Life on the Edge

Prawle Point, Devon © Andrew Whitehouse

“Life on the Edge” is an exciting new Buglife partnership project that aims to restore viable populations of some of the UK’s rarest invertebrates and plants living along the South Devon coast between Berry Head and Wembury, including the last known colony of the Six-banded Nomad Bee (Nomada sexfasciata).

The Development Phase (March 2022 – August 2023), focussed on public consultation, as well as species & habitat surveys; providing the stepping stones required to evidence the need for the project and progress through to the next stage, the Delivery Phase, which it is hoped will start in April 2024.

Update January 2024: We are thrilled to announce that ‘Life on The Edge’ has been awarded £2.24m by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore habitats for rare invertebrates along the South Devon coast

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Quick Facts:

  • Name of Project:  Life on the Edge
  • Duration of Project (Development Phase): March 2022 – August 2023
    • Duration of Project (Delivery Phase): April 2024 – April 2029
  • Location of Project: South Devon coast.  The project covers a 75 km stretch of coastline between Berry Head and Wembury.
  • Species benefiting from Project:  Over 30 threatened invertebrates including: Six-banded Nomad Bee (Nomada sexfasciata), Long-horned Bee (Eucera longicornis), Short-necked Oil Beetle (Meloe brevicollis), Moon Spider (Callilepis nocturna), Brown-banded Carder Bee (Bombus humilis)  – Full list below
  • Project funded by:  Development Phase funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Devon Environment Foundation & Milkywire

What will the project do?

Life on the Edge is a partnership project which will see Buglife working alongside South Devon National Landscape (project lead), National Trust, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust and the South West Coast Path Association for the benefit of a range of species along the South Devon coast.

The project area covers a 75km stretch of coastline between Berry Head and Wembury and aims to save species; giving them a safer long-term future by expanding and reconnecting the traditional coastal landscapes on which they depend. Restoring wildflower-rich cliff tops and highway verges, carefully managing scrub mosaics, strategic hedgerow connections, and more wildlife-friendly parks, churchyards, school grounds and private gardens.

The connected network of B-Lines will enable species to move freely through our countryside, expand their populations and recolonise areas from where they have been lost.

The result will be a coastline, and its connected hinterland, that is buzzing with wildlife, packed with wildflowers and a treat for the eye for residents and visitors alike.

Brown-banded Carder Bee (Bombus Humilis) Queen © Steven Falk Brown-banded Carder Bee (Bombus Humilis) Queen © Steven Falk

We’re excited to be working with South Devon National Landscape and other project partners to support Devon communities, from landowners and farmers to parish councils and school children, providing opportunities for everyone to get involved and make a real difference for the extraordinary and highly vulnerable species that call Devon home.

The 30 threatened invertebrate species Life on the Edge will support are: Hemlock Water-dropwort Bee (Andrena ampla), Hawksbeard Mining Bee (Andrena fulvago), Carrot Mining Bee (Andrena nitidiuscula), Black Mining Bee (Andrena pillipes), Hornet Robberfly (Asilus crabroniformis), Six-belted Clearwing (Bembecia ichneumoniformis), Brown-banded Carder Bee (Bombus humilis), Dotted Bee-fly (Bombylius discolor), Moon spider (Callilepis nocturna), Zipperback Hoverfly (Chrysotoxum elegans), Goldilocks Aster Moth (Coleophora linosyridella), Ridge-saddled Spider Wasp (Cryptocheilus notatus), a cranefly (Diacranomyia goritiensis), Long-horned Bee (Eucera longicornis), a mason wasp (Euodynerus quadrifasciatus), Grayling (Hipparchia Semele), Orange-footed Furrow Bee (Lasioglossum xanthopus), Silvery Leafcutter Bee (Megachile leachella), Short-necked Oil Beetle (Meloe brevicollis), Mediterranean Oil Beetle (Meloe mediterraneus), Black Oil Beetle (Meloe proscarabaeus), Devon Red-legged Robberfly (Neomochtherus pallipes),

Prawle Point, South Devon © Hayley Herridge Prawle Point, South Devon © Hayley Herridge

Six-banded Nomad Bee (Nomada sexfasciata), Grey Bush Cricket (Platycleis albopunctata), Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus), Red-tailed Blood Bee (Sphecodes rubicundus), Banded Dark Bee (Stelis punctulatissima), Thrift Clearwing (Synansphecia muscaeformis), Great Green Bush Cricket (Tettigonia viridissima) and Glow Worm (Lampyris noctiluca).

The project will have a strong focus on the survival of these flagship species and the expansion of the habitats on which they depend.


Short-necked Oil Beetle (Meloe brevicollis) © Suzanne Burgess Short-necked Oil Beetle (Meloe brevicollis) © Suzanne Burgess

How can you get involved?

Communities can get involved through a series of opportunities. Join us for:

    • volunteer workdays;
    • training workshops on habitat management & creation;
    • species monitoring and
    • wildlife gardening.

Information, advice and support is also available to landowners who would like to know more about the project, how they can be involved and how to improve their land for pollinators.

Add your project to our B-Lines map!

For more information on how to get involved in our “Life on the Edge” project please get in touch via [email protected]

Gooden’s Nomad Bee (Nomada goodeniana) © Steven Falk Gooden’s Nomad Bee (Nomada goodeniana) © Steven Falk

An introduction to Life on the Edge

Life on the Edge” is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Devon Environment Foundation & Milkywire

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