Crucial Connections – Lichen on Wood Banks

Volunteers in the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve have been taking the chance to do some real science; citizen science that is going to contribute to a better understanding of lichens across the ancient woodlands of the South West. The “Atlantic” woodlands around Dartmoor are under pressure and, in some areas, becoming isolated or disconnected from each other. But there are some remnants of ancient woodland, draped like threads across the landscape that provide a lifeline of natural habitat betweenRead more

Riverflies – Life in the Teign River Catchment

Back in the Spring, a group of anglers and conservation volunteers went back to school; Chagford Primary School, in fact. They had all taken the opportunity to learn how a river water quality monitoring project was being rolled out by the Riverfly Partnership, a network of organisations working together to protect the water quality of our rivers and actively conserve riverfly habitats. This ‘citizen science’ training day was being led by local charity, the Westcountry Rivers Trust, to pass onRead more

Yarner’s Butterfly Transect

Butterfly transects are a well-established way of recording our wildlife. The Yarner Wood transect has been monitored since 1976 and is an important part of our Long-term Monitoring Network. We walk this transect weekly, for six months of the year, from April 1st to September 30th. Which species and how many of each we see, varies widely. So far this year, in one week there was just one butterfly flying; another week 29 were counted, across five different species. The largestRead more

Wildlife All Nighter

On the 16th June seven volunteers and staff  from Natural England (NE) and the Woodland Trust (WT) met up at Trendlebere Down for a “Wildlife All Nighter” in and around the Bovey Valley.  The intention was to spend the night on a variety of tasks, mainly to record activity that isn’t possible during normal daytime conservation.  We were based around Hisley and Rudge Meadow, courtesy of NE and WT, with the idea of making no impact on the local environmentRead more

Burying a Body in the Woods

It may sound a little macabre but, while you are out walking through the beautiful Dartmoor woodlands, how often do you turn your thoughts to the grisly job of burying a body? Alongside all the fascinating forms of woodland wildlife, there is a darker, morbid side, which is an essential part of the cycle of life. While springtime brings an abundance of new life, survival in the wild is a case of taking your chances when there are both winnersRead more

Shades of Light & Dark

The varied chain of woodlands along the Bovey Valley are among the significant habitat features of the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve (NNR). They also form part of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These classifications aren’t handed out lightly; they are only bestowed on places where local wildlife is a priority, where there is something of note that is so remarkable that we need to protect it and conserve it forRead more