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

Walking the “Butterflies of the Bovey Valley”

It is August bank holiday, a beautiful sunny day, and a perfect opportunity to follow one of the wildlife walking routes around the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. There are five wildlife walking routes to choose from, but unsurprisingly, butterfly surveyor Simon, chose to follow the Butterflies of the Bovey Valley trail that follows woodland tracks by the River Bovey and crosses the heathland on Trendlebere Down. This blog is intended not to add any more route advice and detailRead more

Nocturnal Life at East Dartmoor

Did you know that when we go to sleep another world awakens? When you visit the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve in the daytime, you can see many different bird species quite easily. Mammals are generally harder to spot because most are nocturnal, meaning they only come out at night. As dusk settles in, these creatures start to emerge and the woods become alive with small and large mammals. It is always exciting to open the images that have beenRead more