Learning to Drive

Working on the East Dartmoor NNR often means that we need to get to remote parts of the reserve that would take ages by foot and sometimes we are carrying awkward and heavy equipment. Few of the tracks are accessible by car which is why the land rovers and other 4×4’s are so useful. However before we can jump into one of these vehicles we need to know how to drive them off road. So a few of us have recently beenRead more

The bridge over troubled water

To ensure the safety of visitors here at Yarner wood regular checks are carried out on the manmade structures around the reserve. As part of our role as conservation assistants James and I assisted with these checks and are now making a start on the necessary work that needs to be completed under the guidance of the reserves warden. One of the tasks that we identified was that a small foot bridge was being undermined by the furious winter currentsRead more

A science lab in the woods

At the end of May when the first pied flycatcher chicks were just hatching in Yarner Wood, I joined Malcolm Burgess, Conservation Scientist for the RSPB, to get an insight into some of the cutting edge science that is taking place under the oak canopy of Yarner Woods. The breeding season is such a short window, that scientists work around the clock to capture all the vital data that will help them understand how woodland birds are faring.  This scienceRead more

Local Food Links – Getting to the Root of the Matter

Healthy lifestyles and fresh food are an important part of life at Okehampton Primary School and many of the messages the children are learning have a local flavour too. Each of the classes throughout the school has access to a vegetable growing area where they can get a hands-on experience of producing their own fresh herbs and vegetables. The staff at the school are also focussed on showing the children how home grown food can be nutritious, but the raisedRead more