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

TIMBER! Tells a Story

On a rare dry Dartmoor day, the Timber! celebration took place, once again, at Pullabrook Wood in the Bovey Valley. As before, it was hosted by the Woodland Trust and Natural England but, this year, recent storms and floods have left the woods feeling a bit damp, though a healthy turn out of visitors got together to enjoy and learn about the conservation management of the Bovey Valley Woods. Restoration of plantation woodlands is a complicated process and this specialRead more

The Water of Life

After a night of heavy rain, yet another Dartmoor deluge, I’m waiting in the Postbridge car park to meet David Leach. He is the Dartmoor Peatland Restoration Project Officer and, after introductions, we get kitted up for a two-mile trudge in full waterproofs to check on the progress of the South West Peatland Project, a habitat restoration project covering Dartmoor and the uplands of Exmoor and Bodmin Moor too. Our journey begins with a typically wintry walk, but conversation isRead more

The Timber Trail – History in the Making

Weaving through the narrow lanes on western Dartmoor, I’m heading up a dead-end, single-track road. As I arrive at Lane End, the hard surfacing gives way to open windswept moorland. Oh no! I’ve gone too far! I need to go back and look for a small track … and there it is, guiding me between two age-old stone walls. It feels like I’m going back in time; this landscape has hardly changed in hundreds of years, but it is veryRead more

A Win-Win for Nature

Woodland restoration is a slow process requiring a determined approach and, with good planning and dedication, Houndtor Woods in the Bovey Valley is showing real signs of progress. For decades, the dense cover of introduced conifer trees has been casting shade over the ancient woodland soil below, suppressing the wild flowers and reducing the range of insects and birds that once thrived there. To remedy this habitat conservation problem, the Woodland Trust is using a step-by-step method; thinning out theRead more