At Home in the Woods

A colony of rare barbastelle bats, living in the woodlands of the Bovey Valley, has been studied over recent years by researchers from the University of Bristol. Now their detailed work has been published, we can fly through its many paragraphs, results and recommendations to glean an understanding of how woodland bat species make best use of feeding and roosting opportunities among the ancient oak woods. The shelter and protection offered to this ‘near threatened’ species (see IUCN Red List) from the roostsRead more

Sound and Vision – A New View of the Behaviour of Woodland Bats

The colony of rare barbastelle bats in the woods of the Bovey Valley has been the subject of active research over recent years. This work has used radio tracking technology to monitor the movements of the bats between roost sites in the oak woods and their foraging grounds along hedges, woodland edges and rivers. Revealing discoveries of the species’ roosts have shown which areas of ancient woodland, and which cracks and crevasses, are preferred by the barbastelle, giving the natureRead more

Woodland Management with the Bristol Scouts

On Tuesday the 31st of July Natural England and the Woodland Trust joined forces with 41 Scouts from the 77th, 90th and 167th Bristol Scout Troops and Steama Explorer Scout unit, for a day of conservation activities in Pullabrook Wood. The Explorers teamed up with East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve manager Albert Knott, to survey lichens along some of the woodland’s ancient boundaries. The other two groups teamed up with Jim White, from the Woodland Trust and the Natural England ConservationRead more

Riverflies – Life in the Teign River Catchment

Back in the Spring, a group of anglers and conservation volunteers went back to school; Chagford Primary School, in fact. They had all taken the opportunity to learn how a river water quality monitoring project was being rolled out by the Riverfly Partnership, a network of organisations working together to protect the water quality of our rivers and actively conserve riverfly habitats. This ‘citizen science’ training day was being led by local charity, the Westcountry Rivers Trust, to pass onRead more

What’s new with Marmaduke and his herd?

There have been some big changes recently on the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. Sadly in March one of our residential Dartmoor ponies, Pignut, passed away. This has left the reserve with a herd of thirteen ponies, who are an integral component of conserving the woods and heath. These ponies are well-loved by our staff, but they are maintained as semi-feral to ensure they are focused on the task of maintaining the reserve, rather than being too interested in ourRead more

Pullabrook Wood Boundary – Lost in Time?

Ancient boundaries can maintain a vital link to the past; across Devon there are many miles of earth banks with different characters. Some stand stony-faced while others are draped with a display of wildflowers. Some have a shrubby hedge running along the top and others remain bare-backed. Some may be hundreds of years old while others began their existence back in the mists of history, maybe even thousands of years ago but, for all of them, their original purpose inRead more