Building Resilience Back in the Bovey

This August saw the return of Plantlife’s Building Resilience in the South-West project to Bovey Valley woods. In partnership with the Woodland Trust and Natural England, this National Lottery Heritage Fund funded project has seen the valleys historic field boundaries surveyed and managed, to increase their habitat value for the many rare lichen species they support. In previous years, the surveys have been carried out with the help of citizen science volunteers from the local community, gathering data on lightRead more

A Master of Camouflage

For many of us, the start of August marks the arrival of high summer, bringing long hot days and balmy nights and summer holidays! For most species of birds, it is a time of change. Both resident and migrant, the breeding season is all but over. Many will become very secretive, as missing flight feathers during their summer moult affect their ability to avoid predators, who are looking for food. Some species, such as cuckoo and swift, will be preparingRead more

Coming to Fruition

Covered in pinkish white flowers, bramble patches are full of promise – blackberries are on their way. It’s one of the first shrubs monitored by Nature’s Calendar* to fruit, and towards the end of July and throughout summer, we’ll be enjoying blackberry crumble! While you’re checking to see if the fruit is ripe, you’ll be able to spot a whole host of insects enjoying the nectar; but a bramble patch is home, food, and protection for a much wider rangeRead more

Butterfly, bird and budburst bonanza

Fluttering butterflies, feeding on flowers conjure up images of warm spring and long summer days, and at this time of year four of the butterflies monitored by *Nature’s Calendar, will start to appear. Seeing them creates a sense of optimism, which is heart-warming when you think about the different ways they’ve made it through the winter. The orange-brown comma and the lemony-yellow brimstone hibernated in sheltered spaces where their underwing patterns camouflaged them perfectly. For the comma that’s in treeRead more

Frogspawn February

Frogspawn is another signal that winter is drawing to an end. But, is it early and what will happen when, or if, there is a cold snap? The characteristic semolina like jelly of frogspawn is laid in shaded, shallow ponds, surrounded by plants. With the recent heavy rain, the two main streams on the reserve are creating pools which are good for frogspawn and as part of winter management works reserve managers have been leaving dead and fallen trees overRead more

Dozing Dormice (Part 2)

In our earlier Dozing Dormouse blog (Part 1) we explored the usual routes to monitoring dormice either through licensed surveying or through signs of presence – from long empty summer nests – to discarded dormouse dinners of gnawed nuts.  National Nature Reserves (NNRs) were set up to both protect habitats, species and geology and to be outdoor laboratories.  Science and research continue to be a core objective as part of today’s NNR conservation strategy and therefore dormice have been the focusRead more