a love for the rocky shore.

One of their activities includes conducting Shoresearch Surveys on three different beaches within the North Devon AONB; Hele Bay, Combesgate and Westward Ho. The group also monitor the presence of invasive and non-native species in the area.

Project partners include Sunrise Diversity, North Devon Voluntary Services, Northam Burrows Country Park, the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre, National Trust and Red Herring Productions.

Year 1 outcomes