Long Gone, But Not Forgotten … Remembering the PiedFlys

As the seasons change our thoughts inevitably turn to the colder months ahead. So what better time to look back to those bright early days of spring, when East Dartmoor’s woods were bursting into life.  By pairing the stats from this year’s bird breeding season, with some stunning photos of the birds in action, this blog is an opportunity to celebrate the pied flycatcher, a migrant species that’s been monitored here since the 1950’s. Arriving in April to breed, piedRead 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

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

Crucial Connections – Lichen on Wood Banks

Volunteers in the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve have been taking the chance to do some real science; citizen science that is going to contribute to a better understanding of lichens across the ancient woodlands of the South West. The “Atlantic” woodlands around Dartmoor are under pressure and, in some areas, becoming isolated or disconnected from each other. But there are some remnants of ancient woodland, draped like threads across the landscape that provide a lifeline of natural habitat betweenRead 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