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

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

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

New Year, New Tree Disease – Phytophthora pluvialis

We are all too aware of diseases and infections that can spread around the globe and, whether these infect people or plants, their transmission may have an effect on us one way or another. In recent years there have been several plant pathogens that have caused concern, including the well-publicised ‘ash dieback disease’ that is presenting a number of problems, particularly where infected trees are considered a safety risk. The latest tree disease to enter the UK has been foundRead more

Winter Works at Bovey Valley Woods 2021-22

The gradual transformation of the woodland landscape in the Bovey Valley Woods is making progress again this autumn and winter. This year, as usual, small groups of conifers have been selected for felling in different zones around Hisley and Pullabrook Woods to improve diversity of woodland structure and habitat. This technique of staged annual small-scale tree felling operations is proving to be beneficial to both the biodiversity and the landscape of this beautiful river valley as it can produce aRead more