Yarner Wood: Open Air Laboratory and Conservation Gem

Natural England are linking up with external contributors in our blogs to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the declaration of Yarner Wood as a National Nature Reserve (NNR). Yarner Wood, made ancient by the crucial relationship between trees and fungi, has seen many shifting attitudes towards it across it’s long past. In recent centuries, up to 1952, these beautiful woodlands were owned as part of the Yarner Estate. During this time, Yarner Wood was not a place of particular conservationRead more

Winter Works at Bovey Valley Woods 2021-22

The gradual transformation of the woodland landscape in the Bovey Valley Woods is making progress again this autumn and winter. This year, as usual, small groups of conifers have been selected for felling in different zones around Hisley and Pullabrook Woods to improve diversity of woodland structure and habitat. This technique of staged annual small-scale tree felling operations is proving to be beneficial to both the biodiversity and the landscape of this beautiful river valley as it can produce aRead 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

Giving Lower Plants the Upper Hand

The mild, wet conditions in the south-west of England, brought about by the Gulf Stream and our proximity to the sea, have created perfect conditions for the establishment of Atlantic Woodlands. These moist, humid woods—also known as Celtic Rainforests—are brimming with lush green ferns, carpets of mosses and lichens covering tree trunks and hanging from the canopies. Building Resilience in South West Woodlands is a new Heritage Lottery-funded project—led by Plantlife—that addresses the challenges faced by the Atlantic woodlands ofRead more

Sun, Trees, Tools and Tall Tales

You can’t organise the sun, but if we could, we couldn’t have planned it any better. On the 25th March we had the sun, we had warmth and we had lots of people having fun and learning about how and why we manage our woods (in the past and in the present). Down in the glade – where the sun kept everyone warm – there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere whilst people ate their picnics and took part in variousRead more