Protecting the Bluebell Woods from Big Old Foot

Quietly unfolding in the woods around us is one of nature’s spectacles – for just a few weeks in May, Dartmoor’s woodlands are carpeted in a haze of bluebells.  This spring the Woodland Trust has looked to the latest technology, to encourage families to explore some of the best bluebell woods, using downloadable Follow the Fairies family trails. Many of Dartmoor’s woodlands have a mystical quality and at this time of year the woods are carpeted in a thick layer of mosses and ferns and lushRead more

Finding Treasure: Heritage and Wildlife of the Bovey Valley

The wildlife of the Bovey Valley has adapted to human influences for thousands of years, and today, there are many clues in the landscape showing where and how our ancestors have lived, side-by-side with nature for millennia. Remains of stone buildings from prehistoric and medieval times are scattered through the valley and recent studies have recorded where enclosures and boundaries defined different land uses. Further work by archaeologists continues to tell the story of human habitation in the Bovey which,Read more

Replenishing Resources – Carbon Capture in Action

On a misty spring-time Dartmoor morning, a group of employees and customers of Premier Paper Group got together for a company tree planting day in East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. As a paper manufacturer and supplier, Premier Paper is aware of its corporate responsibility for the resources they use and is working with the Woodland Trust on a ‘Carbon Capture’ scheme. The regional manager of Premier Paper explained how the paper industry uses a proportion of recycled material when possibleRead more

Sun, Trees, Tools and Tall Tales

You can’t organise the sun, but if we could, we couldn’t have planned it any better. On the 25th March we had the sun, we had warmth and we had lots of people having fun and learning about how and why we manage our woods (in the past and in the present). Down in the glade – where the sun kept everyone warm – there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere whilst people ate their picnics and took part in variousRead more

Bovey Valley Timber: Your Questions Answered

Why are trees felled in the woods of the Bovey Valley? How are they felled and how is the timber extracted? Where does the timber go after it leaves the Bovey Valley? Timber! Tools, Trees and Tall Tales is a special spring-time event hosted by the Woodland Trust and Natural England, as part of the wider HLF funded Moor than meets the eye project, where you will be able to find out the answers to these questions … and lotsRead more

Firewood for Good Gleaning

Across Dartmoor, there are visual signs of ancient boundaries where land owners once marked their land and, even today, the maps of the moor show the commons where people could graze their livestock in a regulated way. As times have changed, these rights have evolved and become more suited to our times. There were once areas where local people had the right to allow their pigs to eat acorns or beech mast but these practices are no longer relevant toRead more

Fungi Foray Fun -A fabulous afternoon looking for poison pies and crumble caps, angels and devils…

So what was going on in the woods a few Sundays ago? A group of about 20 of us were on a Fungi Foray in Yarner Wood with the Moor than meets the eye landscape partnership project. We were ably led by David Farley, a local fungi specialist, and colleagues from Natural England and the Woodland Trust. We had great fun finding different species and collecting them in our willow baskets. We really began to notice how many, and howRead more

The “Race for Nature” Shows the Beauty of the Bovey Valley

The growing reputation of the Bovey Beauty gained momentum this year with another successful 10-mile fell run through the breath taking landscapes of Dartmoor. On a sunny but blustery September morning 38 entrants from around the Southwest waited under starter’s orders in Pullabrook Woods, deep in the Bovey Valley, preparing to tackle the spectacular grade B route. Forest tracks in the river valley led to climbs through ancient woodland before emerging onto wide open moorland at the top of LustleighRead more

The River of Life: Family fun in the sun

Winding its way downstream from East Dartmoor, the River Bovey and all the life within it flows through Parke, where this week’s River of Life picnic was held. Glorious sunshine welcomed families who strolled in to join Moor than meets the eye and Woodland Trust rangers. Greeted by more of the team from Natural England and the National Trust, adults and children alike were drawn into a plethora of activities. One group headed off river dipping, where Fred from the National Trust showed everyoneRead more

The King of Lichens

On a bright spring morning a group of people gathered in an old farmyard. Dressed to keep out the Dartmoor breeze and equipped with small hand lenses they set off along one of the many ancient walled tracks that cross the landscape around the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. Within minutes the sky had darkened and the group huddled against a barn wall until the April shower had delivered its payload of sleet, revealing another pleasant blue sky. This wasRead more