Feeding time in May’s grasslands and hedgerows

The increased variety of flowers and grasses in our gardens and green spaces creates a beautiful rich tapestry of colours, as well as a valuable source of food for insects and butterflies. Often overlooked in favour of the bigger view, this year they are an ideal way to connect with nature’s pollinators. Grassland feeding stations In damp meadows and hedgerows, wild grasses are coming into flower. Often grown as early grazing and hay, they provide shelter and food for aRead more

Spring is here

Now our window onto the world is smaller, the view is more precious. Reassuringly nature is following her seasonal rhythm and April is full of new arrivals. In your gardens or local green spaces (on your daily exercise) you’ll see weekly changes as trees come into leaf, spring flowers open and more birds return. Summer’s canopy is on its way. Starting as a hazy green tinge the familiar leaves of ash, beech, birch and oak are adding their weight toRead more

Butterfly, bird and budburst bonanza

Fluttering butterflies, feeding on flowers conjure up images of warm spring and long summer days, and at this time of year four of the butterflies monitored by *Nature’s Calendar, will start to appear. Seeing them creates a sense of optimism, which is heart-warming when you think about the different ways they’ve made it through the winter. The orange-brown comma and the lemony-yellow brimstone hibernated in sheltered spaces where their underwing patterns camouflaged them perfectly. For the comma that’s in treeRead more

TIMBER! Tells a Story

On a rare dry Dartmoor day, the Timber! celebration took place, once again, at Pullabrook Wood in the Bovey Valley. As before, it was hosted by the Woodland Trust and Natural England but, this year, recent storms and floods have left the woods feeling a bit damp, though a healthy turn out of visitors got together to enjoy and learn about the conservation management of the Bovey Valley Woods. Restoration of plantation woodlands is a complicated process and this specialRead more

Frogspawn February

Frogspawn is another signal that winter is drawing to an end. But, is it early and what will happen when, or if, there is a cold snap? The characteristic semolina like jelly of frogspawn is laid in shaded, shallow ponds, surrounded by plants. With the recent heavy rain, the two main streams on the reserve are creating pools which are good for frogspawn and as part of winter management works reserve managers have been leaving dead and fallen trees overRead more

Dozing Dormice (Part 2)

In our earlier Dozing Dormouse blog (Part 1) we explored the usual routes to monitoring dormice either through licensed surveying or through signs of presence – from long empty summer nests – to discarded dormouse dinners of gnawed nuts.  National Nature Reserves (NNRs) were set up to both protect habitats, species and geology and to be outdoor laboratories.  Science and research continue to be a core objective as part of today’s NNR conservation strategy and therefore dormice have been the focusRead more