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Connectivity- Wildlife Green Bridge

Many people are familiar with Haldon Hill and the main trunk roads that carry many thousands of motorists every day. The A38 and A380 cross Devon Wildland and sit between the core sites at Mamhead and Embercombe. How can wildlife traverse these roads? In 2016 a number of stakeholders including Highways England, Forestry Commission, Natural England and Devon County Council commissioned a feasibility study of the provision of a green bridge in the Haldon Hills. It was accepted that the A38 creates a barrier for species, and it is estimated that between 13 and 27 deer vehicle collisions occur every year and it is one of the worse locations in the UK. As well as deer casualties there has been occasional human fatalities where vehicles have collided with animals. There is also an impact on animal welfare as a high proportion of animals that are hit by vehicles do not die outright but may escape to die later of their injuries. 

Extensive ecological monitoring was carried out. Around 80 pairs of nightjars breed in the forest which represents 3% of the British population of this declining migratory species. Interestingly there is a population of dormice living in the central reservation.

Three potential bridge locations were identified and the practicalities of construction at each site was explored.

When the costs of the construction of the Haldon Green Bridge was calculated (in 2016) it was estimated as £10.5 million, but with the benefits that a Green Bridge would bring to the local economy and safety estimated to be £19.2 million, showing the project would bring many economic benefits with 'additional environmental benefits which cannot be monetised'.

The full reports can be found here: 

It would be fantastic if Devon Wildland could feature the first wildlife green bridge in Devon and the wildlife benefits that this would bring. We are keen to pursue this idea and plan to lobby and seek partners that can  make this initiative happen.

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