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

Free the Oak Trees – Green Recovery

If you start to read about “Green Recovery” you are likely to see the term being used to describe many worthy causes but, you may be left thinking, “what is it all about?”. One good example is the Green Recovery Challenge Fund; set up to “… kick-start environmental renewal whilst creating and retaining a range of jobs. It is open to environmental charities and their partners to deliver projects in England. The aim of the fund is to support projectsRead more

The Ash Bud Moth and Woodland Connectivity

Fragmentation of habitat plays a major role in the decline of species and, as ecological research seeks for more evidence of the changing conditions across a wider landscape, increasing problems from the spread of tree diseases are adding to these threats to survival. In some cases, there is an obvious, visible isolation of trees and woodlands but we must also consider the less apparent isolation of some of the small but vital species that rely on those trees. Some wildRead more

Woodland Bats and Their Foraging Habitat

In so many cases where the abundance of wild species is falling, there is often a link with human activity, whether it is connected to pollution, changing climate and weather patterns or the loss of habitat from the development or depletion of natural features in the landscape. But where research is done to identify these causes and their subsequent knock-on effects to other species, it provides us with an opportunity to do something about it before it is too late.Read more

Veteranisation – Bat Conservation and Old Wood Features

Back in March 2020, the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) had organised a Woodland Bat Symposium at the WWF’s Living Planet Centre in Woking, Surrey. Only days before the battiest people from across the country were due to meet and share the latest news on bats in woodland habitats, the national conference was postponed – the first Covid-19 lockdown was around the corner. I was due to attend the conference to present a talk about how the Woodland Trust has beenRead more

A Woodland Cycle of Renewal

February is a month of lighter mornings and lengthening days, bringing an innate sense that, though we have not seen the last of the frost and snow, a new cycle of renewal is beginning. Some days have that fresh smell of sunlight warming the cold earth, where hints of spring emerge, raising flashes of yellow celandine and spears of green bluebell leaves that break through last year’s leaf litter. Nature’s inevitable cycle starts an annual awakening of wildlife but carriesRead more