Lighting up the Darkness

Following pre and post-management surveying along Bovey Valley wood’s ancient banks and boundaries in August 2020 (Back in the Bovey blog), professional habitat-management contractors working for the Woodland Trust and Natural England have been selectively clearing holly, beech and sycamore to bring back the light to the woodland understorey, as part of Plantlife’s ‘Building Resilience in South West Woodlands’ project. Without management, many of these ancient boundaries have become over-grown with shading tree species which can become invasive if notRead more

A Growing Problem

The view along the Bovey Valley Woods is a dramatic scene that makes many passers-by stop and stare. Taking time to absorb this spectacle is one of the great pleasures of Dartmoor. It is one of those iconic panoramas of the eastern moor where the sweeping skyline of Lustleigh Cleave provides a bold and rocky backdrop for the diverse, soft patterns and colours of the tree cover that sweeps along the valley. Breath-taking at any time of year. But recently,Read more

Health and Wellbeing

‘Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity’John Muir 19th Century Scottish environmentalist At the most basic level human health and wellbeing is dependent on the goods and services of the environment: air, food, shelter and water. In addition, the importance to our physical and mental wellbeing of spending time within the natural environment has been recognised since ancient times and is seen of increasingRead more

Autumn Works in the Bovey Valley Woods

As the shades of summer green start to fade, the cooling autumn air brings a final flurry of activity before the woods of the Bovey Valley settle down for winter. Bird nesting season is over and, for some woodland mammals, food caches are building. For others, hibernation has yet to begin, making this the perfect time between the seasons for some carefully planned woodland habitat management work. This steep and scenic valley is home to many interesting species including theRead more

Building Resilience Back in the Bovey

This August saw the return of Plantlife’s Building Resilience in the South-West project to Bovey Valley woods. In partnership with the Woodland Trust and Natural England, this National Lottery Heritage Fund funded project has seen the valleys historic field boundaries surveyed and managed, to increase their habitat value for the many rare lichen species they support. In previous years, the surveys have been carried out with the help of citizen science volunteers from the local community, gathering data on lightRead more

Walking the “Butterflies of the Bovey Valley”

It is August bank holiday, a beautiful sunny day, and a perfect opportunity to follow one of the wildlife walking routes around the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. There are five wildlife walking routes to choose from, but unsurprisingly, butterfly surveyor Simon, chose to follow the Butterflies of the Bovey Valley trail that follows woodland tracks by the River Bovey and crosses the heathland on Trendlebere Down. This blog is intended not to add any more route advice and detailRead more