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

Elm on the Edge

The story of the wych elm trees in the Bovey Valley Woods has reached its final chapter. The volunteers of the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve began the adventure began back in 2016 when a hunt for the diminished population of elms took a painstakingly methodical route through the woods to find these elusive trees. The first stage of the project required the individual trees to be found, assessed for health, recorded and plotted on a map because, before thisRead more

Work to the Reservoir Starts!

Slightly hidden but only a short walk into Yarner Woods, lies the reservoir. It’s a popular place to sit and watch waterfowl species, such as the mandarin ducks, and on the sunny autumn days we have been having recently, it’s easy to overlook that underneath the surface of the water, it’s an ecosystem that’s not performing at its best. Results of a recent fish survey suggested its waters are deprived of nutrients, a condition known as ‘oligotrophic’. Fish were foundRead 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

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