King of Spring Returns

May is a month already bustling with weird and wonderful traditional customs celebrating Spring, so was there room in the calendar for a new one? Andy Bailey from Dartmoor’s Moor than meets the eye scheme believes so. On Sunday 19th at 11am, a small crowd started to gather at the entrance to Yarner Wood to mark the start of the Spring Woodland Festival. Andy was joined by a giant flying pied flycatcher, a band of merry musicians and colourful flockRead more

TIMBER!

On Saturday 23 March at the Moor than Meets the Eye event, ‘TIMBER! Trees, Tools and Tall Tales’, we felled two conifer trees. But why are woodland conservation charities chopping down healthy trees? TIMBER! was all about telling that story. When you walk into Pullabrook Woods, it’s worth looking at the two sides of the valley, on the left are closely planted conifers, with a dark understory of bramble and bracken. On the far slope, across the burbling stream isRead more

Letting in the Light

This summer and autumn, a group of volunteers have been  assisting Dr Alison Smith from Plantlife, to carry out a citizen science survey of some of the ancient woodland boundaries in the Bovey Valley. They have been recording the lichens found growing on the ancient oaks that span some of the old boundaries and they have been helping to photograph the canopy cover of the trees, using a 360 degree fisheye lens camera. These photographs can be used to measure the amount of light reachingRead more

Celebrating Fungi at East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve

Here at Yarner Wood we are treated to a wonderful array of habitats for plant and animal species. Visitors come from far and wide to observe breeding migratory birds like the pied flycatcher. Lichenologists can be fascinated for hours by the specimens growing thick on the old oaks of Yarner Wood and the Bovey Valley. However, there is one often overlooked kingdom that grows abundantly across the reserve.  Spending most of the year underground, for a few short months theyRead more

A Tour of East Dartmoor

The Conservation Assistants recently led a guided tour of the National Nature Reserve (NNR) for the Dartmoor National Park apprentices.  This was a chance for them to see what the trainee scheme at East Dartmoor NNR is all about, and for both sides to network, sharing experiences and knowledge. I was invited to go along as a new volunteer, so I could get to know the National Nature Reserve and also get an overview of the sort of activities goingRead more

Extraordinary Women in an Extraordinary Place

During the first two weekends in September at the Woodland Centre in Yarner Wood,  five extraordinary female artists (Sally Anderson, Bridget Arnold, Clare Benson, Marilyn Murch and Cheryl Watson) from the local Granite Elements project, came together to create artworks around this year’s Heritage Open Days theme of ‘Extraordinary Women’. The exhibition was organised in collaboration with Devon Open Studios and the artists used Sun Print (Cyanotype) photographer Anna Atkins and Devon weaver Ethel Mairet, as their primary inspiration. GraniteRead more