King of Spring Returns

May is a month already bustling with weird and wonderful traditional customs celebrating Spring, so was there room in the calendar for a new one? Andy Bailey from Dartmoor’s Moor than meets the eye scheme believes so. On Sunday 19th at 11am, a small crowd started to gather at the entrance to Yarner Wood to mark the start of the Spring Woodland Festival. Andy was joined by a giant flying pied flycatcher, a band of merry musicians and colourful flockRead more

Transforming the Reservoir – Work Completed!

Starting work in December, a small team have been busy installing floating rafts, planting willow and felling trees around the reservoir in Yarner Wood. The reservoir has been transformed from the straight edged concrete pool that was once uninviting to people and wildlife. This is an overview of the management work that has taken place in this watery corner of the National Nature Reserve. American signal crayfish surveys – good news!As mentioned in the previous blog, the focus in autumnRead more

A Year at East Dartmoor

Looking out across the woods this morning it seems that spring is well on its way with lots of birdwatchers in the hides and brimstones on the wing. I have shared a year in the life of Yarner Wood and have watched it change through all of its four seasons. Of all the seasons’ spring is a time for new beginnings and for me that means a new start in Bristol. As I draw towards the end of my traineeshipRead more

Letting in the Light

This summer and autumn, a group of volunteers have been  assisting Dr Alison Smith from Plantlife, to carry out a citizen science survey of some of the ancient woodland boundaries in the Bovey Valley. They have been recording the lichens found growing on the ancient oaks that span some of the old boundaries and they have been helping to photograph the canopy cover of the trees, using a 360 degree fisheye lens camera. These photographs can be used to measure the amount of light reachingRead more

From Wood to Moor – a Dartmoor Conservation Story (chapter 1)

When you walk through the wooded fringes of Dartmoor you may occasionally hear the rasp of a chainsaw followed by the thud of falling conifer trees. You may sometimes stroll by a stack of timber, perhaps wondering what that pile of logs could be used for. Following that train of thought, you might perhaps ask yourself the question, “Why are they cutting down these trees? Isn’t that a bit destructive?” Well, in many of these woodlands there is a plan,Read more

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