BioScan Flying Insect Project at Yarner Wood

Insects are of major ecological importance playing an essential role in ecosystems, pollination, nutrient recycling, and pest control. 1 million species have been described worldwide, although scientists believe the number could be 10 times higher – the UK alone has approx. 24,000 recorded species. https://www.royensoc.co.uk/entomology.  Recent declines in the biomass of flying insects have serious ecological consequences, affecting human and ecosystem health and it is recognised that this needs to be urgently addressed. Comprehensive data is crucial to informing effectiveRead more

Wood Ants – the world beneath your feet

The distinctive thatched domes of wood ant nests are a ubiquitous part of the National Nature Reserve (NNR) landscape, frequently ignored or the cause of mild distress if you unknowingly stand within a foraging route on a woodland track. They may be one of life’s ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ as despite being locally common across England and Wales there are real concerns about contraction of red wood ant populations. So a timely look at theRead more

A Kaleidoscope of Colour – Wildlife watching in 2020

As the world seems grey as we enter the new year, both literally and metaphorically, now seems a good time to try and bring some colour into our lives. I understand that some people have chosen to keep their Christmas lights and decorations on during January to lift people’s spirits. They are in good company alongside English Heritage and Durham and Salisbury cathedrals keeping to the medieval tradition of celebrating through till Candlemass on the 2nd February. My contribution toRead more

Nature’s Architectural Branches

Without the leaves on the trees, a different set of views is being revealed across East Dartmoor and our local greenspaces. From smooth barks, to ones covered in lichen; from interlocking dense hedgerows to solitary trees; from picture perfect shapes to the craggy hollows in mature trees, the beautiful architecture of branches is reaching for the sky. Abundant acorns If you’ve watched Autumnwatch, or been monitoring your local oaks, you’ll be aware of the huge number of acorns this year.Read more

Health and Wellbeing

‘Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity’John Muir 19th Century Scottish environmentalist At the most basic level human health and wellbeing is dependent on the goods and services of the environment: air, food, shelter and water. In addition, the importance to our physical and mental wellbeing of spending time within the natural environment has been recognised since ancient times and is seen of increasingRead 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