Moth Night at Yarner Wood

Devon Moth Group help celebrate Yarner Wood’s species richness on 20th May 2022 Nineteen people gathered for the first Devon Moth Group field meeting of the year and to celebrate national Moth Night. The theme of this year’s Moth Night was woodland, so Yarner Wood, part of the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve, was a fitting location and we’re grateful to the warden Albert Knott for facilitating the event. Thirteen traps of various designs were deployed along rides radiating fromRead more

Nice Day for a Bio-blitz

1952 was a landmark year for Yarner Wood and, as a fine example of an upland western oak wood it became England’s first ever National Nature Reserve. Over time, the area protected for Dartmoor’s wildlife has expanded and now the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve also includes the heaths, bogs and streams of Trendlebere Down that connect with ribbons of mixed woodland flowing along the Bovey Valley. After a significant 7 decades of protecting the habitats and species of EastRead more

Beautiful Butterfly

Yarner Wood, Bovey Valley and Trendlebere Down, located within the East Dartmoor Woods and Heaths National Nature Reserve, are fabulous hotspots for butterflies! Yarner Wood was one of the first sites to take on the annual recording of butterflies back in 1976, when the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme began. https://ukbms.org/methods Volunteer butterfly surveyors walking the Yarner Wood transect The ‘transect walk’ is quite an undertaking, requiring surveyors to walk a fixed route, in good weather, on a weekly basis betweenRead more

Pullabrook Patchwork Management

Pullabrook Wood nestles in the Bovey valley to the east of Dartmoor and maintains an intriguing combination of woodland types that are home to an important range of wild species, though this patchwork of diverse habitat isn’t totally natural. As you walk around the tracks that cut across steep slopes you may find yourself in a broadleaved coppice of native trees, followed by another, larger coppice of pure sweet chestnut. Then, on the high ground, there is a zone ofRead more

NESTEGG: You reap what you sow

Dr Malcolm Burgess explains the value of long-term nest box monitoring primarily at Yarner Wood In 1955, soon after Yarner Wood was designated as a National Nature Reserve, 50 nestboxes were put up in a small area near today’s office. These were for an experiment investigating whether Blue tits had any height preference for nesting, with two boxes put on trees at different heights to test this. The addition of nestboxes to Yarner Wood had an unintended consequence. In theRead more

Layers of Time – A Moorland Conservation Story

Peat deposition on moorland is known to be one of the most effective forms of carbon storage, or ‘sequestration’. In its undisturbed state, peat is also a haven for unique and important wildlife but, around this priceless landscape lie layers of history and stories of human endeavour. Prehistory has been captured where the earliest farmers left signs of stone enclosures on Dartmoor that gave way to medieval field systems and villages. In one particular windswept spot, high above Ivybridge, theRead more