Children Celebrate the Granite Railway – 200 years on   

We are in the 200th year since the Granite Tramway from the Haytor Quarries to Ventiford Basin on the Stover Canal was opened as Devon’s first railroad on Dartmoor. It was an incredible engineering achievement rolling 7 miles across the landscape and, unusually, its rails were hewn from the granite rock of Dartmoor in 1820. In 1813 George Templer inherited Haytor Quarry as part of the family business empire. One of his tenants, John Hatherly was working the Haytor Quarry onRead more

BioScan Flying Insect Project at Yarner Wood

Insects are of major ecological importance playing an essential role in ecosystems, pollination, nutrient recycling, and pest control. 1 million species have been described worldwide, although scientists believe the number could be 10 times higher – the UK alone has approx. 24,000 recorded species. https://www.royensoc.co.uk/entomology.  Recent declines in the biomass of flying insects have serious ecological consequences, affecting human and ecosystem health and it is recognised that this needs to be urgently addressed. Comprehensive data is crucial to informing effectiveRead more

The Ash Bud Moth and Woodland Connectivity

Fragmentation of habitat plays a major role in the decline of species and, as ecological research seeks for more evidence of the changing conditions across a wider landscape, increasing problems from the spread of tree diseases are adding to these threats to survival. In some cases, there is an obvious, visible isolation of trees and woodlands but we must also consider the less apparent isolation of some of the small but vital species that rely on those trees. Some wildRead more

Woodland Bats and Their Foraging Habitat

In so many cases where the abundance of wild species is falling, there is often a link with human activity, whether it is connected to pollution, changing climate and weather patterns or the loss of habitat from the development or depletion of natural features in the landscape. But where research is done to identify these causes and their subsequent knock-on effects to other species, it provides us with an opportunity to do something about it before it is too late.Read more

Marsh Tit in the Wood

May, the month when the dawn chorus will be starting to build up as resident species stake out their territories. These early weeks of Spring are actually the best time to appreciate some of our resident species contributions to the dawn chorus, as they will soon be quieting down to concentrate on nest building and raising young. Among these early singers are our four resident species of tit – Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Marsh Tit. This monthRead more

Step into Spring

“Come with me into the woods, where spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what….” Mary Oliver, Poet With the lengthening days and Easter upon us spring is definitely in the air and accelerating in pace. The start of spring though is open to interpretation depending on how you measure it and for what purpose. The meteorological spring, for instance, is based on 4 three-month periods using annual temperature cycles providing consistent markers between the seasons to enable comparativeRead more