Dormice Dozing (Part 1)

Whilst the trees in the woods appear to be standing still, waiting for spring to arrive, buried within the leaf litter one of our most iconic native mammals has also put its life on hold, until spring arrives. The size of a thumb, our native hazel dormouse, Muscardinus avellanarius, is a mostly arboreal woodland species that hibernates at ground level in a nest made from local materials during the winter months. Photoperiod – the ratio of light to dark inRead more

Counting Butterflies in the Bovey Valley

As we come to the end of the year, and with the butterfly survey season well behind us, there’s a chance to reflect on the survey season and to plan for next year.  Simon Smith, who has written this end of season report, is one of six recorders who walks a set route, or “transect”, in the National Nature Reserve every week from April to the end of September.  In this blog he gives a personal account of the endRead more

Reservoir Blogs …No.3

Armed with 500 plug plants and a small inflatable boat, aquatic specialists from Frog Environmental recently made a return visit to the reservoir in Yarner Wood to assess the success of the restoration works started in December 2018. It’s not often you see a small boat on the reservoir, but working on the water is all in a day’s work for this specialist team, and simply the best method for making checks on the newly installed floating islands. These vegetatedRead more

End of an Era

As many of you will be aware the Moor than meets the eye partnership scheme draws to a close later this year and the EcoSkills graduate trainee programme has come to an end… All together 15 of the 17 trainee Conservation Assistants who participated in the project, based here at Yarner, are employed in the conservation sector with 6 working in Devon / Eastern Cornwall – a wonderful legacy  for both the project and for the individuals concerned.  Congratulations toRead more

A Guided Walk with a Difference!

Dartmoor’s Wheelchair Access Group (WAGs), led by two Moorland Guides, have spent a day at East Dartmoor NNR testing a route for the Dartmoor Walking Festival in August (24th-1st September) to see what was possible for a wide range of wheelchair users. We met at Middle Trendlebere car park and the first route we explored was the one from the car park, across Trendlebere Down to the Yarner Wood access gate near the leat. The views were great, but theRead more

My Lichen Summer School

Visitors might be drawn in by the birds, bats and butterflies, or even the possibility of seeing an elusive otter, but the Bovey Valley, in the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve is also renowned for its more unassuming residents, an internationally renowned lichen population. Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between a fungus, and at least one photosynthetic partner, usually an alga. They can colonise almost anywhere, but it’s the tree-dwellers which are attracting the attention of conservationists, as part ofRead more