Medieval Farming in the Bovey Valley – the Need to Know More (Vinnimore Archaeology diary part 1)

Hidden in the rocks and trees at Hisley Woods in the Bovey Valley there are stories to be told; long before the nature reserve we see today, we know our Dartmoor ancestors were busy farming this magnificent landscape. We already understand the derelict Boveycombe farmstead and how it was used. There are maps and documents, recording its useful life through hundreds of years, right up to the 20th century. The volunteers in the Natural England History Hunters have revealed manyRead more

Bovey Barbastelle Bats – the Research Continues (Barbastelle Diary part 10)

After a busy summer of bat tracking last year, the colony of rare barbastelles in the Bovey Valley is providing further interest to scientists. This time, Dr. Orly Razgour, a research fellow from the University of Southampton has started to survey these East Dartmoor bats as part of her European-wide genetic research project on bat responses to global climate change. So far, Orly has been gathering information on barbastelles from Morocco to Sweden and, for a few nights in August,Read more

The Archeology of the Haytor Quarries

At Higher Haytor carpark I joined a diverse group of 24 people from youth to maturity, plus a dog. There we met our leader, Phil Newman and were briefed by Albert from Natural England on the hazards of slippery surfaces and thirsty ticks. First stop was a small quarry carpeted with “Moor Stone”, which is stone broken off from tors and fallen randomly on the ground. The concept of something as static and inedible as granite being “harvested” was slightlyRead more