The Kingdom Under the Woods

There’s another world beneath the trees that like many essential backroom functions is hidden and shrouded in mystery. It is the kingdom of the fungi, and the autumn is a great time to see them. The power of a name Mushrooms and toadstools are the fruiting spores of fungi and the distinction between them first appeared in print in the mid fifteenth century and reflects the dilemma about what is and isn’t safe to eat. So, while mushrooms were definedRead more

Free the Oak Trees – Green Recovery

If you start to read about “Green Recovery” you are likely to see the term being used to describe many worthy causes but, you may be left thinking, “what is it all about?”. One good example is the Green Recovery Challenge Fund; set up to “… kick-start environmental renewal whilst creating and retaining a range of jobs. It is open to environmental charities and their partners to deliver projects in England. The aim of the fund is to support projectsRead more

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