Hisley Heritage Walk

People have lived and worked on Dartmoor for thousands of years and evidence of this history can be found on the ground today …if you know where to look. The East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve and Bovey Valley holds many clues and can tell many stories about our ancestors’ lives in the area. A new walking route, Hisley Heritage Walk, has been designed to encourage people to become historians as they follow a five kilometre trail through Hisley Wood. The description ofRead 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

News from the Vinnimore Dig – the final day

Today was our last day on site at Vinnimore and what a week it’s been.  We had a steady trickle of visitors throughout the day who came to the open day – some were just passing through and others had made a special journey to see the excavation taking place.  Jane, Kate and Dave from the Woodland Trust, DNPA archaeologist Andy Crabb and myself and Andy from Moor than meets the eye were on hand to greet visitors, explain theRead more

News from the Vinnimore Dig – Day 5

There was a real sense of anticipation and excitement on site today as we approach the end of the dig and begin preparations for the open day tomorrow.  As the weather was milder, the midges were out in full force which made working conditions a little difficult at times.  Fortunately, our volunteers are a resilient and hardy bunch who aren’t to be put off by swarms of these tiny insects. John and Marc from Oakford Archaeology began the process ofRead more

News from the Vinnimore Dig – Day 4

Today we were joined by over 50 pupils form Widecombe and Blackpool primary schools who have helped out with the excavation with great enthusiasm! They also enjoyed a guided walk through the surrounding woodlands to explore the remains of Boveycombe Farm and learn about the ever-changing woodland landscape. Many thanks to the pupils and their teachers for paying us a visit! In what we now think is the kitchen for the dwelling, work was focussed on removing tumble around theRead more

News from the Vinnimore Dig – Day 3

  Another fantastic day on site and we are now already half way through the excavation. It is quite amazing what twelve volunteers can achieve in that amount of time! Despite the chilly start everyone were soon working hard to reveal yet more fascinating features about the site.  The two main areas of progress to report on today include the discovery of a second, rather fine fire place and, at last, a small area of surviving flooring. The fireplace hasRead more

News from the Vinnimore Dig – Day 1

Day one of Lustleigh’s Parishscapes-funded community archaeology dig got off to a flying start.  Members of Lustleigh Parish worked alongside Mark and Johnnie from Oakford Archaeology, members of the East Dartmoor NNR History Hunters team, National Park archaeologist Andy Crabb and MTMTE Community Heritage Officer Emma Stockley. The trench one team! The excavation site, an abandoned post-medieval farmstead, is located in the beautiful Bovey Valley, set amongst ancient woodland alongside the Becka Brook.   Before any digging began, the walk to the site revealedRead more

Aligning the Past and the Present

This blog marks the start of week of archaeology at East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve.  Starting on site today, a team of local residents guided by archaeologists, will be carrying out an archaeological dig at the site of a post medieval farmstead in the Bovey Valley. The lead archaeologists will be posting daily field reports on the East Dartmoor Woods blog this week and they will be sharing their findings from the excavation, at the Vinnimore Community Archaeology Dig – Open Day next Saturday 29th April.  Read more

Students Spring into Action

Just six weeks on from their last visit, the students of the University of Exeter were back in the woods to continue their conservation task at the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. In that short time the seasons had changed and, on a cool morning, some spring time wildlife was waiting to welcome the students. Their aims for the day were to clear undergrowth around some of the archaeological features in the valley; two ancient farmsteads are being gradually revealedRead more