Lighting up the Darkness

Following pre and post-management surveying along Bovey Valley wood’s ancient banks and boundaries in August 2020 (Back in the Bovey blog), professional habitat-management contractors working for the Woodland Trust and Natural England have been selectively clearing holly, beech and sycamore to bring back the light to the woodland understorey, as part of Plantlife’s ‘Building Resilience in South West Woodlands’ project. Without management, many of these ancient boundaries have become over-grown with shading tree species which can become invasive if notRead more

A Growing Problem

The view along the Bovey Valley Woods is a dramatic scene that makes many passers-by stop and stare. Taking time to absorb this spectacle is one of the great pleasures of Dartmoor. It is one of those iconic panoramas of the eastern moor where the sweeping skyline of Lustleigh Cleave provides a bold and rocky backdrop for the diverse, soft patterns and colours of the tree cover that sweeps along the valley. Breath-taking at any time of year. But recently,Read more

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