Firewood for Good Gleaning

Across Dartmoor, there are visual signs of ancient boundaries where land owners once marked their land and, even today, the maps of the moor show the commons where people could graze their livestock in a regulated way. As times have changed, these rights have evolved and become more suited to our times. There were once areas where local people had the right to allow their pigs to eat acorns or beech mast but these practices are no longer relevant toRead more

Woodland birds response to climatic change: Part 2

In this blog, Malcolm Burgess from the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, describes the importance of monitoring invertebrates and shares the findings of some innovative research in Yarner Wood – measuring insect poo to help investigate the impacts of climate change on woodland birds.   As I mentioned in my last blog, the breeding success of hole-nesting woodland birds, such as Blue Tits and Pied Flycatchers, is thought to be dependent on the short seasonal spike in availability of caterpillar prey.  These bird speciesRead more

Look Out! Bird Hide Under Construction

Managing a nature reserve is about creating a diverse range of habitats to support the widest variety of wild species. Establishing and maintaining the right mix of wild plants in the right places will, it is hoped, attract the wildlife to the reserve and, assuming it is not disturbed, it will settle in and make a home. Of course, the appropriate species of wild plants and animals must be targeted; only those that are indigenous to the area are expectedRead more

Vinnimore Medieval Farmstead – International Rescue

Day 1 Managing a nature reserve can be a complex job, requiring a good understanding of many ecological disciplines, but here at East Dartmoor NNR, a good knowledge of historical land use and local heritage helps too. To develop these competencies, the Natural England Eco Skills Conservation Assistants are, from time to time, given a project to manage. This time it was the turn of Elizabeth “Beany” Townsend to get a taste for planning and organising preparations for the archaeologicalRead more