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

One for the Record – Bovey Beauty 2018

The Bovey Beauty 10-mile fell race is becoming more popular by the year and, in September 2018, the number of entrants at the start line was a record 65. Though the forecast predicted wet and breezy conditions at the Pullabrook Woods start point, the race day weather was expected to clear and, sure enough, the Dartmoor weather obliged.   Following the Old Manaton Road and over the River Bovey at Hisley Bridge, the runners tackled the long, steady climb throughRead more

Wildlife All Nighter

On the 16th June seven volunteers and staff  from Natural England (NE) and the Woodland Trust (WT) met up at Trendlebere Down for a “Wildlife All Nighter” in and around the Bovey Valley.  The intention was to spend the night on a variety of tasks, mainly to record activity that isn’t possible during normal daytime conservation.  We were based around Hisley and Rudge Meadow, courtesy of NE and WT, with the idea of making no impact on the local environmentRead more