Butterfly, bird and budburst bonanza

Fluttering butterflies, feeding on flowers conjure up images of warm spring and long summer days, and at this time of year four of the butterflies monitored by *Nature’s Calendar, will start to appear. Seeing them creates a sense of optimism, which is heart-warming when you think about the different ways they’ve made it through the winter. The orange-brown comma and the lemony-yellow brimstone hibernated in sheltered spaces where their underwing patterns camouflaged them perfectly. For the comma that’s in treeRead more

Frogspawn February

Frogspawn is another signal that winter is drawing to an end. But, is it early and what will happen when, or if, there is a cold snap? The characteristic semolina like jelly of frogspawn is laid in shaded, shallow ponds, surrounded by plants. With the recent heavy rain, the two main streams on the reserve are creating pools which are good for frogspawn and as part of winter management works reserve managers have been leaving dead and fallen trees overRead more

New Year: A Reflection On Changes

It’s a new year, with new plans and resolutions, the time of year where we think about changes we can make to ensure this year is the best one yet. Holly and ivy, evergreen plants, are symbols of new life, said by some to offer protection from entities that may wish us harm going into this new year.  In their natural woodland home, they play other more complex roles. You may have noticed, that they too have been impacted byRead more

Counting Butterflies in the Bovey Valley

As we come to the end of the year, and with the butterfly survey season well behind us, there’s a chance to reflect on the survey season and to plan for next year.  Simon Smith, who has written this end of season report, is one of six recorders who walks a set route, or “transect”, in the National Nature Reserve every week from April to the end of September.  In this blog he gives a personal account of the endRead more

A ‘Light’ Introduction

Regular visitors to East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve (NNR) may have noticed a new face around the place. That’s me! My name is Emily Weeks and I am a placement student with Plantlife, but I will be spending quite a bit of time here at Yarner Wood. I spent much of my childhood outdoors, my family having a great appreciation for the natural world. Many a day was spent in National Trust gardens and walking trails though woods, which noRead more

Bumper Crop of Bovey Berries

As the days shorten and the light levels fall the woods settle down for winter dormancy, but this season is worthy of a woodland walk for the rainbow of colours and the hidden activity that takes place to put on this glorious display. The green of the summer is disappearing into the yellows, reds and browns of autumn as a prelude to the trees finally shedding their leaves and the berries remain for the duration – until they are pickedRead more